When the Templeton family from England takes up residence in a stately home in country Australia, they set the locals talking – and with good reason. From the outside, the seven Templetons seem so bohemian, unusual … peculiar even.

No one is more intrigued by the family than their neighbours, single mother Nina Donovan and her young son Tom. Before long, the two families’ lives become entwined in unexpected ways, to the delight of Gracie, the sweetest of the Templeton children.

In the years that follow, the relationships between the Templetons and the two Donovans twist and turn in unpredictable and life-changing directions, until a tragedy tears them all apart. What will it take to bring them together again?

Our club’s views on this book were as varied as the characters within its pages (which is to say extensive!). Totally understandable as we all relate differently to different personalities, so it makes sense that the same will happen when presented with a variety of individuals in a novel.

This is a big volume read (near 600 pages) but everyone managed to finish, happy with its conclusion, if not always the finer details. We decided suspended believe was called for on more than one occasion, and were happy to do so for the forward momentum of the story.

A slow start was mentioned by some but once the more intimate relationships began, it turned into a page turner that soon found you deep within the plot. Whether realistic or not, a family saga such as this rarely fails to entertain and from the conversation we had it is clear that we all were just that.

The general consensus stretched from ‘not bad’ to ‘one of the best’ and there were a few members that would be going back for more McInerney’s work. Our suggestion? If you like a good chunk of family scandal with the obligatory happy ending, get a hold of The Templetons, you won’t be disappointed.