☆☆➹⁀☆ 5 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆
What It’s About:
Seven Siblings. Seven Years. Seven Spellbinding Novels. 1974. New Orleans. The Deschanel siblings move through early adulthood, some married, others searching, desperately, for meaning. Charles, the playboy, settles into a horrific marriage, as he watches the only woman he ever loved marry his best friend. Augustus, the fixer, discovers his wife may not be as easy to fix as other things in his life. Colleen, the adherent, begins anew in Scotland, and meets someone also from New Orleans, but their different worlds create a wall between them. Evangeline, the genius, learns about the ups and downs of forbidden love the hard way. Maureen, the haunted, sees an opportunity to forge her own path, but quickly finds herself in way over her head. Elizabeth, the anguished, the unwilling storyteller of the fated clan, discovers there might yet be a relief for her terrible visions, but the cost is terrible. As the family progresses through the seventies, they’ll discover the power of secrets, lies, and a fate they cannot escape, no matter how wealthy or powerful they are.
1974: The Seven is book four of Sarah M. Cradit’s continuing exploration of how her beloved characters grew up during the turbulent 1970s. Each book gets better and better as the tie-ins to future events (in the House of Crimson and Clover saga) are woven into the story. As each comes up, ardent fans of the HOCC series will delight in remembering the link to “future” events.
As expected, Ms. Cradit has carefully researched the era as well as the setting of her novel. Like the prior three books, 1974 is a trip through a time machine. If you didn’t live through the 1970s, you’ll definitely have a good feeling for the era defined by muscle cars, drugs and protests.
Maureen’s story is featured in this installment, and some of her story felt very much like the 2002 movie, Secretary; however, the movie is a dark comedy, while Maureen’s story is just creepy and dark. The concept of the complete authority of the family patriarch is very much evident. Meanwhile, her siblings are branching out on their own, and it would seem that each has some hard lessons to learn in their future. Each choice leads to a little happiness along with some loss.
This well-written, engaging character exploration is an emotional rollercoaster. The featured political and social changes that define the era are interesting (hopefully inspiring younger readers to do a little research), and getting a well-crafted backstory to the characters and their offspring is fun. I truly enjoyed how well Ms. Cradit tied in a multitude of details to her prior books.
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