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Francesca Hornak’s Warm, Wry Novel Infuses Family With Too Much Togetherness

A warm, wry, sharply observed debut novel that portrays what happens when a family is quarantined together over the holidays—and when keeping secrets is no longer an option…

It’s Christmas, and for the first time in years the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even Emma and Andrew’s elder daughter—who is usually off saving the world—will be joining them at Weyfield Hall, their aging country estate. But Olivia, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. Having just returned from treating an epidemic abroad, she’s been told she must stay in quarantine for a week…and so too should her family.

For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity—and even decent Wi-Fi—and forced into each other’s orbits. Younger, and unabashedly frivolous, daughter Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding, while her older sister, Olivia, deals with the culture shock of being immersed in first-world problems.

Father Andrew sequesters himself in his study writing scathing restaurant reviews and remembering his glory days as a war correspondent. But his wife Emma is hiding a secret that will turn the whole family upside down.

In close proximity, not much can stay hidden for long, and as revelations and long held tensions come to light, none is more shocking than the unexpected guest who’s about to arrive…

Francesca Hornak is a journalist and writer, whose work has appeared in newspapers and magazines including The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Elle, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and Red. She is the author of two nonfiction books, History of the World in 100 Modern Objects: Middle Class Stuff (and Nonsense) and Worry with Mother: 101 Neuroses for the Modern Mama.

Praise for Seven Days of Us

“Alternately tender and razor-sharp, Seven Days of Us will resonate with anyone who regresses the minute they step inside their childhood home.”—Booklist (starred review)

“LOVED it! Warm and humane, funny and sad, with a great, twisty plot, Seven Days of Us is absolute pleasure reading from beginning to end. Francesca Hornak is a true talent. Just gorgeous!”—Marian Keyes, international bestselling author

“Perfect for fans of cozy Christmas films like Love Actually and The Family Stone. An emotional but ultimately uplifting holiday story.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Francesca Hornak is hilariously funny, with characters that jump off the page, grab you, and just won’t let go.”—Rosamund Lupton, New York Times bestselling author of Sister

“With its wry observations on class, family, and ’veddy British’ traditions, Francesca Hornak’s absorbing debut sparkles with glints of Nancy Mitford and Julian Fellowes.”—Stephanie Clifford, New York Times bestselling author of Everybody Rise

“Hornak’s wry, masterful portrayal of a family in crisis is filled with flawed and funny characters who will capture—and break—your heart.”—Fiona Davis, author of The Dollhouse and The Address

“If you like your families dysfunctional and your novels whip-smart, then Hornak’s delightful debut about a family discovering the unexpected benefits of forced quality time over the holidays will enchant your inner ironist and sentimentalist alike.”—Courtney Maum, author of Touch and I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You

“Hornak offers a tragicomic holiday tale that’s perfect for fans of family sagas and multiperspective narratives like Love Actually.”—BookPage

“Fantastic debut…The family dynamics, revelations, and role reversals make this exceptional ’Brit Lit’ a real page turner”—RT Book Reviews

“Warm hearted, witty and wise, Seven Days of Us is hugely entertaining.”—Saskia Sarginson, author of The Other Me