This is the second book I have read by Fiona Lowe and I pleased to say I am now officially hooked and a lover of Australian Family Sagas! Birthright is set in country Victoria and is the story of the Jamieson family, an affluent family who seem to have everything together – but of course, when does any family have it all together? There is always secrets, history and traditions that leave their mark, change lives, scaffold relationships and not always in the best way.
Birthright transitions from present day to memories of the past sharing the story of the Jamieson children, revolving around their lives and their relationships with each other, their partners and their children. Sarah is the eldest and is a fixer. She is a successful business woman and business owner with her husband Alex, a proud mum and is forever trying to please her mother, Margaret, all the while never being able to compare to Cameron, the middle child and only son of Margaret and Kevin Jamieson.
Cameron and his wife Anita have moved back to the country after a life in the big city of Melbourne and work towards building their future and hope to inherit the family legacy – Mill House. A sneaky character, Cameron, isn’t always transparent with his motives and as the story develops his true colours are absolutely revealed.
Ellie is the youngest and seemingly free spirited wild child who ran away to live overseas. After forging a new life separate from the ‘Jamieson’ name, Ellie finds herself back home despite her every effort to stay away (far, far away!). It is Ellie who has a dark and troubling secret and it isn’t until she finds the strength to open her heart up to love and to trust in the support and help of her sister that she will ever heal.
And then there is Margaret. Mother. Puppet Master. Manipulator? A complex woman who knew what she wanted from the moment she laid eyes on her husband Kevin. A future, stability and she forged a life many were envious of, but is she happy? As a mother of grown children, Margaret has outlived her husband and with her mind slipping she is haunted by her past, the decisions she has made and choices that are yet come.
Birthright is a complex story that seamlessly intertwines many story lines. It is full of interesting characters that reveal more and more as the story progresses. It is raw, incredibly engaging and reads beautifully. I really loved this novel and cannot wait for Fiona’s next one!