Title: Evergreen Avenue
Author: Amelia Keldan
Format: Print copy mailed by author in exchange for an honest review
My rating: 3/5
For 1970s housewife Penny McVee, the decision to move back up to the lush and idyllic Adelaide Hills was a tough one to make. With her devoted husband Russell and three beautiful kids by her side, she feels ready to embrace the hometown she had left behind so long ago. The long and lazy Summer stretches out before them, promising endless days filled with pool parties, friendship and chocolate fondue. Secrets however, have a way of revealing themselves. Way down deep beneath the murky depths of her subconscious, Penny hides a memory she’d rather forget. Determined to keep it together and mindful of the shaky ground she now finds herself standing on, Penny ignores the little voice telling her to tread carefully. Will those around her be content to ignore any past indiscretions or is Penny about to lose it all?
I was pleasantly surprised by this quick novel set in 1970’s Australia. The first third of the book was challenging to keep up with the rotating characters even within chapters, but once each of the unique main characters were shown more in depth based off their own points of views, I was able to dive into the stories that culminated to one bigger picture. I was not anticipating other worldly/all-seeing types of avenues, but it was played somewhat subtly up until the last few chapters where family secrets are revealed – yet still yielding suspense for the next 3 installments of the series, each sequel taking place a decade after the former. I took to the youngest McVee children, Tildy, because of her innocence and curiosity with the adults, quickly taking on the mindset of one as she is faced with an interesting reality and experience. From what I can tell, this has the makings of a mini/limited series if it were to be adapted – I would choose to update some of the cheesy and unrealistic familial moments that occur early on in the story unless the idea was to use a facade of a perfect and loving family as we learn more about them and their secrets. There are some stories within that are not resolved or touched on much further that I would be interested to see how they fare!
Read Evergreen Avenue if you like the themes of:
- Family Drama/History
- Gifted Children
- Intertwined Plots