From People Magazine (May 12, 2008)
Vulnerable Dara and ruthless Abigal, who forge an enduring friendship in college, have more in common than it may seem. In Dara's words, "We both had our lives fall apart by the time we were 10." The aftershocks are still rumbling as Livesey's splendid novel begins: Housemates in London, both protagonists have fallen for married men. Dara, however, is hooked on empty promises, while Abigal cheats on the lover who left his wife for her. Like a psychotherapist, Livesey deftly unwinds their stories, exposing the ways in which each learned to live with betrayal early on. Watching her work is mesmerizing and suspenseful; this is a novel that will keep you in its thrall.
It seems like a stroke of mutual good luck for Abigail Taylor and Dara MacLeod when they meet while studying at St. Andrews University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Despite their differences, the two young women form a firm and fast friendship and a lasting, unshakable bond. Even years later, they remain such an unlikely pair.
Abigail - an actress who confidently uses her talent both on and offstage - charms everyone she meets, but believes herself immune to love. Dara - a counselor at a crisis center - is convinced that everyone is somehow irrevocably marked by their childhood; she throws herself into romantic relationships with frightening intensity.
Yet now it appears that each woman has finally found "true love". Is this another stroke of luck? Proof that each relationship is a once-in-a-lifetime love? Abigail has apparently found love with her academic boyfriend, Sean, and Dara with a tall, dark violinist named Edward; who quite literally falls at her feet. However, soon after Dara moves into Abigail's downstairs apartment, trouble threatens both relationships, as well as their friendship.
For Abigail, the trouble comes in the form of an anonymous letter, addressed to Sean and accusing Abigail of being unfaithful; for Dara, a reconciliation with her estranged father Cameron - who left the family when Dara was ten - reawakens some very complicated feelings. Through four ingeniously interlocking narratives - Sean's, Cameron's, Dara's, and Abigail's - we gradually come to understand how these characters' lives were shaped by both chance and determination. Whatever the source, there is absolutely no mistaking the veil that falls when tragedy strikes the house on Fortune Street.
I absolutely loved this book. In my opinion, it was a poignant and thought-provoking story - very intelligently and thoughtfully written. For me, this was also a compulsively readable story - one that I just could not put down. It was an interesting and engaging plot, and I needed to know what would happen next. I give The House on Fortune Street: A Novel by Margot Livesey an A+! and must say, that while this is the first book by this author that I've read, it most certainly won't be my last.
This book was very odd to me. The book is broken up into 4 chapters each being the story told from one of 4 characters. Each character has their own story that is woven in with the big story so you can learn about each of them and how they relate to each other. At times it was hard for me to keep track of all the people that kept popping up. And there was a lot of descriptive writing that i felt had nothing to do with the story.
But i am glad that i read the book. It was definitely an interesting story.
This is a story that is told from the perspective of four different people. It was about how each of them got to where they were in their lives. In one section I may have disliked a character but when they told their story I could relate to it and understand where they came from, why they did what they did and how they got to where they were. I enjoyed trying to figure out who the next narrator was going to be and was surprised. It was at times very uncomfortable to read but it was always honest. The authors notes at the end were interesting. This is definitely a book worth reading.