Seven Days of Us
By Francesca Hornak
Berkley Books, 9780451488756, October 2017, 368pp.
The Short of It:
Interesting premise but it lost all its fizz in those final pages.
The Rest of It:
Imagine spending the Christmas holiday in quarantine. That is what happens in Seven Days of Us. Olivia returns from providing medical services to HAAg patients in Liberia. Because of the deadly nature of the virus, she is forced to spend seven days in seclusion so she chooses to spend those days at the family home over the Christmas holidays. What she hasn’t shared with anyone is that she broke the no-touch rule while in Liberia and now the person she had relations with has contracted the virus.
In the meantime, there is a lot of family drama. A son shows up. He was a result of an affair and he’s come to connect with his birth dad which upsets the balance of the house as a whole. To add even more to this story, Emma, Olivia’s mother has been diagnosed with Lymphoma and has yet to tell anybody about it.
I loved the premise of the book. The idea of spending seven days in forced captivity with all this going in is pretty entertaining and does provide some challenges for this family but it all fell apart for me about three quarters of the way in. No one is likable. All of the characters are either very stoic or overly dramatic and immature. Perhaps, this is how a real family would be in a situation like this but it made for some tough reading towards the end.
My main issue is that the family really didn’t learn anything from the experience. They are too self-absorbed to care much about anyone but themselves. There are some realizations but no big “aha” moments and much of what happens is just not realistic given the serious nature of the virus.
It fizzled out for me and took me a long time to finish but the first half was pretty good.
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
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15 thoughts on “Review: Seven Days of Us”
Thanks for the review; it saved me from reading it. There are so many books worth reading.
For some reason, I can forgive a slow start but not a weak ending. This might not be for me.
I hope you’re adjusting to your new household!
I tend to agree. I don’t know what happened because it was really good but then it got ridiculous in places. I kept feeling like it would come back around but it didn’t. It’s not a long book but it took me weeks to finish.
I forgot to address the new household comment. It feels very weird. Last night he didn’t touch base before bed and that felt weird but he checked in this morning. The dog sees his car in front of the house and is very, very confused. She keeps looking for him behind doors.
I can see this one fizzling out but I read it so long ago I barely remember the ending.
You gave it 5 stars on GoodReads! You must have liked it.
I saw this one a while back and thought the premise was interesting. However, if the characters don’t learn anything – bah, humbug! LOL
There are little glimmers of growth that never take root. There was not one character I could relate to. Not a one. That certainly didn’t help.
Wow, that’s a bummer that the family was too tough to take.
It sounds like this book tried to take on too many different storylines because the quarantine premise is a good one.
There was a lot going on. When people are confined somewhere, you don’t need much for them to start getting on each other’s nerves. I would have rather the author tackled some of the main issues instead of giving each character a dilemma to sort through.
Darn it sounds like there was good potential with this one. I’m still a little tempted. Hmm. Did it fizzle big time?
Out of five stars on Goodreads I gave it a three. If that helps. It slowly fizzled out for me but many trusted bloggers gave it five stars. It will all depend on what you think of the characters.
You make me glad I was never tempted to read this one.
I’d rather have a not so good beginning if the book gets better, but a book that fizzles out toward the middle or end is not so great.