#aww2020 · 2020 Reviews · contemporary fiction · new release

New Release Book Review: The Family Inheritance by Tricia Stringer

Title: The Family Inheritance

Author: Tricia Stringer

Published: October 7th 2020

Publisher: HQ Fiction – AU

Pages: 480

Genres:  Fiction, Contemporary

RRP: $32.99

Rating: 4 stars

A toxic will plays havoc in the lives of three generations of women when they discover they have been living a lie. A keenly observed story of the danger of secrets, the legacy of betrayal and the power of family from a bestselling Australian author.

Sometimes an ending is really a beginning …

Felicity Lewis’s fiftieth birthday party in her newly renovated home, loving husband and daughter Greta by her side, is going off with a bang when disaster strikes. Her father, Franklyn, with his usual impeccable timing, has keeled over and died.

For some members of the family, his wife Hazel for example, Franklyn’s death is not the great loss it first appears to be. But when his toxic and inexplicable will is read out, it becomes clear that long-buried secrets are about to surface, starting with the astonishing reappearance of Hazel’s long-lost sister.

Indeed, Franklyn’s death sets in motion a chain of events that will cause three generations of Gifford family women to question everything they hold dear – their relationships, their loyalties, even their identities. Until, that is, they choose to fight back against their dark inheritance …

A clever, sympathetic and thought-provoking look at how a legacy of lies can seep through the generations and poison all it touches, and how the truth can set you free.

Review:

‘Her husband was dead and she’d imagined with his passing there’d be freedom. She never dreamed he would still be in control of her life from the grave.’

Tackling the drama and fallout of a contentious family will is the central focus of Australian author Tricia Stringer’s new release, The Family Inheritance. A story of secrets, lies and betrayal, Tricia Stringer displays her strong ability to get to the heart of a range of issues faced by families in contemporary life. The Family Inheritance is another sincere and reflective novel from bestselling author Tricia Stringer.

When the Gifford family join together to celebrate the fiftieth birthday of Felicity, they don’t bank on losing the patriarch of their family, Franklyn. This shock loss comes with some unexpected and unfavorable news, involving Franklyn’s will. In a terrible turn of events, Franklyn leaves behind a bitter trail of family destruction following his loss. With secrets finally aired, old faces reappearing and confusion over the distribution of Franklyn’s assets all causing plenty of friction, the Gifford family are at odds. With each member of this family questioning their motives, entitlements and loyalties, it becomes clear that they must join together in their fight again this dour inheritance. Will their relationships withstand this tough test?

Relationships, family, secrets, betrayals, lies and legacies are all Tricia Stringer’s specialty. With Stringer’s experience across a number of genres from rural romance, historical fiction and contemporary life literature, this talented writer can always be relied upon to produce a top notch read. The Family Inheritance represents another solid addition to the Tricia Stringer collection.

I really appreciated how The Family Inheritance began with the shock loss of the male head of the family at a pinnacle family celebration. Franklyn’s death does kick start a chain of events that forms the basis of this novel’s narrative direction. With plenty of core issues, disappointments, revelations, withheld truths and injustices circulating around Franklyn’s death, it certainly added plenty of early drama to this set piece. The fallout from Franklyn’s harmful will has far reaching implications for the whole Gifford family fold. The results from this noxious inheritance was really interesting to follow from a reader’s point of view. I would hate to have faced the same challenges as the Gifford clan! There was certainly a good dose of realism to this tale, that many readers will be able to sympathise with quite readily. The Family Inheritance is definitely an accessible, in touch and embracing tale.

Stringer has a good handle on her character set. Stringer is able to inhabit the voices of three different generations of the focal family of her novel. Teasing out the inner issues, feelings, emotions, worries and hopes of this colourful family set, Stringer has presented a comprehensive tale of the demands faced by a typical modern Australian family. The dialogue in this novel never felt forced, it flowed with a natural sense of ease that effortlessly draws in the audience, so a strong level of comfort is achieved. I know I found it hard to cut ties with the Gifford family once The Family Inheritance reached its conclusion. I also appreciated the honest glimpse into such problems as financial injustice, relationship dissatisfaction, identity, birthright, strained relations and loss. Combined with the overarching theme of inheritance conflicts, The Family Inheritance offers a candid view of a family under duress.

Tricia Stringer is an intuitive and tender-hearted storyteller who displays a real ability to interrogate issues that affect families and individuals. The Family Inheritance is another gratifying read from Tricia Stringer.

The Family Inheritance by Tricia Stringer was published on 7th October 2020 by HQ Fiction – AU. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of The Family Inheritance, Tricia Stringer, visit here.

*I wish to thank Harlequin Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.

The Family Inheritance  is book #131 of the 2020 Australian Women Writers Challenge

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