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Friday, March 19, 2021

Charades by Jean Stubbs

1989 Christmas in the Malpas family. A reunion of sorts. The family is gravely dysfunctional and it does not augur well to have them around - together - for a very long time. The addition of three unexpected visitors does not add to the harmony. Blanche the eldest daughter has a baby and the father is unknown to the immediate family and Blanche wants to keep it that way. She wanted a baby and now that she has one that is all she wants. We have Lydia the youngest bringing Freddie home (a lady) and it is obvious from the start that their relationship is an intimate one. Not to the parents who live in a world of their own. We then have their only son with an estranged wife turning up, wanting to resolve permanently the rift in their marriage and talk about divorce and custody of two very very interesting children. It was a family story more than a Christmassy one but it was interesting nevertheless. A lot of cross currents, personality clashes galore but all adding to the story and the way it turned out. Sent by Sapere Books for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.