By Carrie Pinkard
Ho, Ho, Ho! Welcome to our holiday edition of Literature In A Cup! We are SO glad you’re reading with us. Here’s what we have brewing this month:
On the bookshelf: Seven Days Of Us by Francesca Hornak
On the kettle: Merry As A Motherf**ker
Seven Days Of Us review:
“Perhaps every family should be quarantined together.”
This is an idea the father of the Birch family posed after being quarantined with his family in their giant English countryside home for just one week. Ha! A seven-day quarantine seems laughable to us now after nine months of the pandemic. But the themes found in Seven Days Of Us make this the perfect lockdown Christmas read.
The Birch family is forced into a week-long quarantine after their eldest daughter, Olivia, returns from treating patients suffering from an epidemic in Africa. No one is allowed in or out of the house during the week of Christmas leading into the new year.
Trapped inside together during the holidays, the four adults are forced to face their own demons and confront the secrets they’ve been keeping from each other. The family consists of Emma, the sweet but nervous matriarch, Andrew the sardonic journalist father, Olivia the serious doctor and older daughter, and Phoebe the spirited but spoiled baby of the family.
The book jumps between narrators, so you get to read about their quarantine from the perspective of each family member. This unique writing style reminds you that there is always more than one side to every family squabble.
Seven Days Of Us uses a wry British wit to expose the flaws in each member of the Birch family. It serves as a commentary on how difficult it is to maintain a happy family unit, and how these difficulties are exasperated when you’re locked under the same roof 24/7.
Being around family tends to bring out both the best and the worst in people. On one hand, it shows us the capacity we have to love. On the other hand, when you’re around the people you love unconditionally, your mask comes off, and sometimes what’s left is a visceral, unflinching meanness.
Start with a nuclear family in lockdown, mix-in visits from an unfaithful fiancé, add a dash of a long-lost son and you have the recipe for a sizzling Christmas drama.
Seven Days Of Us is meant to be read while sitting next to your Christmas tree, contemplating your own family dynamics. The book serves as a helpful reminder of what’s really important during the holiday season. It’s a testament that sometimes the very worst tragedies can bring us together. Finally, it’s a reminder that at the end of the day, or the end of the pandemic, all we really have is each other.
About the book and tea pairing:
Of course, we had to pair this Christmas book with our holiday tea, Merry As A Motherf**ker! This book is full of Yuletide charm that goes with our bright peppermint tea. Seven Days Of Us is a page-turner that will keep you on edge as you wait to see how the story unfolds for the Birches. There’s no better way to read this book than curled up on the couch sipping a warm cup of Merry As A Motherf**ker.
Pick up your copy of the book and your tea and let’s travel together to the Birch Manor in the English countryside!
Ready to chat about the story? Join our Literature In A Cup Facebook group or comment your thoughts on the book below!