I'm a great fan of Australian author Monica McInerney’s novels--At Home With the Templetons is no exception. This family saga opens with the widow Nina Donovan and her son, Tom, invited to a fete at neighboring Templeton Hall in the historic goldfields area of Australia.
Secretive Nina is overwhelmed by the Templeton clan’s lavish family estate, which they open to the public for weekend tours. The family dresses in period costumes as they guide tourists through the Hall, and are wearing these costumes when Nina first encounters them.
As the story progresses, the reader comes to know each of the characters (and I use this term in every sense of its meaning) in the Templeton family as their lives intertwine ever more closely. McInerney does an impressive job of detailing each person’s life, although the focus of the story is on Gracie Templeton and Tom Donovan. When a tragedy tears the families apart, secret after secret is revealed about each life.
The story reaches a satisfying climax, yet the thought-provoking issues raised left me pondering how I would have reacted in the same set of circumstances.
If you enjoy reading stories of family dynamics, as I do, you’ll love At Home With the Templetons. This novel is general market fiction and as such contains infrequent profanity and sexual references.