The beginning is marked by a sudden death. In the days that follow, we meet the family of Richie Rossiter, now deceased: Chrissie, his manager and “wife;” his daughters Tamsin, Delia (Dilly), and Amy; and then, after the news reaches out to them, the first family. Margaret and son Scott live north of London, in Newcastle, and represent that time in Richie’s life…Before.
It is only in the death that some realities are revealed. The fact that Richie had never divorced Margaret, and thus had never married Chrissie. His will is also surprising, in that some unusual bequests to his first family stir up all kinds of feelings in the second one.
Without the benefit of marriage, Chrissie must now face some hard realities. That she has no income any longer, since Richie was the only client she managed; and that she must deal with financial hardships. Plus, she has to now face the facts about his first family.
In the journey that follows, we learn a lot about Margaret, Scott, and each of the three daughters, as well as about Chrissie’s difficulties in finally learning to stand on her own feet again.
Of all the characters—who felt very real to me—I enjoyed Amy the most. She seemed the least “annoying” character. Tamsin and Dilly felt very spoiled, but in the end, they begin to show some growth. At first, Margaret seemed too set in her ways, too uptight; she gradually began to relax and learn to make the necessary changes in her life.
I loved The Other Family: A Novel, for how the author took me smack dab into the middle of this luscious scenery, and how she made me feel all the same emotions as the characters. It was a very satisfying and cozy read, to which I give five stars.