Sunday, March 13, 2011

At Home With the Templetons-Monica McInerney

At Home With the Templetons
Monica McInerney
Ballantine, Mar 29 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9780345518651

In 1993, the magnificent seven of the Templeton clan move from England to Victorian Goldfields, Australia. They take residence in Templeton Hall, a manor unused for years. The locals are taken aback by the brood and the youngest daughter eleven years old Gracie soon learns not everyone is welcoming of her and her family.

The patriarch Henry hopes to make money off the estate by providing period piece (in full costume and d├ęcor) to tourists of the stately manor house. Eleanor the matriarch struggles with controlling her husband’s zaniest money making schemes as they never work. She also needs to keep their five children actively involved or Henry’s latest plan will join the boondoggle failure pile. Their neighbors, single mother artist Nina Donovan and her son Tom, rent a nearby farmhouse; both are fascinated with the Templeton family. A tragedy splits the clan apart as culpability is everywhere and nowhere as over the next decade an a half, the Templeton kids make their own way in the world.

This is an engaging look over sixteen years at a family, in which each goes their separate way down paths of success, failure, love and betrayal. The key to this family epic is that each Templeton and the Donovan diet come across as different people with strengths and weaknesses as the viewpoint changes amongst them. Fans of family drama will enjoy reading At Home With The Templetons.

Harriet Klausner

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