When it comes to family drama, the Birches win top honors. At Christmastime a young doctor returns from a stint in Liberia treating victims of an Ebola-like virus and must remain in quarantine for a week, which she’ll spend with her family: a newly engaged younger sister, an aloof, sardonic restaurant reviewer, and an intensely focused mom/homemaker. No one may enter or leave the house. Secrets and complications loom in the form of a heretofore unknown birth-son, a cancer diagnosis, a forbidden romance, violations of the quarantine, and more. The characters are flawed and immensely likeable; the writing, both wildly humorous and deeply moving, is so engaging that I actually gasped or cried out “No!” “Yay!” and “Stop!” at various points. You’ll be so immersed in this family that you may be tempted to neglect your own until you reach the final page.
- Banna— From Banna's New Recs
November 2017 Indie Next List
“The holidays are always a stressful time, but imagine being with your immediate family for a full seven days of quarantine! This is the premise of Hornak's Seven Days of Us. To ride out the weeklong quarantine imposed due to daughter Olivia's work treating patients of an epidemic in Liberia, the Birch family plans to spend the Christmas holiday in mother Emma's crumbling ancestral home, Weyfield Hall, in Norfolk. On top of isolation and the lack of escape, each member of the family is dealing with their own secrets. A wonderful tale full of humor and heartache and all the issues families deal with - love, longing, and regret. Sometimes being forced together gives you a new perspective on your family and yourself.”
— Maxwell Gregory (W), Lake Forest Book Store, Lake Forest, IL
A family can’t escape their secrets when they’re forced to spend a week in quarantine in this “sharply funny” (People) novel—an Indie Next and #1 Library Reads Pick!
“Witty and deeply heartfelt.”—Emily Giffin
It’s Christmas, and for the first time in years the entire Birch family will be under one roof. Even Emma and Andrew’s elder daughter—who is usually off saving the world—will be joining them at Weyfield Hall, their aging country estate. But Olivia, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. Having just returned from treating an epidemic abroad, she’s been told she must stay in quarantine for a week…and so too should her family.
For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity—and even decent Wi-Fi—and forced into each other’s orbits. Younger, unabashedly frivolous daughter Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding, while Olivia deals with the culture shock of being immersed in first-world problems.
As Andrew sequesters himself in his study writing scathing restaurant reviews and remembering his glory days as a war correspondent, Emma hides a secret that will turn the whole family upside down.
In close proximity, not much can stay hidden for long, and as revelations and long-held tensions come to light, nothing is more shocking than the unexpected guest who’s about to arrive...
theSkimm Reads Pick
New York Post Required Reading
One of Elite Daily’s Books to Read This Fall
Liz & Lisa's Best Books of October
Brit + Co's Best of October Roundup
One of BookRiot’s October Must-Reads
About the Author
Francesca Hornak is a journalist and writer whose work has appeared in newspapers and magazines, including The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Elle, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan, and Red. She is the author of two nonfiction books, History of the World in 100 Modern Objects: Middle-Class Stuff (and Nonsense) and Worry with Mother: 101 Neuroses for the Modern Mama.
Praise for Seven Days of Us
"Sharply funny and beguilingly British.”—People
“You will laugh at hilarious situations and be touched by others, ultimately discovering that the Birch family is basically every family.”—Associated Press
“Witty and deeply heartfelt, Seven Days of Us is an insightful, character-driven look at the real failures, fumbles, and false starts that define family--and why understanding the people closest to us might be the hardest thing in the world.”—Emily Giffin, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"[A] smart, delightfully funny, page-turning debut... Hornak imbues each character with a singularity that underscores her spot-on insight about human nature."—Publisher's Weekly
“Alternately tender and razor-sharp, Seven Days of Us will resonate with anyone who regresses the minute they step inside their childhood home.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Hornak’s brilliant debut manages to be simultaneously clever, funny, and poignant.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“Hornak spends time looking through each character's eyes, and readers' sympathies will shift with each change in point of view. The richly defined inner lives of the Birches propel the story as they try to feel their way through their individual crises.”—Shelf Awareness
"This slightly dysfunctional brood had me laughing…but a surprising plot twist also reminded me that family always comes through in tough times.”—First for Women
“LOVED it! Warm and humane, funny and sad, with a great, twisty plot, Seven Days of Us is absolute pleasure reading from beginning to end. Francesca Hornak is a true talent. Just gorgeous!”—Marian Keyes, international bestselling author
“Perfect for fans of cozy Christmas films like Love Actually and The Family Stone. An emotional but ultimately uplifting holiday story.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Francesca Hornak is hilariously funny, with characters that jump off the page, grab you, and just won’t let go.”—Rosamund Lupton, New York Times bestselling author of Sister
“With its wry observations on class, family, and ‘veddy British’ traditions, Francesca Hornak’s absorbing debut sparkles with glints of Nancy Mitford and Julian Fellowes.”—Stephanie Clifford, New York Times bestselling author of Everybody Rise
“Hornak’s wry, masterful portrayal of a family in crisis is filled with flawed and funny characters who will capture—and break—your heart.”—Fiona Davis, author of The Dollhouse and The Address
“If you like your families dysfunctional and your novels whip-smart, then Hornak’s delightful debut about a family discovering the unexpected benefits of forced quality time over the holidays will enchant your inner ironist and sentimentalist alike.”—Courtney Maum, author of Touch and I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You
“Hornak offers a tragicomic holiday tale that’s perfect for fans of family sagas and multiperspective narratives like Love Actually.”—BookPage
“[A] fantastic debut...The family dynamics, revelations, and role reversals make this exceptional ‘Brit Lit’ a real page turner.”—RT Book Reviews
“Warm hearted, witty and wise, Seven Days of Us is hugely entertaining.”—Saskia Sarginson, author of The Other Me
“Not all debut novels live up to expectations, but this one exceeds them. Hornak's imaginative, nicely-paced, engaging story is one you won't soon forget. At the very least it's a guaranteed escape from your own dysfunctional family.”—NJ.com
“An entertaining mix of pathos and humor.”—The Missourian