Andy Batiste, at loggerheads with his degenerate cousin, seeks to discover the truth of his family history. Why was his pregnant grandmother forced to flee to France? What really happened to her husband during the German Occupation, sixty years ago? Who accused Edmund, the elder son and Batiste heir, of being an informer? Was he really a traitor – and who murdered him?
With Edmund’s brother Harold now head of the family, enjoying the wealth which ought to have come to Andy’s father, the family is forever divided. Andy yearns to clear Edmund’s name and restore his father to his rightful inheritance.
Into the conflict comes Charlotte Townsend, newly divorced, lonely and struggling with writer’s block and the consuming threat of impending loss. She returns for healing at Guernsey's natural health centre, La Folie, and becomes involved in Andy’s family affairs.
Together they embark on a hunt for the truth…
*May Contain Spoilers*
Anne Allen writes of enchanting Guernsey in her fourth installment of the Guernsey novels, The Family Divided, making readers jealous with abundant love matches and mysteries. I've enjoyed the Guernsey novels from the beginning, and am still excited for each one. Anne Allen brings the reader into the circle of islanders, making them a part of the family, while introducing new characters to join the previous.
This time the focus is the wealthy, socialite, Charlotte Townsend, publisher and aspiring author. She was introduced briefly in the previous installment and has become a dear friend of Louisa, the third Guernsey girl. Charlotte is a character in motion. She's recently divorced and is still figuring out who she wants to be and where she wants to go in life. Charlotte is a little on the snooty side with her manor house and personal chef, but she has been known to have a carefree notion and dice a few vegetables. Readers will enjoy watching her wonder about starting over, stumble, and finally decide to leap. She's a loving character who tends to over worry a bit, though only about the serious things. She struggles to keep her head up when her mother's cancer returns and buries herself in research for a man she barely knows. Though that does change quite quickly. Head over heels, I believe. The reader will connect with Charlotte through her worries, her faith, and her openness while also enjoying the plot.
The storyline follows Charlotte to Guernsey where Andy has made a life as an architect. Andy is a friend of Paul, who is still dating Louisa from book three. Charlotte meets Andy while having lunch with Louisa and offers to be his research assistant to an intriguing mystery going back sixty years. A mystery involving his father, murder, and a rather large inheritance. Though the mystery is the main focus of the characters, the characters are the main focus of the book. Charlotte is trying to uncover the truth of Andy's family while also trying to emotionally support her mother and decide what she wants for her future. Andy falls for Charlotte almost immediately, but feels he needs to hold back as they are from different social classes. Though once the mystery is solved, their relationship is the only thing left to figure out and Anne Allen does a nice job giving readers a happy ending with the promise of more.
Rating: 3.5/5 Cups