Cover Image: A Family Affair

A Family Affair

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I'll be honest that this was not quite the storyline I was expecting - it wasn't the fluffy lighthearted read I was anticipating. That does not mean I was disappointed. Carr writes family dynamics and real life - grief and infidelity a core part of this one- in an engaging way. I'm not sure why I was expecting fluffy or lighthearted as that isn't the author's usual M.O.  

Regardless, I enjoyed this and the heavy tones of family, forgiveness, and building towards the future. It would be a great addition to anyone's warm weather beachside, backyard, or cottage bound reading list if they're a fan of women's fiction.
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A Family Affair contains a lot of family drama and dynamics.  I thoroughly enjoy Robyn Carr’s books but this one was very slow in the beginning. Once the family secrets became known, it was very interesting and I had a hard time putting it down.  The story dealt with death, infidelity, an anonymous recipient of an inheritance, a high functioning autistic daughter, dementia, and a stroke victim.  There were family members who had to learn to deal with their own personality issues as they all learned about secret siblings.  I loved the second half of the book and how it ended, recommending it to anyone who enjoys the complexities of family and life.
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Anna McNichol is a superior court judge, married with three grown children, her youngest in law school. Her marriage has been rocky for the last six months but now her husband Chad, a therapist, suddenly dies while on a whitewater rafting trip. After her husband’s services, Chad’s lawyer meets with and informs her that the newly revised will includes another recipient, unnamed and unknown to even him. The affair Chad had almost 30 years ago almost destroyed their marriage and she suspected he was recently involved with someone new. As Anna considers how to tell her children who adored, admired and respected their father, she reflects on her years with Chad and the choices she made by staying in the marriage. 

I admired Anna, though there were moments when I felt some residual bitterness influencing her perceptions. It wasn’t always clear how she really felt about Chad but that was because even she was unsure. I thought the story brilliantly portrayed the destructive impact on a relationship, especially when the offended spouse ultimately chooses to stay. Rebuilding trust is tricky at the best of times and Chad didn’t make it easy. Complicating matters is how skillfully Anna shielded her children from their father’s shortcomings, bottling up her own emotions throughout the marriage. We also get the points of view of two of the children, who have their own issues. She’s not blameless either and has to go through that process of acknowledging her own complicity. 

I loved the honesty of this story, even when it was difficult to take in. The family secrets that were eventually revealed reminded me of episodes in my own. It was interesting to see how the reactions and subsequent interactions compared to my experiences, both positive and less so. Anna’s oldest daughter, Jessie, was most like her charismatic father but without the finesse. She provided lots of tension and a curious situation given her father’s profession as it was clear she needed some therapy. I listened to the book as the narrator is one of my top ten favorites and delivered another outstanding performance. Plummer helped give the characters emotional definition in a story that shifted constantly. I believe I’ve read most everything Carr has written and this was unique for her. There’s no soft pedaling and I found this to be refreshing in its authenticity and frankness. And, it left me in a good place.
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Anna thought she had a successful marriage to her husband Chad. Not an exciting one, but she understood the relationship and how to make do with things. They were both respectable professionals and had three grown children.

So, when Chad suddenly dies and Anna discovers the secrets he'd kept from her for decades, she's left to wonder if their entire marriage had been a lie. Now, she's left to pick up the pieces and to help her children navigate through their complex reactions to grief and their evolving family structure.

Ultimately, this book explores what it really takes to be happy and how best to live a fulfilling life, no matter how many years you have left ahead of you. And for that reason, I enjoyed it.

However, part of helping those characters grow and develop means seeing them at their worst. And in a lot of ways, I had a hard to finding a few of them likeable. It also seemed like there was a good deal of repetition along the way. So, this wasn't a great book, but it was believable and resonated for that reason. If I could give it 3.5 stars, I would.

Thank you to Robyn Carr, Harlequin Trade Publishing and NetGalley for an advance review copy.
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I first read a Robyn Carr book 2 years when I read her entire Virgin River series then went on to read every other book in a series or stand alone by her. I've read them all at least twice and love them just as much. I was excited to see she was coming out with her new book, A Family Affair. I started reading the book this morning and could not put it down. Anna's husband Chad dies unexpectedly during a rafting trip. His death brings out secrets he kept and derails his entire family individually. The book follows the heartbreaking journey of lies, secrets, love and personal growth. Anna and her adult children each struggled with their own issues magnified by Chad's death. The journey watching them discover and fix things was beautiful. Robyn wrote their stories progressing over a year so it felt very relatable and realistic to what could actually happen in real life. I received a copy of this book from Net Galley but this review and opinions are my own.
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4.5 stars
Family Affair, by Robyn Carr, is a standalone women’s fiction novel filled with insights into personal and family issues, relationships and self-improvement. It almost reads like one long therapy session and is largely self-reflective and contemplative.

The story focuses on one particular family who has recently lost their patriarch. We get in-depth looks at each of the family members’ lives and their personal struggles as they relate to one another and others, all stemming from their shared family history. Some of the characters are decidedly hard to endure, much less like, but it’s uniquely interesting how family dynamics shape one’s life trajectory to such an extent, until one is made aware and can then make changes and more cognizant choices. 

This story discusses various kinds of mental health issues and life traumas, but does so with a realistic and respectful vantage. While there is decidedly less “action” in the plot, and more introspection, it is ultimately a very hopeful, encouraging story and one that has a really sweet, impressionable  conclusion. Though this is somewhat different from the author’s previous novels, I appreciated it nonetheless and I’m grateful I had a chance to read it.
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In the aftermath of Chad McNicol's death, his wife and three adult children go into free fall. It's a difficult time as they all try to make sense of what is happening in their lives. It's a shake up time, how will they all deal with it and come through it?

Anna is sorting through her life, what was good and not so good. Most of the story centres on her and the way she gradually comes to terms with all that has happened. Especially as she unearths some secrets.

Jess the eldest daughter, a doctor, is in a relationship crisis, as she expects certain things from others. Are those expectations realistic or do they stem from somewhere else?

Michael has a lovely girlfriend who wants more, but is he capable of meeting her in that good place. Seems not, at least to begin with.

Bess, who needs everything to be in order and seems to be coping until she isn't.

It explores the whole aftermath of a family in grief at the loss of someone they have loved. What kept this book from being a winner for me, was  that I felt it could have benefited from some tighter editing. Also I felt many of the characters were not developed enough for my taste.

The way the family deals with the loss of Chad comes to a satisfactory conclusion at the end of the year and each person has made sense of where they are at and are ready to be a family.
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A Family Affair by Robyn Carr is a women’s fiction title that feels part domestic drama and part romance. The story in A Family Affair is one that mostly has the point of view from one characters but does change to others a few times in the story.

Anna McNichol knows that marriage takes a lot of work but has come to a time in her life that she is questioning is the work worth it and vowed to have a conversation with her husband after his trip. The problem with that vow though is Anna’s husband never made it home after passing away in a rafting accident.

At the funeral Anna wonders who the young pregnant woman is mourning her late husband. What Anna’s children never knew was Anna’s husband had cheated before, has he done it again? Anna struggles with wanting to know the truth and wanting her children to remember their father as the loving man they knew him to be but secrets of the past come to the surface as the family grieves.

Once diving into A Family Affair by Robyn Carr I really did think this one was quite the page turner. There are a lot of layers to all of the characters in the story and plenty of secrets to uncover from the past and present that kept me hooked into the novel. The romance side was light in this one but there was some there which also tied into the character growth that happened over the course of the read. There were also some moments really tugging at the heartstrings in this one for me. Definitely a lovely story.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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I give this 3 1/2 stars. This book was okay just I think not my cup of tea. Both Michael and Jessie are not likeable people because they are too self centered so at the beginning of the book it was harder to push through that and actually like them. Michael at least had a girlfriend that told it to him straight and he needs that. Jessie finally had someone tell her she needed professional help. Anna I could take or leave, like most of the family. This family has many secrets but so do most. I also felt the ending was abrupt, one minute you are finally liking the book and the next it was the epilogue and your left going that's it. Would I read this book again, no but am I okay with the fact I spent several hours reading this book, yes. I am leaving this review voluntarily after being sent a free book.
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I have long been a fan of Robyn Carr's. I have read everything she has ever written. Now, that I have finished this book I will try to patiently wait for her next one.
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Well, after reading thirty five Robyn Carr books, A FAMILY AFFAIR is sadly, my least favorite. It was very hard for me to connect with any of the characters and the constant references to COVID, really turned me off and made it hard to finish this book. Robyn Carr has always been an auto buy author for me and she still will be. This is just one time when I couldn’t rate one of her usually wonderful stories higher than three stars. I think I will just leave my review there.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Harper Collins and MIRA through Netgalley. All opinions expressed are my own and were voluntarily given.
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I loved this book! Robyn Carr is such a good women's fiction writer. Her series books, like Virgin River are so good, but these last few years of stand alones are great. So much going on in this story. Each character's drama and then more characters (family) are added as the story goes along. This one I slowed down reading because I didn't want it to end!
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From my blog: Always With a Book

I always enjoy picking up a Robyn Carr novel…she has such a way of writing books about strong females and family dramas and this one was no exception. Needing a change of pace from all the thrillers I have been reading, this was the perfect palate cleanser.

I love that right away, I always feel right at home with the characters that Robyn Carr creates. They are always real and relatable with real life issues, ones that at some level you can always see yourself in. There is always a strong emotional element to her writing and within this latest story we witness the emotional impact an unexpected death has on multiple people. Everyone grieves differently and I loved how the author explores that here. The author writes with such compassion while exploring each character and it’s hard not to want to see them find some happiness again.

This story reminds us that what might look perfect on the outside isn’t always the case on the inside. While the primary focus was on Anna and how Chad’s death is not without it’s challenges, we do also get the viewpoints of each of her adult children and we see them come to terms with all that was thrown at them in the wake of their dad’s death.

The book might tackle some heavy subjects but at its heart it really is a story about forgiveness and moving on. This is a heartfelt story that is quite enjoyable and I definitely recommend it!
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I really enjoyed reading this book about family, death, and secrets.  Anna was a fifty-seven year old woman who was the glue that held her family together until her husband, Chad died.  It was  interesting to learn about Chad's life after he died.  I liked the family dynamics and how his wife and three children were all affected differently by his death.  The depth of their emotions was really brought out in the story. At times Chad was placed on a pedestal where he could do no wrong.  At other times his children were angry and felt abandoned,  The hardest part was realizing he left behind secrets that were beginning to come to light slowly at first and then with more speed. 

The dynamics of the family with Chad's children, Jessie, Michael, and Bess were so realistic.  It was ironic to see their struggles and know their childhood had affected their adulthood.
I liked how much the oldest daughter, Jessie grew and how she changed into a happy person who enjoyed life.
I found it interesting to see the parallels in Anna's life and her mom's life.  So many secrets came to light in this story and proved that no family is perfect but how one deals with it is up to them.
I admired Anna, her strength, her courage, her heart after all she had been through.  She was truly the glue that held her family together.  She was not a bitter person and she deserved to be loved and needed.  
I received an advance copy of this book and I willingly chose to write an honest review.
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A Family Affair was harder for me than I expected. Oh, I knew some things were going to hit me in the feels, and they did. I just misjudged my own place in the grief process, which is all on me. I can totally understand Anna's grief over both the sudden loss of her husband and her ailing mother. Thankfully, I didn't have to deal with the secrets that hit this family, and I could only imagine how I might have reacted. Anna has some tough choices to make as well as some equally tough things to accept and move on from, and her journey is what kept me turning those pages even when it was hard for me. There were a couple of things I feel like I should mention. First, the pandemic is mentioned a few times, mostly just to keep us oriented to the time of the story, I think. That didn't bother me, but it probably will irritate some, especially with so much about it surrounding us daily. Next, as parent to an autistic teenager, I kind of feel like autism was stereotyped here and not necessarily in a good way. I just think it could've been handled better. That said, I really liked Anna and I wanted things to work out for her. Maybe that's because I recognized that grief or maybe because Anna is such a likable character under any circumstances. Whatever the reason, I like the story, and it was definitely worth the read.
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A death . . . A loss . . . A family in grief.....

Secrets . . . Emotions . . . Will time bring relief?

Conflict . . . Change . . . A secret sibling or two!

Help . . .  Care  . . . New love, too.

Enthralling . . . Emotive . . . Family drama and fun.

Moving on . . . Reacting . . . . Growing closer again

Listening  . . . Caring  . . . Life after the pain

With great characters, drama and twists galore
A very different story I hope you'll also adore.
For my complementary copy of this book, I say thank you,
A gorgeous read and this is my honest review.
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Anna McNichol understands that marriage is an uneven ride of ups and downs and she and her husband have been on quite a few lows in their years together. When he dies unexpectedly and leaves behind a few secrets, the McNichols family all end up facing their respective legacies. And there are a lot of secrets going on in this family, that's for sure.

Anna is the central figure in this story. Now a judge, she worked hard through children and marital troubles for what was important to her -- being able to take care of herself. The oldest daughter is a physician, who wakes up to realize the unhappiness in her life and how it's impacting those around her. I really loved, loved,loved her progression in this story. There was so much to relate to there. The middle son is also having a bit of a commitment phobia and crisis, while the youngest is dealing with her own challenges in life.

I just really loved this story and how each of these characters met the situations they were facing. I don't want to say more than that because I don't want to spoil anything, but I found Anna and Jessie's character arc the most interesting and engaging. But overall, I loved this story of family, surprises, and hope. It's just lovely. There were some slowish spots, but that didn't detract much from the story.
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I usually read anything that Robyn Carr writes. They are usually hits or a few misses. And this book was a hit for sure. Expect a lot of secrets coming out when you start reading this book.

I don’t know if the main character pulled it through because if I discovered a huge betrayal from my dead husband I would be an emotional mess. But somehow she always knew she could not count on her later husband. It’s kind of sad to read because it just shows how flawed people are especially when they are married for a long time. It does not mean you should betray your person. It means you should be honest. And that’s something everyone is going to struggle with as they all navigate their loss and move on from it.
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I'm a huge Robyn Carr fan and unfortunately A Family Affair felt different to me than her usual book. 

I just couldn't get invested in the story, I didn't find any of the characters likable and the chapters just shifted from character to character mid chapter which made it hard to follow.
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Emotionally addictive! A FAMILY AFFAIR by Robyn Carr brings us the story of a mother of grown children who has to somehow find a way to heal their wounds as well as her own upon the sudden death of her husband. Untold secrets come to light and take this family on a journey of forgiveness, healing and love. Highly entertaining!

Anna is a strong character both in fortitude to balance life’s every day challenges but also in giving the benefit of the doubt to a potentially toxic situation through grace and understanding.

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dissecting the family dynamics of a seemingly perfect life when big changes make for a new normal.
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