In this slightly outlandish story, Sophie finds herself sucked into the circumstances of her ex-boyfriend’s family, when his Aunt Connie has died and left her house on an island to Sophie. This is no ordinary island, however. It is on this island, where many years prior, Connie and her sister, Rose, walked into their neighbors’ house, expecting to have tea with their neighbors, Jack and Alice Munro, when they discovered their baby girl left unattended, with Jack and Alice having mysteriously vanished. Sophie herself remembers visiting the island, now a shrine of sorts (and the source of a healthy income for the sisters), where the rooms were left untouched, still with bloodstains and an unfinished crossword puzzle, just as if they’d just deserted the room that morning. As the events unfold, the family and their individual struggles and conflicts come to light and Sophie finds peace with her own life as she helps them with theirs.
As usual, Moriarty tells a tale that is alternatively amusing and tragic. While the premise is a little far-fetched, the struggles that these quirky characters are coping with – relationship issues, depression, child neglect and worse – are quite realistic. And Moriarty’s signature humor and warmth follow each character through to the end.
If you’re looking for a fun read with some substance, this is your book!