The children of Rosaleen and the late Pat Madigan have grown up and scattered from the nest. They have roamed near and far from their home; reaching Canada, third world countries and down the road in Dublin. After she announces that she wishes to sell the family home, the children, Dan, Emmet, Constance and Hanna are drawn back for one last Christmas. This final celebration with their challenging but difficult mother will bring to the surface the tensions that have always been there as the children face a change that none of them expected.
The quality of the writing is excellent, making it effortless to read. Enright has managed to capture perfectly the mood and moments of the era. The characters of the four children are briefly sketched in individual chapters before they are thrust together in the family reunion in the second part of the story, where the strains in the relationships are tested. If you are looking for a complex plot then this might not be the book for you as not a lot happens; just the deeply fragmented layers of family sagas. It did feel a bit clichéd though, otherwise it was a fine read.