Maria Grazia's Reviews > At Home With the Templetons

At Home With the Templetons by Monica McInerney
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's review
Apr 09, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: read-in-2011
Read from April 26 to May 25, 2011

Another Australian writer, a best-selling author, I've come to read thanks to my very active blogger life. Thanks a lot to the web and the Internet for the incredible richness and variety of contacts I've got so far, and especially, to Monica McInerney's publicist who thought I would like this novel and sent it to me. I did!
The main characters of this gripping novel are numerous and skillfully characterized but the real protagonist is a stately mansion in Australia , which I imagine as enchanting, mesmerizing, impressive: Templeton Hall.
Everything is not as it seems in this entertaining exploration of family links and relationships, with romance and turmoil, and you need to get as far as the epilogue, through its 471 pages, to get hold of every hidden detail of the story you were told before.
A warm and captivating family saga that spans about twenty years - from 1993 to 2009 - and three continents in which the main theme explored is: how the things we do to protect our children may really just protect ourselves - with unintended and potentially devastating consequences. Other themes are redemption and forgiveness. Difficult to say which the lesson here is ultimately. Certainly, more than one.

What is extraordinary is how deeply you get to know each one of the many characters. My favourite one is Gracie. Impossible not to love such a strong, sensitive, intelligent, precocious and earnest young girl. Especially in the first part of the novel.
The novel is actually divided in three parts characterized by a different narrative technique - 1.third person narration mostly from Gracie's point of view 2. letters and third person narration, again mostly from Gracie's point of view 3. third person narration fragmented among several points of views, sort of indirect interior monologue. Such a richness gives the reader a real in-depth look into the characters as well as into the plot itself. Nothing remains unexplained.

Have a look at my complete review at
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Sue (new) - added it

Sue You come up with the greatest stuff.

Maria Grazia Sue wrote: "You come up with the greatest stuff."

I've just started it, Sue, and it sounds a real page-turner! I got it from the publisher. They said ...since you like Jane Austen ... but it doesn't remind much of her so far!

message 3: by Sue (new) - added it

Sue I hope you enjoy it. I can hardly wait to hear.

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