(4.5 / 5)
The lush landscape of the beautiful Adelaide Hills was once the backdrop of Penny’s childhood. Gorgeous and picturesque, her home town still packs a lot of charm. Shortly after arriving back home, Penny is reminded of past indiscretions. Desperate to move forward, each family member deals with the move in their own way; with at least one of them making their feelings known from the other side.
This first installment of the Evergreen Series centres around The McVee Family. Set in 1970s South Australia, Penny and Russell McVee hold high hopes that their move back up to the Adelaide Hills will prove a smart one for themselves and their three children. Joel is sixteen years old and full of romance and optimism, Simone is thirteen and restless for her life to begin. Tildy, the youngest of the three children, is gifted with the insight of someone much older. Each child has a different reaction to their new home. Each family member harbours different desires of how this move will affect their future.
With two vastly different neighbours, old friends and family and a housewarming party which serves up more than hors d’oeuvres, the parents and children alike experience many firsts while residing in their new dwelling.
This was very much my kind of story. I would classify it as literary fiction meets chick lit. Like a peeping Tom watching through the window, you watch these people’s lives unfold over the course of a month or so and it rockets you toward a shocking conclusion that I can honestly say, left me reeling: I was So. Surprised. by the ending.
Penny and Russell McVee have moved back to a familiar childhood neighborhood after living in the city for about 5 years or so. Being back home seems refreshing and just the change that their family needs right now. The McVees were good friends with another family, the Harrison’s, before leaving, and now that they have moved back to town the wives are eager to rekindle their friendship. The kids are friends and the parents are friends and on the surface it seems like a pretty perfect and ideal situation.
But there are secrets on Evergreen Avenue, not just in the McVee household, but other perfect houses on the perfect street that contain their own little mysteries as well. As they plan for their first Christmas holidays to be spent back among friends, all of the secrets on Evergreen Avenue begin to get twisted together without anyone knowing it except for you, dear reader, and come to an ugly head at their Christmas party.
I love these kinds of stories that are more about the characters than the actual events of the story itself. Their situations and the way they were written made them easy to connect to and empathize with. The author has a beautiful style of writing, and while it took me a few chapters to really get into the story, once it started to unfold I was glued. There are a lot of characters in this book, and each has their own little point of view, which in the beginning may seem a little confusing but by the end was so right for this story because you could see how everything finally came together.
This may have been a slow burner for me, but it was always interesting and compelling. I FELT like it was building toward something big at the end, and the author didn’t disappoint me in any way. About halfway through the book, when the McVee’s throw their Christmas party, that is when the snowball really starts rolling away and you just can’t put it down until you get to the crazy ending. I was short and satisfying and I can’t wait to read the next one. The theme of the series is so cool, as in the next installment is the 80’s and then the 90’s.
Plus, just because I am so silly, but again, they are Australian, which is so awesome. Christmas but it’s summer and people calling each other mate. Plus it’s the 70’s so there is macramé and rotary phones and pool parties. This really was a win/win but you are the real winner because it’s FREE on SmashWords. I would definitely recommend this book to other women who like to delve into other peoples delectable lives and dark secrets, or if you like that last surprise twist that get’s ya!
I got this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thank you Amelia Keldan for sharing your story with me!
Author Website www.ameliakeldan.com