Praise for The Peacock Summer:
"A juicy mix of secrets and betrayals make The Peacock Summer by Hannah Richell a perfect holiday read.
At a British country home called Windfalls, middle daughter Lucy Sorrell wishes to reunite her estranged family by inviting them all to the happy yet spontaneous occasion of her wedding. The biggest crack in her family's foundation is the rift between her youngest sister, Margot, and their mother, best-selling romance author Kit Weaver; at 17, Margo set fire to and destroyed Kit's writing studio containing the unfinished manuscript of her novel. Richell's (Secrets of the Tides) latest is an amazing work of Brit lit/women's fiction, a tearjerker about love, loss, family, secrets, and the courage of carrying on, focusing on the relationships among sisters, mothers, and daughters. Set mostly in the present with occasional trips into the recent past to fill in blanks, this character-driven tale flows effortlessly with the author's descriptive prose painting every emotional scene with care. Her skill at peeling away the layers of and revealing the raw pain in this incredibly complicated family is exemplary and extremely important to the narrative. VERDICT Fans of Karen White, Kristin Hannah, Barbara Delinsky, and fantastic women's fiction will have difficulty putting down this novel.—Debbie Haupt, St. Charles City-Cty. Lib. Dist., St. Peters, MO
Blessed with youth, love, and promise, Ted and Kit move into an idyllic country home, but years later their relationship has failed and each of their three adult daughters is burdened with a threatening secret.
“This is the place,” life model Kit tells playwright Ted when she first sees Windfalls, the gorgeous if neglected English farmhouse set above an orchard and a river in Somerset. But this picture-perfect setting becomes the backdrop to jealousy, postnatal depression, sexual violence, and arson in British author Richell’s latest novel, a family drama that follows simply delineated characters along clear grooves. Free-spirited Kit becomes a neglectful mother but a successful popular novelist; Ted’s early promise is stalled by writer’s block until he finds release elsewhere. Oldest daughter Eve grows into a busy mother with an obsessive eye for detail. Middle sister Lucy is “ridiculously naïve and chaotic” while volatile Margot, who dropped out of school at 16, is “the Queen of Self-Sabotage.” A giveaway prologue hints too heavily toward Margot’s share of the family’s mysteries; meanwhile, Lucy and Eve are keeping their own secrets. But all will come to a boil during the tense days running up to Lucy’s suddenly announced wedding, to be held informally in a tent in the Windfalls orchard. This, then, is the place where pain will finally be shared and the family chess pieces rearranged on the board. Richell’s uncomplicated tale-spinning, along with her devotion to lovely landscapes and boho-chic interiors, propels her narrative forward at a smooth pace, gliding over implausibilities to deliver a polished blend of romance, tragedy, and family feeling.
A brimming glassful of apple-scented summer escapism.
"Beautifully written, with powerful messages of hope and redemption woven through the sadness of the story. Very moving, very immersive. I loved it!"
Stunning . . . Amazing characters, beautiful setting, and utterly heart-breaking.
The prose is lush and full-blooming, the pacing taut, and the setting brilliant with light and color as the suspense builds, pushing each woman to her breaking point. . . . Lillian and Maggie are rich and complex characters, struggling to embrace passion and yet fulfill their duty, and their alternating stories balance well against one another, imparting lessons on life, love, family, obligation, and—most of all—the enduring power and beauty of art. An immensely satisfying read.”
No one does dark family secrets like Hannah Richell . . . Beguiling, beautifully written and richly evocative, The River Home will sweep you away.
A tender portrait of a perfectly imperfect family; wise, big-hearted, and beautifully written.
Praise for The Peacock Summer: "A juicy mix of secrets and betrayals make The Peacock Summer by Hannah Richell a perfect holiday read.
This moving novel of family and missed opportunity will appeal to fans of Barbara Kingsolver.”
Heartwrenching and beautifully written.
Poignant, romantic and beautifully written, I was completely captivated by this dual narrative story about forbidden love. Hannah Richell is a gifted storyteller; The Peacock Summer a wonderfully immersive book. Absolutely gorgeous.”
Beautiful and gripping.
"Beautiful, heart-rending, life-affirming."