An irresistible love story, an unforgettable family. Bestselling author Maggie O’Farrell captures an extraordinary marriage with insight and laugh-out-loud humor in what Richard Russo calls “her breakout book.” Perfect for readers of Where’d You Go, Bernadette.
Daniel Sullivan leads a complicated life. A New Yorker living in the wilds of Ireland, he has children he never sees in California, a father he loathes in Brooklyn, and his wife, Claudette, is a reclusive ex–film star given to pulling a gun on anyone who ventures up their driveway. Together, they have made an idyllic life in the country, but a secret from Daniel’s past threatens to destroy their meticulously constructed and fiercely protected home. Shot through with humor and wisdom, This Must Be the Place is an irresistible love story that crisscrosses continents and time zones as it captures an extraordinary marriage, and an unforgettable family, with wit and deep affection.
O'Farrell (The Vainishing Act of Esme Lennox) spins a magical story in her new novel. On the surface, the story is about the unlikely meeting of Daniel, an American, and Claudette, a French-English former actress; the life they make together; the lives they lived before that. and their struggle to hold things together in the face of a secret from Daniel's past. But this description, though accurate, doesn't convey the depth of perception and detail. O'Farrell offers not just backstory, but surround-story, using first-, second- and third-person points of view to depict Daniel and Claudette's children, Daniel's mother, Claudette's brother and his wife, an ex-lover or two, a former friend, a bewildered assistant, and a woman Daniel meets by chance in the Bolivian high plains (who has her own story of betrayal). Across the present and the recent and more distant pasts, in Donegal, Ireland; Brooklyn; London; Sussex, England; and points south and east, relationships start, end, and last. There is enough possibility and randomness for three books, yet the story never feels overstuffed, and when it ends, the reader is stunned and grateful, relieved that in the face of all that can go (and have gone) wrong, some things have come right.