Today’s backlist recommendation is a prescient book about a family quarantining together over Christmas after one of their daughters comes backs from a country riven by an epidemic. I spent many happy hours of my Christmas holiday in 2017 reading this, and pausing only to eat and make tea. It’s a great novel of secrets, romance, and complicated family relationships.

Hear my interview with Francesca Hornak on the Brit Lit Podcast here.

Seven Days of Us, by Francesca Hornak

It’s Christmas, and the Birch family is gathering for the first time in years.

Emma is elated at having everybody under one roof, but her oldest child, Olivia, is only home because she has nowhere else to go. She’s just returned from treating an epidemic abroad and must stay in quarantine for a week – and so, too should her family.

For the next seven days, no one can leave the house and no one can enter.

It doesn’t sound too hard. But a week with your nearest and dearest can feel like an eternity, especially when they’re all harbouring secrets.

One of whom is about to come knocking at their door…