This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Jennifer Joyce
Zee and her husband Doug have moved into the old carriage house that belongs to her mother’s estate while Doug writes a book about a poet, Edwin Parfitt. Zee’s mother Gracie and her husband live in the big house, which was once used as an arts colony that Parfitt resided at during the 1950s, and is rumoured to house the ghost of Zee’s great-grandmother, Violet. Doug would love nothing more than to get his hands on the art colony’s files to help with his research but Gracie is reluctant to let him up into the attic where the old furniture and paperwork is stored. The house holds a hundred years’ worth of secrets and Doug is determined to uncover them.
The Hundred-Year House is told over three parts, telling the story of the house and its inhabitants during the 1990s, the 1950s and the 1920s. I found the first part of the book incredibly slow and I didn’t warm to any of the characters at all, which made it difficult to relate to them and care about them. Zee was the most unlikeable for me as she acted like a spoiled little princess who wanted things her way, no matter what the consequences will be.
I much preferred the second part of the book, which tells the story of Grace and her first husband, George.The pace picked up and the story was much more interesting as we started to learn about the secrets of the house. I found this part intriguing and loved the surprising twists, but it had felt like such a slog to get there. I liked the idea of the book and how the pieces started to come together over the decades as I read back through the generations but the initial pace and the unlikeable characters were a real problem for me.