Some of Maggie O’Farrell’s work becomes favorites such as Hamnet and The Marriage Portrait…both top my favorites lists. Clearly it’s her historic fiction that I prefer. But on my husband’s recommendation I set out to read This Must Be The Place. I liked it but can’t say I loved it. Here is my book review This Must Be The Place by Maggie O’Farrell.
O’Farrell introduces us to a plethora of characters, each connected in some way to our protagonist Daniel Sullivan. We meet Daniel as a man living in a reclusive part of Ireland with his somewhat eccentric wife and three children. But as the story unfolds we will learn details about each of their lives and why they are “hiding” in a remote location.
Daniel has led somewhat of a bizarre life, makes a living as a linguist, despises his father back in Brooklyn, has lost track of college friends and never sees his two grown children in California.
When Daniel stumbles upon Claudette and her young son Ari, he doesn’t at first realize who she is. But as they get to know each other Daniel realizes Claudette is the former bombshell movie star who dropped off the face of the earth at the height of her film career.
Somehow these two unlikely characters fall in love and get married. But while Claudette is reclusive Daniel knows all of her secrets, but Claudette will learn she hardly knows any of Daniels…including information about past loves, abortions, alcoholism and a mysterious death.
Can this couple survive the twists and turns life throws at them? With the help of family who loves them, maybe they can.
A unique and complicated story, but in my opinion not O’Farrell’s best.
***Three stars for This Must Be The Place by Maggie O’Farrell
Thank you for reading my Book Review This Must Be The Place by Maggie O’Farrell. See last week’s Book Review The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese.
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