Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Divided Loyalties - Patricia Scanlan

Divided Loyalties tells the story of Shauna, Carrie and Bobby, three siblings who have grown up in Ireland with a loving, gentle mother and a controlling, tyrannical father. The story starts with a disastrous family Christmas, and ends with another family gathering. But will the intervening years have changed the family dynamic for the better?

Shauna is married to Greg and has one daughter Chloe; she is desperate to have another child, but Greg has different ideas. All he wants to do is get on materially in life and relocates the family to the Emirates where they live a glitzy life in a fancy apartment high above the Corniche. Will Shauna have to let go of her dreams of having another child and how far will Greg go to ensure that it does not happen?

Bobby is the only son, and has a very difficult relationship with his father, who cannot accept the fact that he is gay. His father blames him for the death of his wife, so Bobby moves from Ireland to build a new life for himself in London. Will Bobby ever find love, will his father ever grow to accept him as he is and can they heal their fractured relationship for the sake of the whole family?

Gentle Carrie feels put upon and resents the fact that her brother and sister leave the care of their ageing father to her. She is married with two children of her own, but is the one who has to deal with all her father's demands and wants. Will she find the strength to stand up to her father, and insist that her siblings take on their share of the burden?

Throw in a scheming, money-grabbing sister-in-law, beautiful settings on the coast of Ireland and the Gulf and this one is definitely worth a prawn mayonnaise on white and a packet of ready salted!

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