Charlotte Townsend returns to the peace and tranquility of the health clinic at La Folie, on the beautiful island of Guernsey. She feels that a few days of total rest and recuperation will be just the tonic she needs to recharge her batteries in the wake of her father's death and worry over her mother's ongoing illness. She hopes that it will also give her the time and space she needs to overcome severe writers block. Whilst at La Folie, Charlotte meets up with her friends Louisa and Paul, both health therapists at the clinic, who introduce her to Andy Batiste, whose ongoing family feud over a WW2 inheritance threatens to destroy his family. When Charlotte volunteers to help in researching Andy’s family history, she little realises how much this will impact on her own life.
This is the fourth book in the excellent Guernsey series of novels which Anne Allen writes with such fine attention to detail. The island really comes to life and she paints such a vivid picture of both the place and its people that the more you read about them, the more you want to discover. A Family Divided takes some of the characters we have met before in previous books, and weaves them skilfully into the narrative, so that it really is like meeting up with old friends. We first met Charlotte Townsend in the third novel in the series, Guernsey Retreat, so it was nice to have a whole story dedicated to her. The ongoing mystery of the effect that WW2 had on the island adds a nice historical touch and helps to maintain continuity. The mystery at the heart of the novel is well explained, although perhaps better appreciated if you have read the series sequentially as some of the jigsaw pieces of the story will fit better if you have some prior knowledge of what has gone before.
Anne Allen has really made this a compelling series of stories. The light and easy style of writing and the way in which the characters come alive in your imagination make this a series I want to see endure for a long time. I am delighted that the ending of The Family Divided lends itself really nicely into a continuation of the story and I really can’t wait to see what happens next.
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My thanks to the author for sharing this lovely book with me.