Life in the Mcabe household is never dull. Django is rather eccentric and his adopted daughters Cat, Pip and Fen haven't had the most normal of upbringings but that's hardly surprising when their mother ran off with a cowboy from Denver and their father died of a heart attack shortly after, leaving them to be raised by their uncle Django.
Whilst previous novels by the same author have focused on the girls this one fixates upon Django in the run up to his 75th birthday party. Clearly its going to be a party to remember and allsorts of people come out of the woodwork from all four corners of the globe to help him celebrate. Almost all of them were invited or at least expected apart from one. All it takes is a single comment to pull the rug from under the girls feet so that life as they know it will never be the same again.
If you were of a teary persuasion then it's quite conceivable that you'll find this book rather an emotional read. The characters spring to life from the pages of the book and you can almost imagine yourself sitting in the local car garages marquee on Djangos back lawn eating beetroot cake and dancing to an improvised jazz band.
The author manages to convey the myriad concerns of the first time mother, one who wonders if she's genetically predisposed to be a useless parent and tries obsessively hard to be anything but whilst her partner wonders where the woman he fell in love went. The scenarios used are well thought out and humorously described.
It's the sort of book you can read on a long journey, the story flows on around you and distracts you from your surroundings without requiring an immense amount of concentration.
Freya North is a London based author who writes romantic fiction. She gave up a Ph.D. course in 1991 to write her first novel, much to the consternation of her family and with little success. In 1995 she decided to 'go for it' and sent the first three chapters of her book, along with a page of totally invented reviews, to some of the countries top publishers who then entered a bidding war for her work. The rest, as they say is history! Home Truths is North's 8th novel and it led to Heat magazine commenting that 'Freya North manages to strike a good balance between drama, comedy and romance, and has penned another winner in Home Truths . . . touching and enjoyable'.
Django McCabe and his three nieces, Pip, Fen and Cat, form a somewhat unconventional family, but one that is fiercely loyal and indescribably close. Until, that is, a stranger comes along to Django's 75th birthday celebrations and turns their world completely upside down. Throughout their lives and their many ups and downs, the family have been able to rely on each other to help them through, but is this one hurdle too far? Can the family that has been left reeling by a massive revelation ever possibly be the same again?
I enjoyed this book a lot. It is not the first time that we have met the McCabe family, as North has written about each of them individually in previous novels, but it is the first time that I have read about them all together. They are a completely unconventional family and more than a little eccentric, but they work really well together. Each of the girls has their own little family, but the whole lot centres on the hub that is the charismatic and lovable Django. Going against the traditional format of mother, father and 2.4 children, the McCabe clan has step-relatives, half-relatives and ex-partners galore, making it a very much modernised version of the family unit. But it stills works - it isn't portrayed as dysfunctional at all, simply something that is normal for many people nowadays.
The storyline is good too. It does indeed afford a range of emotions, at times making you laugh and at others making you sad. Even if you haven't read any of the previous McCabe novels, North spends enough time introducing them at the beginning of this one, to make you like them well enough to empathise and sympathise with them through their shock.
Something that you can't fail to notice when reading her work is that Freya North is very found of writing about sex. Not to the point that it is like reading a copy of the Kama Sutra, but there are numerous sex-scenes in all of her novels. They are very tastefully done and well-written. They only occur when the story warrants them and they do seem appropriate to the story when they appear (for the most part anyway!).
The only real criticism I have of Home Truths is a small one, but one that I have noticed appears in a lot of her novels. She has a tendency to change the person in which she is writing. For the most part, the story is written in the third person, but every now and then it changes to make it look like the author herself is talking to the characters or even that the characters are talking to themselves. I personally don't like this, I find it irritating for some reason and it mars the story a little for me. Fortunately it doesn't happen very often and, so far, it hasn't hampered my enjoyment of North's books so much that I would down grade it, but I don't think it is necessary and I would prefer it if she didn't do it!
If you are a fan of Freya North, I would recommend this book to you. If you aren't a fan already, you can start with 'Home Truths' and still enjoy it very much, but I would recommend reading the others in the series first; 'Pip', 'Fen' and 'Cat'.
This is the fourth installment of the McCabe sisters saga. The story focusses on three sisters; Fen, Pip and Cat. I had only read Pip prior to this book, simply because I loved the story and couldn't wait to read the book after I had bought it.
The story is about the sisters dealing with their relationships, new jobs and new babies. They were all brought up by their uncle, Djiango, after their mother ran off to america when they were very little. You can't help but fall in love with their uncle, an eccentric loveable man, who has been both a mother and father to the girls growing up. He features in the previous books, so you feel like you know him already.
Their lives are turned upside down when their mother turns up to their uncle's house in Derby shire after they celebrate his 70th birthday. It is revealed that Djiango is in fact called Derek and he has some secrets of his own that with shock the girls, and uproot their lives.
The story shows how the sisters deal with the revelation in different ways, and how they rebuild their lives and relationships after such a shock. Things take a turn for the worse when they discover Djiango has cancer. It turns into a heart warming tale about how a close, unconventional family deal with such an awful illness, forgiveness and accepting who they are.
It was a fantastic read, and I couldn't put the book down. I fell in love with all the characters and went with them on their journey. I was disappointed when it had finished and plan to go back and read the other two previous books, Cat and Fen.
For my hospital visit today I decided to take Freya North's Home Truth paperback with me to see me through the tedious day. It is the second book by Freya North I have read and I found it was as good as the first. An easy read that does not require enormous amounts of concentration which helps when you have machines buzzing in your ear!!
This book introduces us to the McCabe family, sisters Fen, Pip, and Cat and their Uncle Django.
Cat the youngest of the sisters is married to Ben who is a doctor, they live by the mountains in Boulder and are set to move back to be closer to their families whilst trying to make a family of their own.
Fen the middle sister is married to Matt and has a baby girl Cosima. Since Cosima has come along Fen and Matt seem to be on the rocks and have tough choices and close encounters which put their marriage in perspective.
Pip is the eldest of the sisters and her partner Zac has a son Tom who Pip loves to bits but would secretly like a baby of their own.
Django is the Uncle who raised the girls from a young age. He wears vibrant clothes and tells many a tales from back in the day. Django is getting older now and is starting to feel the old age and problems with his water works.
The three women where raised by their uncle after their mother left them and ran off with a cowboy from Denver and their dad died shortly after she left.
The three sisters are brought together for Django's 75th Birthday party but old hidden secrets come out and turn all three of the sister's lives upside down when an unexpected guest arrives after the party. A twist and turn of highs and very lows follow.
I enjoyed this book. It was slow in places and also it got a little confusing as to which girl was which, but after reading this book and coming home to write a review I have just looked and found that there are 3 books about the main characters, which I didn't realise, so I should think it best to read those books first of all to get to know the characters a little better before reading this book.
The book is quite raunchy in many parts of the book, which I found with Pillow Talk as well! There are also many parts of this book which are emotional (not good when reading in hospital!!). The only thing I found disappointing about this book is the ending. I didn't feel like it was left very well there were still questions which needed answering, I feel as though I am still only half way through the book.
I would recommend this for anyone who likes an easy, chick-lit read. I read this in just under 6 hours today.
Home truths is the fourth book by Freya North about the McCabe family. The other books in the series are centered around three sisters Pip, Fen and Cat and the things that they do in their lives as they grow up. Home truths brings these girls back together along with their husbands, partners, children and Uncle Django.
The McCabe family are not average, the family "motto" is that the girls mother ran off with a cowboy from Denver and left them with their father to bring them up. Their father died not long afterwards and they were brought up by their Uncle Django. Django is a larger than life character who favours colourful clothes and even more colourful cooking.
Home truths brings the family together for Django's 75th birthday. Now that all of them have grown up and are starting to have families of their own their past comes back to haunt them and they have to all assess their own lives and loves and what they want.
The book is filled with suprises for all the characters and Freya North is able to paint the picture of this dysfunctional family going through major changes.
This book is definately a "chick lit" and is good in the fact that you don't have to have read the previous three books to be able to enjoy this but it might be useful if you have to be able to fill in the blanks that are missing from the background.
This is a very easy read and draws you into this family's life. It almost makes you feel like you are looking through the curtains of someone elses lives. Some of the topics in the book are very sensitive but they are dealt with in a very respectable manner and leave you feeling like part of the family wishing them on or shouting at them no no no.
It is a good book and doesn't take much concentration to be able to pick it up and put it down and always know where you are with it. Due to the subject matter that is contained in the book it is not as funny as her previous three books in this series or others that she has written but none the less it does keep you gripped to the last page.
First Published by Harper Collins in 2006
ISBN: 0 00 718034 9
As I've reviewed Fen, another book from Freya North about the McCabe family I decided to review this one too.
I think this book should be read last of the 4 books in the McCabe family series as I've said in my Fen review but Pip and Cat are not in the Dooyoo catalogue so i've put in a suggestion for them to be added and will add those revews as soon as I can!
Cat McCabe: The youngest sister.
Fen McCabe: The middle sister.
Pip McCabe: The eldest sister.
Django McCabe: The girls uncle who has brought them up since their mum; his sister ran off with a cowboy from Denver! yes really...
The story is centred around all the three girls returning home for their eccentric uncle Djangos 75th birthday party. The girls are now in their thirties and thought this would be a time of stability and happiness!!
All three are having problems in their lives;
Cat returns home from 4 years abroad to start a new phase of her life and doesn't find it as easy as she thought it would be slotting back in.
Fen is trying to the best mother she can be to her baby and it seems her love life is suffering for it!
Pip is too busy taking care of her family; uncle, husband, stepson and sisters to take care of herself as usual.
At Djangos party, some shocking tales and secrets from the girls past come out. They thought they knew it all and has enough shocks but now they've found out their sisters aren't quite their sisters....
Another great read by chick lit queen Freya North. If you like Marian Keyes and those kind of authors you will love Freya North.
Parts of the story are far fetched but I suppose some peoples lives can be! It definitely makes for interestng reading thats for sure!
Sad parts, happy parts, difficult parts this book has them all and all these emotions are put togther suprisingly well to make a heart warming book!
Also by Freya North: