East Fortune by James Runcie

East Fortune was first published in 2009 and it’s just the second one by James Runcie which I’ve read. I have to say that I didn’t enjoy this one as much as Sidney Chambers and the Shadow of Death. In fact I almost gave up reading it very early on because it begins with an unavoidable tragedy and I thought to myself – ‘Do I really want to be reading a possible doomfest of a book just before Christmas?’ Anyway I persevered and it wan’t until I was about two thirds of the way through the book that I really began to enjoy it.

The blurb on the front says ‘This gripping novel has only one major flaw – it was far too short – I wanted at least another 200 pages of these people and their lives.’ VICTORIA HISLOP

In a way I sort of agree with that statement but mainly because for me the whole thing pepped up towards the end. This would qualify for Peggy’s Read Scotland 2014 challenge as the setting is Scotland and Runcie now lives in Edinburgh.

It’s the story of the three Henderson brothers, now middle aged but still suffering from sibling rivalry, family expectations and disappointments. East Fortune is not far from Edinburgh and it’s where their family home is, when they return for their annual summer get together the usual tensions turn up too, made worse by the obvious frailty of their elderly parents.

I have to say that the author has done a good job of depicting middle aged family life, but it isn’t exactly uplifting, and if you’ve already been there then it isn’t something which you really want to spend your time reading about. I will read more by this author though as I think he is a good writer, it’s just the subject matter of this one which didn’t appeal to me so much.

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