Review: This Must Be The Place by Maggie O’Farrell

26165722This Must Be The Place by Maggie O’Farrell

Publisher: Tinder Press (May 2016)

Source: Copy received for review from the publisher via

“Meet Daniel Sullivan, a man with a complicated life.  A New Yorker living in the wilds of Ireland, he has children he never sees in California, a father he loathes in Brooklyn and a wife, Claudette, who is a reclusive ex-film star given to shooting at anyone who ventures up their driveway.

He is also about to find out something about a woman he lost touch with twenty years ago, and this discovery will send him off-course, far away from wife and home.  Will his love for Claudette be enough to bring him back?”

Often it feels like everything I read is somehow about misery, tragedy, death, doom and gloom.  And while I absolutely love a darker read, every now and then the heart longs for something a little lighter and carefree.  And every now and then there comes along a book like This Must Be The Place by Maggie O’Farrell to fill that void.

This Must Be The Place tells the story of Daniel Sullivan who, to be quite honest, is a bit of an idiot.  A lovable idiot, but an idiot nonetheless.  He has a beautiful (if slightly crazy) wife and a gorgeous family but for some reason he cannot see how lucky he is.  He is flawed and misguided, and this is what makes him so thoroughly likeable and human.

The storyline jumps around in time and place, with different narrators, which sounds like a recipe for a jumbled hot mess, but Ms O’Farrell is a mistress of her craft and creates a narrative that is utterly enthralling and perfectly flowing.  The reader is never lost, never left wondering what year or what city or which family member she is with.  The characters feel so real and human – so much so that at times I wanted to bang their heads together and yell at them to just be freaking honest with each other for god’s sake!  At times they will infuriate you, but you will want to be a part of their family.

Ultimately a story about love, This Must Be The Place is a delicious, warm, comforting delight of a book.  Not only that, it is a beauty to look at.  Even the ARC which I received was wonderfully packaged and beautifully designed which always helps to enhance the reader’s experience.  This will absolutely have a spot in my favourite reads of 2016.





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