Seven Days of Us
November 2017 Indie Next List
— Maxwell Gregory (W), Lake Forest Book Store, Lake Forest, IL
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“Witty and deeply heartfelt.”—Emily Giffin
It’s Christmas, and for the first time in years the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even Emma and Andrew’s elder daughter—who is usually off saving the world—will be joining them at Weyfield Hall, their aging country estate. But Olivia, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. Having just returned from treating an epidemic abroad, she’s been told she must stay in quarantine for a week…and so too should her family.
For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity—and even decent Wi-Fi—and forced into each other’s orbits. Younger, unabashedly frivolous daughter Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding, while Olivia deals with the culture shock of being immersed in first-world problems.
As Andrew sequesters himself in his study writing scathing restaurant reviews and remembering his glory days as a war correspondent, Emma hides a secret that will turn the whole family upside down.
In close proximity, not much can stay hidden for long, and as revelations and long-held tensions come to light, nothing is more shocking than the unexpected guest who’s about to arrive...
theSkimm Reads Pick
New York Post Required Reading
One of Elite Daily’s Books to Read This Fall
Liz & Lisa's Best Books of October
Brit + Co's Best of October Roundup
One of BookRiot’s October Must-Reads
Praise For Seven Days of Us: A Novel…
"Sharply funny and beguilingly British.”—People
“You will laugh at hilarious situations and be touched by others, ultimately discovering that the Birch family is basically every family.”—Associated Press
“Witty and deeply heartfelt, Seven Days of Us is an insightful, character-driven look at the real failures, fumbles, and false starts that define family--and why understanding the people closest to us might be the hardest thing in the world.”—Emily Giffin, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"[A] smart, delightfully funny, page-turning debut... Hornak imbues each character with a singularity that underscores her spot-on insight about human nature."—Publisher's Weekly
“Alternately tender and razor-sharp, Seven Days of Us will resonate with anyone who regresses the minute they step inside their childhood home.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Hornak’s brilliant debut manages to be simultaneously clever, funny, and poignant.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Hornak spends time looking through each character's eyes, and readers' sympathies will shift with each change in point of view. The richly defined inner lives of the Birches propel the story as they try to feel their way through their individual crises.”—Shelf Awareness
"This slightly dysfunctional brood had me laughing…but a surprising plot twist also reminded me that family always comes through in tough times.”—First for Women
“LOVED it! Warm and humane, funny and sad, with a great, twisty plot, Seven Days of Us is absolute pleasure reading from beginning to end. Francesca Hornak is a true talent. Just gorgeous!”—Marian Keyes, international bestselling author
“Perfect for fans of cozy Christmas films like Love Actually and The Family Stone. An emotional but ultimately uplifting holiday story.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Francesca Hornak is hilariously funny, with characters that jump off the page, grab you, and just won’t let go.”—Rosamund Lupton, New York Times bestselling author of Sister
“With its wry observations on class, family, and ‘veddy British’ traditions, Francesca Hornak’s absorbing debut sparkles with glints of Nancy Mitford and Julian Fellowes.”—Stephanie Clifford, New York Times bestselling author of Everybody Rise
“Hornak’s wry, masterful portrayal of a family in crisis is filled with flawed and funny characters who will capture—and break—your heart.”—Fiona Davis, author of The Dollhouse and The Address
“If you like your families dysfunctional and your novels whip-smart, then Hornak’s delightful debut about a family discovering the unexpected benefits of forced quality time over the holidays will enchant your inner ironist and sentimentalist alike.”—Courtney Maum, author of Touch and I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You
“Hornak offers a tragicomic holiday tale that’s perfect for fans of family sagas and multiperspective narratives like Love Actually.”—BookPage
“[A] fantastic debut...The family dynamics, revelations, and role reversals make this exceptional ‘Brit Lit’ a real page turner.”—RT Book Reviews
“Warm hearted, witty and wise, Seven Days of Us is hugely entertaining.”—Saskia Sarginson, author of The Other Me
“Not all debut novels live up to expectations, but this one exceeds them. Hornak's imaginative, nicely-paced, engaging story is one you won't soon forget. At the very least it's a guaranteed escape from your own dysfunctional family.”—NJ.com
“An entertaining mix of pathos and humor.”—The Missourian
Berkley, 9780451488756, 368pp.
Publication Date: October 17, 2017
About the Author
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
1. Is there one character you relate to more than any other in this story? If so, why?
2. How well do you think Francesca Hornak captures the family dynamic of a week in quarantine over the holidays?
3. Do you think it was better/right for Andrew to conceal his one-off infidelity with Jesse’s mother? Or should he have spoken up and told Emma at the time?
4. Why did Olivia stay away from her family for so long? Have you ever experienced the feeling of not being able to be yourself with your family?
5. Discuss the sibling rivalry between Olivia and Phoebe. Why do you think we, as adults, fall into old roles when home with family? Have you experienced this?
6. What do you think kept Phoebe and George together for six years?
7. Did you empathize with the way each character reacted to Jesse’s surprise arrival? Did you empathize with Jesse?
8. Is there a moral lesson that each character takes away with them at the end of the story? If so, what is that lesson?
9. What are the main themes in the story?
10. Do you like the way the story is told from multiple points of view?
11. The end is tinged with tragedy and hope. How did the ending affect you?
12. What do you imagine or hope would happen next for each of the members of the Birch family after the closing pages of the book?