Finished July 5
The Birthday Lunch by Joan Clark
This novel is set in small town New Brunswick, where Hal and Lily live in a an apartment in a renovated house. Lily's sister, Laverne, lives in the apartment upstairs and they rent out the first floor to a pleasant and quiet widow. They were able to afford the house after an inheritance when Lily and Laverne's mother passed away.
Hal put his inheritance from his own parents towards a new venture, an antique store, something he has longed dreamed of doing.
As the book begins, it is Lily's birthday, and Hal has planned a nice day with her, including a lunch, a dinner, and a hotel in the city. However, Laverne also expected to have lunch with Lily, and she isn't a woman who likes to be thwarted. There has been animosity between Laverne and Hal for some time, and things don't seem likely to improve.
Hal has to deliver a couple of pieces to a new client out of town, and when he is delayed, he finds that Laverne has already got Lily to come upstairs for lunch.
But when the day turns tragic, Hal and his children each must analyze what led to Lily's death, and each of them must look to what led them to the lives they now have.
This is a story of families, of jealousy, of grief, and of obsession. It is a story that will cause you to reflect and look more closely at motivations. A great read.