Back of the book :
What if the life you have always known is taken from you in an instant?
What would you do to get it back?
Twins Jeanie and Julius have always been different from other people.
At 51 years old, they still live with their mother, Dot, in rural isolation and poverty. Inside the walls of their old cottage they make music, and in the garden they grow (and sometimes kill) everything they need for sustenance.
But when Dot dies suddenly, threats to their livelihood start raining down.
Jeanie and Julius would do anything to preserve their small sanctuary against the perils of the outside world, even as their mother’s secrets begin to unravel, putting everything they thought they knew about their lives at stake.
What I think :
Twins Jeanie and Julius still live with their mother Dot at the age of fifty one. The three of them live a secluded life in rundown cottage on the edge of the local landowner Mr Rawson’s estate. They really don’t have much, selling the vegetables that they grow to local businesses. Julius is a bob-a-job handyman.
So when their mother dies unexpectedly one morning of a stroke the twins are at a loss of what to do, Jeanie can barely read and write as she had so much time off school with rheumatic fever as child and Julius didn’t pass any of his exams at all. They don’t really know how to get a death certificate for their mother, so it’s a good job that their mothers best friend Bridget is on hand to help. None of them even have a bank account, Dot used to keep their money in a tin in the kitchen !
Just as the twins are getting their heads around the fact that Dot has gone, Secrets and lies start to emerge ….
It appears that Dot was quite ill before she died, she’d had a couple of mini strokes, but hadn’t told her children.
Then Mrs Rawson, the landowners wife knocks on the door telling Jeanie that their mother owed them, the Rawson’s quite a lot of money for rent on the cottage. Money that Jeanie and Julius now have to pay, they have no money, so that’s another worry. The cottage that the twins thought they could live in rent free for life because of what happened to their father, it now appears not …
Did Dot lie about that too ?
Does she owe money to other people too ?
What other secrets did Dot have ?
This is quite a raw and dark read, I must admit I found myself feeling quite tense the whole time I was reading this family’s story and also if I’m honest quite uncomfortable that people could live in such seclusion that they were that naive.
I felt really felt sorry for the twins, they thought they’re living their life in a simple but effective way, a way that their mother taught them, but it was that same mother that had decieved them with secrets and sometimes lies.
I found it an interesting read.
I give this book 8/10 (5 Stars)
Published on 25/03/21 by Fig Tree (Penguin Random House )
The biggest Thank you to Hannah Sawyer at Penguin Random House for the review copy of the book in return for an honest review.