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.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.