“Seven Days of Us” is a family drama taking place over…you guessed it…seven days. Emma and Andrew Birch are landed gentry who go to Emma’s ancestral home (apparently it is a small country home, but I question the term “small”) for Christmas each year. This year is special because Olivia, the eldest Birch daughter, is coming home from being stationed in West Africa to fight the Hague virus aka Ebola. They all have to be quarantined for seven days to make sure that Olivia hasn’t contracted it. Phoebe, the youngest Birth offspring, is planning her wedding as she’s proposed to in the opening chapters. What plays out is issues with Emma and Andrew’s marriage, Olivia dealing with coworkers contracting the Hague virus, and Phoebe dealing with issues she didn’t predict (or want to confront) about her fiance.
I typically don’t like this type of fiction, but this book really drew me in. Maybe it’s because the format was like a BBC/PBS Christmas special. The prose unlocked the characters and made me curious to see how their plot would play out. Each chapter is from one of the character’s profiles. And arranged in a chronological hour. The book has seven sections, one per day of the quarantine. My only complaint is that there were too many plot points with each character and that made it seem melodramatic.
Anytime families get together, especially under quarantine circumstances, some of the skeletons in the closet can’t be ignored. If your family is one of those that can only keep it together for twenty four hours before the drama begins, then you may relate too closely to this story.