Review: 'Each and Every One' by Rachael English (2015)
Your family are always there for you...aren't they?
For Tara, Vee, Niall and Damian, the children of the Shine family, their parents have seen them through thick and thin. In fact, Gus and Joan's lifetime of hard work has given their children the luxuries they never had when they were growing up - a comfortable home in a leafy Dublin neighbourhood, gap years that never seem to end and an open chequebook for life's little emergencies. Unfortunately, although the children have grown up, they have got a little too comfortable with the well-feathered nest: now it's time to learn a few home truths.
When a twist of fate means the bank of Mum and Dad can no longer bail out the younger generation, suddenly the whole family must find out who they really are - but sometimes the truth isn't easy to face. Uncovering the secrets they all hide will show them a different side to the city they call home and mean finding allies in the most unlikely places.
As a book blogger and reviewer I often get chances to check out new authors or authors I am personally not yet familiar with, which is great. In 2014 I received a review copy of Rachael English's novel 'Going Back' (click here to read my review); a novel which I ended up really enjoying. I hoped I would be able to review another one of Rachael's books, so I was really quite pleased when I was asked to read and review 'Each and Every One', which was first released in 2014. The novel promised a captivating family story, and I hoped I would enjoy it as much (or maybe even more) as I enjoyed 'Going Back'!
Gus and Joan Shine have worked hard their entire lives to build a good life for themselves and their four children: Tara, Damian, Vee and Niall. However, even though the children are now all adults, they seem to have gotten a bit too used to the luxuries of life and too reliant on the bank of mum and dad. Tara, the youngest, is the only one with an actual salary and full-time job, while the others are more focused on other things. So when Gus and Joan reveal they've been having some financial problems and things will have to change, the family's lives are suddenly turned upside down. It's time to be honest, but will each member of the Shine family be able to face up to their problems so they can get out of this mess together?
'Each and Every One' is my second Rachel English novel and it's, once again, an engaging and well-written one which I thoroughly enjoyed. The book tells the story of the Shine family who are used to living quite a luxurious life, until there are money troubles and suddenly everyone is forced to change their ways and face their problems. The focus lies on all members of the family: Gus and Joan and their four children Vee, Damian, Tara and Niall. I was particularly captivated by Tara's storyline; she is the youngest of the family and the only one with a full-time job as a journalist. For a particular story she ends up meeting a family from a poor background, Carmel and her grandson Ben, and they develop a fascinating friendship which I thought was a great aspect of this novel.
I loved the fact that the novel really focused on several different colourful characters and storylines, providing the reader with the chance to learn a bit more about what goes on behind closed doors of all members of the Shine family. While I didn't end up connecting and warming to the characters as I maybe would have liked, I really enjoyed sitting down with this book, which is also thanks to the author's engaging and detailed writing style. If I wasn't already convinced by Rachael English, I definitely am now and I already look forward to see what she will come up with next. 'Each and Every One' is a captivating, well-written and engaging novel about family; a great choice for any women's fiction fan looking for their next read!