Friday, January 22, 2010

Family Baggage, by Monica McInerney

I haven't posted a review since late November. "Family Baggage" in my personal life has kept me busy! Even though I wasn't posting blogs, I didn't stop reading, so I have a backlog of reviews to catch up on. For starters, I want to share my enjoyment of Family Baggage, by Australian author, Monica McInerney.
Harriet Turner, the protagonist in Family Baggage, carries this novel in a thoroughly captivating manner. McInerney has created a woman to whom many of us can relate.
The story opens with Harriet recovering from a breakdown following the deaths of her parents. Turner Travel, the family business, was started by Harriet’s parents, and is now carried on by Harriet and her siblings. She’s been given an assignment to take a tour group of senior citizens from Australia (her home) to the Cornish countryside. Her adopted sister, Lara, is scheduled to meet the group in England and guide their eccentric charges on the path a television series crime-solver of the previous decade followed. (Think “Murder She Wrote”.)
However, Lara fails to show up at the airport as planned. Harriet finds herself alone with a busload of characters who have all but memorized every episode of the old television show. If this weren’t enough, she discovers that Lara has disappeared. Uncovering her sister’s whereabouts leads to confronting long-held family secrets and resolving old family baggage.
McInerney is an Australian author whose novels remind me of Maeve Binchey’s. I love Binchey’s stories and love McInerney’s in the same way—appealing characters, a touch of humor, and plots that keep me turning pages.
Family Baggage is a terrific story. It's fiction for the general market, but contains little objectionable material.


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