Book Review: Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

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Book Review: 4 out of 5 stars to Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak.


Why This Book
I was surfing NetGalley when this one appeared on my screen. Given it’s a family drama, one of my favorite sub-genres, I had to read it. I’m on a kick to finish reading all my NetGalley books by 12/31 before I can request anything else, so this moved to the top of the list. I added it as a book on my ‘Book Bucket List’ on my blog at, where my followers choose one book for me to read each month. This was the winner for December, so I moved it up the queue.

Plot, Characters & Setting
The Birch family, parents Emma and Andrew, have two daughters, Olivia and Phoebe, in a small lovely English town. Olivia is visiting for the first time in a very long time, taking a week’s vacation from her work in Africa. Due to working with a particular type of disease, she and her family must live in quarantine for 1 week to ensure the disease doesn’t spread. Each family member has their own secret, which are all starting to come undone during this week long exercise in re-connection. I won’t spoil anything, but it’s a very warm-story about how everyone relates with each other, or fails to connect, over the course of this 7-day period. A few visitors stop by the house, not realizing they must stay once they’ve been exposed, which makes the drama level heightened.

Approach & Style
I read the Kindle version on my iPad of this 350 page book over the course of a week. It’s a contemporary fiction family drama novel told from the perspective of each of the major characters in the main family. The novel is in third person POV with relatively short chapters.

Strengths & Concerns
Hornak excels at creating distinct family members with believable characteristics and stories. I liked them all for different reasons, but even better as a family unit. The English setting is quite charming and helps shine a light on the type of ‘off-balance’ relationships going on in the Birch family. The story doesn’t get nicely wrapped up in a bow at the end, which is always a good thing — it’s nice to leave a bit of drama still circulating around the edges. The writing is crisp and clean. I find myself thinking about the family days after I’ve finished reading it.

While I enjoyed the construct of the seven day period, it felt a bit rushed as there is a bit of history to get caught up on with each character. It’s minor, and there’s really no other way around it (I’ve written a novel in a similar structure, so I totally get it!). I would have liked some additional content in the Epilogue to know where the characters went eventually; the current version was way too short. Both are minor and nothing to even distract or worry. I always try to leave a small suggestion.

Author, Other Similar Books, & Final Thoughts
I believe this is her debut, and it’s outstanding under that context. I truly look forward to reading more from her. Thank you to NetGalley for granting me the ability to read this book, as well as the publisher and author.

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon. I write A LOT. I read A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you’ll find the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge – words and humor. You can also find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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17 thoughts on “Book Review: Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

    By Hook Or By Book ~ Book Reviews, News, & Other Stuff said:
    December 10, 2017 at 5:05 PM

    I hadn’t heard of this but it does sound good. Thanks for putting it on my radar Jay.☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    abbywd said:
    December 10, 2017 at 8:47 PM

    I’m moving it up on my TBR list, thanks to your review! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      December 10, 2017 at 9:17 PM

      It reminded me so much of my own book! But ultimately, the family was well done. Perfectly captures a British tone with an American side-story. I really enjoyed it.


    Lashaan (Bookidote) said:
    December 10, 2017 at 10:11 PM

    Interesting review, sir. The concerns, or at least the suggestions, you propose are pretty cool to read about considering that you have written yourself a highly acclaimed family drama story that everyone has loved so far hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

      James J. Cudney IV responded:
      December 10, 2017 at 10:13 PM

      It has done well, thank you. This book should also. It perfectly captures the English family. I just wanted more! Even in my own tho, I know I rushed many scenes given the large amount of characters. Always tough!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    marysreadallaboutit said:
    December 11, 2017 at 12:52 AM

    I really enjoyed this book.

    Liked by 1 person

    E. Michael Helms, writer said:
    December 11, 2017 at 9:35 AM

    Another in-depth review, with most (if not all) points covered. Well done, Jay! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    The Cozy Pages said:
    December 11, 2017 at 1:48 PM

    Lovely review Jay. Another book to consider. Family drama and secret reveals really do make for entertaining reads. Happier to read about them than live them at least 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    […] 7th entry off my Book Bucket List:  Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak. You can see the review here. In its place, I’ve added The Whole of the Moon by Kevin McManus to round out the 12 options […]

    Liked by 1 person

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