Authors Showcase: The Family Divided by Anne Allen
July 12, 2015
The Book: The Family Divided
The Author: Anne Allen
The Story: One family, divided by death – and money
Andy Batiste, at loggerheads with his degenerate cousin, seeks to discover the truth of his family history. Why was his pregnant grandmother forced to flee to France? What really happened to her husband during the German Occupation, sixty years ago? Who accused Edmund, the elder son and Batiste heir, of being an informer? Was he really a traitor – and who murdered him?
With Edmund’s brother Harold now head of the family, enjoying the wealth which ought to have come to Andy’s father, the family is forever divided. Andy yearns to clear Edmund’s name and restore his father to his rightful inheritance.
Into the conflict comes Charlotte Townsend, newly divorced, lonely and struggling with writer’s block and the consuming threat of impending loss. She returns for healing at Guernsey’s natural health centre, La Folie, and becomes involved in Andy’s family affairs.
Together they embark on a hunt for the truth…
About Anne Allen:
Anne was born in Rugby to a Welsh father and an English mother. As a result she spent many summers with her Welsh grandparents in Anglesey and learnt to love the sea. Now she is based in Devon to be near her daughter and 2 small grandchildren.
Her restless spirit has meant a number of moves, the longest stay being in Guernsey for nearly fourteen years after falling in love with the island and the people. She contrived to leave one son behind to ensure a valid reason for frequent returns. Her younger son is based in London – ideal for city breaks.
By profession Anne is a psychotherapist who long had a desire to write.
Review by Mrs. L:
Sit back and prepare to be effortlessly transported once more to the beautiful island of Guernsey, this time in autumn, for the fourth tale in Anne Allen’s much-acclaimed Guernsey Novels series. Each successive book features, in cameo roles, characters from previous novels but each story nevertheless stands alone as a jolly good read and “The Family Divided” is no exception.
At the heart of the story is Andy, whose father lost his chance of inheritance due to a mysterious family scandal during WWII. Frustrated at not knowing the full story behind his father’s reluctance to pursue his rightful claim to land and riches, Andy accepts an offer of help with research from Charlotte, a woman for whom a life of luxury in England has always been the norm.
In spite of her very comfortable lifestyle Charlotte is feeling bruised and battered after her divorce and the death of her beloved father, and her relationship with her mother is not an easy one. In an attempt to find some peace and stability – with a bit of pampering thrown in – Charlotte books a short break at La Folie, a health spa in Guernsey. Whilst on the island Charlotte encounters old friends and new challenges and her original short stay extends into a longer one …
I liked Ms Allen’s gradual unraveling of the main plot and the satisfying final tying-up of all the various threads in the story. I particularly appreciated her descriptions of Guernsey in autumn, which further enhanced my mental picture of the island that I’ve never visited but which I now feel that I know quite well, having read all four of Ms Allen’s books. I also enjoyed her description of Charlotte’s London home scenario and her efforts at becoming a domestic goddess on Guernsey in order to change her outlook on life. I am now hoping that Charlotte features in a future Guernsey Novel so that I can see how she’s getting on!
As ever, the author shows great skill in portraying the occasional difficulties of interpersonal relationships, especially during times of stress. She has a great understanding of the human psyche and this contributes valuably to her writing. Well done yet again, Anne Allen!”
Review by Joliffie:
The catalyst for this story is an incident in World War 2. A death accompanied by malicious rumour divides a family. Charlotte, who we met in Guernsey Retreat, makes a welcome return. The Family Divided maintains the mystery and gentle romance, characteristic of this series. This story casts Charlotte in the role of detective as she unravels the secrets and rumour buried in the Batiste’s family’s past, to help and stay close to her new friend Andy Batiste.
Well paced, this story explores the growing relationship between Charlotte and Andy, and lets us glimpse the lives of previously introduced characters, Jeanne, Louise and Malcolm. I liked the disparity between Andy’s family and Charlotte’s and how it allows both characters to grow and develop. Charlotte’s investigation is believable and what she discovers builds to a tense and well resolved ending.
If you like your mystery with vivid imagery and sweet romance you will definitely enjoy The Guernsey Novels series.