Archive for July 10th, 2018

The Favourite


The Favourite by SV Berlin

Welcome to the dark heart of the family – the secrets we keep, the memories we treasure and the relationships we feel bound to, but long to escape. Edward and Isobel haven’t spoken for years and live on opposite sides of the Atlantic. When their mother, Mary, dies unexpectedly, they are thrown together to sort through the family home. With Julie, Edward’s diffident but devoted girlfriend, making an awkward third, each stumbles through the practicalities and funeral preparations, trying to make sense of their emotions and their feelings towards one another. Then Isobel makes a disturbing discovery and her fateful decision has consequences for them all, challenging their beliefs about the past, hopes for the future, and understanding of Mary’s role in keeping them at once apart and together. This utterly immersive novel is rich with insightful and wickedly comic observations of family members behaving badly in stressful situations – of sibling rivalries, a parent torn between the two, and a grieving process that takes time to unfold. Beginning in a small coastal town during the Spring Bank Holiday, the novel moves forward through the point of view of each of the characters in turn, and culminates on Christmas Eve.

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 Author’s Bio

S.V. Berlin was born and raised in London. Her blog, Britical, was one of the earliest and offered a British view of the pleasures and pitfalls of social politics in and around Manhattan. As a regular guest commentator on New York’s Sirius XM radio, she delivered her own script for such culturally relevant topics as James Bond, the etiquette of texting, and the curious science and evolution of marriage. Since then she has advised readers on how to swear with confidence, dogsledded through the freezing badlands of Northern Minnesota, and camped alone with wolves, equipped with only a pot noodle and eight waterproof matches. In her spare time, Berlin has worked as a copywriter, wilderness search-and-rescue professional, facilitator, and speechwriter to the self-styled ‘titans’ of Wall Street.


My Review

3 stars

Siblings Edward and Isobel has become estranged and live on opposite sides of the Atlantic. Isobel wanted more from life than what she had in England and moved to New York City. There she has everything she wants yet is not becoming successful like her family and friends think she would so she stands out. Edward has his own challenges and blames himself for the way things have gone wrong. But he mainly is irritated that he is going to have to see his sister after fifteen years apart.

Then there is Julie, Edward’s girlfriend. She seems like a mouse of a woman yet has her own secrets. All three are going to have their moments as the three people learn more about themselves and how their mother affected them and may have intentionally caused the estrangement.

What is it about a funeral to bring out the worst in family? It’s clear that Edward and Isobel have some issues, but where do they come from? Is one unhappy for the other’s success? Of course why be happy for someone when you can be miserable and nasty to them.

This story meanders around the death of Mary and her children coming together to deal with their separation and loss. I really thought there was going to be a big surprise ending or something that really struck out and would make this a thriller or something like that but it just was family drama.

This is not a bad book, I’m sure if this is your style you would love the book. For me it didn’t have enough thrilling reveals to keep me interested.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

I would like to thank MZPR for the opportunity to read and share this book.

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