Review: Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

Review: Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak is a dramatic novel that takes place over the Christmas holidays. The concept of being quarantined with your family for seven days during the festive season sets this story up for some interesting dynamics. While it is an enjoyable read with relatable characters, the book seems to lack the humour that is promised on its cover.

Review: Seven Days of Us by Francesca HornakTitle: Seven Days of Us
Author: Francesca Hornak
Publisher: Berkley Books
Genres: Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Publication Date: October 16, 2018
Rating: four-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

Only the most extraordinary circumstances can reunite the Birch family for the holidays...

It's Christmas, and for the first time in years the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even Emma and Andrew's elder daughter--who is usually off saving the world--will be joining them at Weyfield Hall. But Olivia, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. She's just returned from treating an epidemic abroad and has been told she must stay in quarantine for a week...and so too should her family.

For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity, and forced into each other's orbits. Younger, unabashedly frivolous daughter Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding, while Olivia deals with the culture shock of first-world problems.

As Andrew sequesters himself in his study writing scathing restaurant reviews and remembering his glory days as a war correspondent, Emma hides a secret that will turn the whole family upside down.

In close proximity, not much can stay hidden for long, and as revelations and long-held tensions come to light, nothing is more shocking than the unexpected guest who's about to arrive...

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Review: Seven Days of Us By Francesca Hornak

Hornak sets up the ultimate story for a family drama in Seven Days of Us. In a nutshell, the Birch family is quarantined for a week due to the eldest daughter’s return from Liberia treating Haag patients. What follows is the unraveling of many secrets and bottled up emotions each of these family members hold.

❀ Multiple Perspectives

The book is told from multiple points of view, and as the story unfolds, multiple secrets begin to emerge. The characters are all flawed and easy to connect with. At first, it seems daunting to follow all of the differing perspectives, but as the story starts to weave together the novel really begins to flow. I especially enjoyed reading about the sisters, Olivia and Phoebe. Their relationship starts off quite strained and begins to change over the course of the week.

❀ Lacks a Festive Feel

Although I found this book to be an entertaining story, it lacked the festive feel that I was hoping for. Without spoiling the plot and all of the secrets that are exposed during the course of the novel, I found it to be a very dramatic contemporary. There were very few upbeat moments in the book, and I feel as though the “Sharply Funny” blurb on the cover from People is misleading to readers.

❀ Lots of Drama

Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak is one to try if you are looking for a holiday read with copious amounts of drama. The characters are intriguing and the family dynamics are engaging. That being said, it lacks the lighthearted feel of a Christmas contemporary.

About Francesca Hornak

Francesca Hornak

Francesca Hornak is a British author, journalist and former columnist for the Sunday Times. Her debut novel Seven Days Of Us was published by Berkley, an imprint of Penguin Random House, in October 2017. Little Island Productions and Entertainment One have pre-empted TV rights to the book.

Francesca's work has appeared in newspapers and magazines including The Sunday Times, The Economist, The Financial Times, The Guardian, Metro, Elle, Grazia, Stylist, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and Red. She is the author of two nonfiction books, History of the World in 100 Modern Objects: Middle Class Stuff (and Nonsense) and Worry with Mother: 101 Neuroses for the Modern Mama.


About Lori

Avid reader. Contributor to The Candid Cover. Educator.

17 thoughts on “Review: Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

  1. Sam@wlabb says:

    I have had this on my TBR for a while, but I did expect it to have a holiday feel. I am a bit bummed to hear it lacks a festive feel.

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