The Legacy

by Caroline Bond

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Family Drama Book Club Recommendations Books of the Month Star Books Literary Fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of The Legacy

A captivating and thought-provoking family drama set over a weekend as three siblings try to decide how to dispose of their father’s estate.

Penetrating and emotionally intense this is a fabulously compelling family drama. Jonathan Coulter’s will simply stipulates that his three children should decide how to dispose of his estate, this causes arguments and increasing tension particularly given that no mention has been made of their mother or their father’s new partner. Caroline Bond excels in creating dramatically readable novels that delve into what it is to be human. She also writes with incredible empathy as she explores thought-provoking subjects and allows the reader to arrive at their own conclusions. There are five main characters here, they feel as real as can be, with intricate layers slowly exposed to allow us to see who they truly are. This is an incredibly intimate tale, with the majority of the novel taking place over a weekend in Scarborough. As the tale progresses and the walls close in on the discussions taking place, the few excursions that take place out of the house release tension. The focus firmly remains on the emotions that swing and swerve as grief and loss in the immediate aftermath of death is explored. A story about love and family, The Legacy really is a wonderfully stimulating read, and it’s been chosen as a LoveReading Star Book.

Liz Robinson

The Legacy Synopsis

A death in the family rarely brings out the best in people - even the deceased

Jonathan Coulter planned for his death meticulously, leaving nothing to chance. His will states that his three adult children must decide between them how to dispose of his estate. If they cannot come together over their inheritance, then they risk losing it.

But Liv, Noah and Chloe never agree on anything. And now, with only one weekend to overcome their rivalry, tensions begin to rise.

Why has Jonathan left the decision to them? And why has he made no mention of his new partner, Megan, or the children's mother, Eloise? If he wanted to teach them a lesson from beyond the grave, what is it? And can the siblings put their differences aside for long enough to learn it?

A powerful novel about love and loss, and what we truly pass on to our children.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9781786499264
Publication date: 3rd February 2022
Author: Caroline Bond
Publisher: Corvus an imprint of Atlantic Books
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 368 pages
Primary Genre Family Drama
Other Genres:
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What To Read After The Legacy

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The Legacy Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title.

Perfectly crafted, The Legacy delivers a most unputdownable story about financial wealth pervading grief and the often-churlish way adults behave when it comes to the subject of inheritance.

I knew just a few pages in that I was going to love this book – and love it I did for I devoured it on my weekend off!
A domestic setting it may be, but this is domesticity at its rawest, most brutal, and indeed most honest. This is all about the nitty-gritty of family life and the unpleasantness that unfortunately so many people will experience when it comes to inheritance.
The reading of Jonathan’s will starts you off on an emotional journey – for me more so for what he leaves out as much as what he puts in. You then veer through numerous emotions as a reader from anger, annoyance, and despair until finally understanding the predicament of all the members caught up in this unnerving situation.
Most importantly for me, it offered a different way of thinking about the ‘other woman,’ so to speak, or the mistress, as Megan was referred to in this case. As we went back over Jonathan’s first marriage break down and Megan’s subsequent arrival on the scene, it was nice to see the other side of the story – which there always is.
A compelling read but most importantly an intelligent one, The Legacy looks at how we can often as responsible adults succumb to playing the child when we’re back in the family fold! It was also telling of how much monumental value we place on rank when it comes to distributing wealth after the death of a loved one.
I loved the tying up in the last few chapters of each character. Not a happy ever after ending as such but a good resolution for moving forward. In particular, Lisa’s chapter, though indeed short like her presence in the book, was the pinnacle and truly spoke volumes about the man at the heart of this book - Jonathan Coulter.
Caroline’s writing has a power that hooked me from the very first line and her warts-and-all analysis of her characters kept me glued to the end - and I simply adored this book.

Clair Chaytors

A fascinating story about family ties and tensions, and secrets and lies.

This story begins with the reading of the will of newly deceased Jonathan Coulter in which he stipulates that his three children should jointly decide how his not inconsiderable estate should be dispersed, and in the event of them not being able to reach an agreement, then the whole estate should be donated to his chosen charity.

The three siblings meet for one weekend at their old home to carry out his wishes, but old tensions between them are bubbling beneath the surface, and they are all hiding secrets in their lives, and have very different opinions about the dispersal of his estate. Their decision is further complicated by the fact that their parents had divorced some years prior to their father’s death, and the question of whether their mother and their father’s new partner should be recipients of part of his estate. It’s a story of family ties and tensions, which I found quite fascinating.

The author really brings the characters to life, and it held my interest from Page 1 - I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Doreen McKeown

Love, loyalty and learning we can't change the past. A poignant and moving novel and one I didn't want to end.

The talented Caroline Bond tackles a difficult and sensitive subject amongst a whirlwind of emotions. With her fluid writing style she vividly portrays the seesawing of family dynamics and repercussions.

The Legacy concerns the final wish of a newly deceased father. Rather than decide himself how his estate should be divided, he leaves an unusual request with his solicitor. When the three adult children arrive at the reading of their father’s will they’re stunned to hear they will be the ones to decide how the estate is to be shared. A final directive adds that until a mutual decision has been reached they cannot hold his funeral.

We are then introduced to those who have been given this enormous task; his three adult children who all must play their part. Liv as the eldest feels most responsibility, Noah with his casual approach and Chloe the youngest still needing nurturing. We also meet Megan, their father’s girlfriend who is bereft with grief and Eloise the ex-wife thanks to Megan’s arrival.

The siblings gather together at the family home over a weekend to work out what their father asked of them. Each personality is faultlessly drawn and the tension in the group situations is palpable. Many words are spoken in anger and hurt through a mixture of past regrets and current grief. Readers are swept along on a tide of emotions as the siblings aim to fulfill one final wish. Will the outcome be a harmonious one and can family rivalry be put aside?

Caroline Highy

A fabulous, moving and engaging story of sibling rivalry

A fabulous, moving and engaging story of sibling rivalry at a time of great loss in an extended family’s life, and how they all come to terms with it and having to deal with the terms of the will.

Lovely to see how all their lives continue when everything is settled - found that very emotional. Often rare to find. A real page turner and a lovely read.

Jayne Burton

Caroline Bond Press Reviews

Caroline Bond takes a complex situation and has written a thoughtful, wrenching and, at times, tear-jerking novel. -- Elizabeth Buchan on 'The Second Child'

A deftly written novel [and] a moving exploration of love between sisters and the tangled, often complex emotions that exist in families. -- Madeleine Reiss on 'The Forgotten Sister'

Caroline Bond has a gift for weaving heart-rending tales of impossible decisions and The Forgotten Sisteris no exception. A beautifully written story that will stay with me for quite some time. Would I have made the same choices? -- Amanda Brooke on 'The Forgotten Sister'

A beautifully crafted exploration of family resentments and vulnerability. Caroline Bond writes with a keen eye for human frailty, bringing her characters vividly to life, flaws and all. - Charity Norman

What an astute and thoughtful writer Caroline Bond is. Exposing the dynamics of a family struggling to regroup after bereavement rings blisteringly true. - Elizabeth Buchan

There is a raw realism to all of Caroline Bond's novels. This latest, The Legacy, reminds us that sometimes it's the loss of a loved one that gives us newfound appreciation for family, and for choices we previously couldn't understand. Redemptive and satisfying. - Carol Mason

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9781786499264
Publication date: 03/02/2022
Format: Paperback

ISBN: 9781838952822
Publication date: 01/04/2021
Format: Hardback

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About Caroline Bond

Caroline Bond was born in Scarborough and studied English at Oxford University before working as a market researcher for 25 years. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Leeds Trinity University, and lives in Leeds with her husband and three children.  Caroline is the author of four books. Her latest, The Legacy, is set in her childhood home town of Scarborough. She has been making up stories since she was a child. Her ambition to be a screenwriter lead her into writing novels after a long, interesting career in research which saw her spend time in a wide range ...

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