Book review: Flock
Author: Lyn Hughes
Publisher: Fourth Estate (HarperCollins Publishers Aust)
FLOCK is a modern story of love, life and relationships set against a backdrop of art, history, wallpaper and house restoration.
Francis Sprigge is happily pursuing his dreams - designing wallpaper from his cottage in the Blue Mountains - with his wife Lilian and daughter Addie by his side.
His seemingly-idyllic family life is unravelled by Lilian's sudden desertion.
For Addie it's a life-changing event that follows her into adulthood as she pursues her own career as a conservator of old houses.
Heavily influenced by her father's talents, Addie becomes an expert in her own right and takes up the challenge of restoring an historic, old home to museum quality.
Central among her team members is Sylvie, recently arrived from France and with a wealth of knowledge of European wallpaper design, who has a disquietening effect on Addie.
As Addie focuses on the restoration, thoughts of the past rise to the surface and the unexpected return of her mother brings an emotional confrontation.
The author expertly peels back the layers of her characters as they cope with life, and struggle with their various pasts.
She has expertly woven the threads of history into the fabric of the story bringing to light the concept that a commonplace object such as wallpaper is art in its own right.