Magnolia Road is a tree-lined street in a desirable neighbourhood, home to a number of growing families. Juliet has recently moved into her late mother’s house with her husband Liam, a writer, and their young son, Charlie. Preoccupied by guilt, grief and the juggle of working motherhood, Juliet can’t imagine ever fitting in with the clique of parents on Magnolia Road. But for Liam, the morning coffees and after-school playdates soon reveal the heartaches, fears and rivalries playing out behind closed doors — all of which are going straight into his new novel.
Juliet tries to bury her unease and leave Liam to forge these new friendships. But when the rupture of a marriage sends shockwaves through the group, painful home truths are brought to light and life on Magnolia Road may never be the same again.
‘A novel of radical empathy and kindness, written with poignancy, wit and immaculate observation. There is something wholeheartedly decent and human about Rentzenbrink’s writing, which has a lingering, gentle power. I can’t stop thinking about it.’Elizabeth Day
A soothing, tender story with loveable characters who pull you in from the very first pages. In a world of chaos, reading this novel was a reminder to slow down, zoom in and look aroundEmma Gannon
A wonderful novel . . . I loved it. Gorgeous and tender, fabulous at capturing time, place and atmosphere. An utter treatKate Mosse
A beautifully written and exquisitely rendered novel about family and the anxiety of the modern world. Like life, it’s both heartbreakingly sad and terribly funny. I devoured itWyl Menmuir, author of The Many
Readers will know Rentzenbrink from her moving memoirs The Last Act of Love and A Manual For Heartache. This is her first novel and it sounds equally poignant, warm and wiseGood Housekeeping, Books We’re Most Looking Forward To in 2021
Kind and real, funny and touching. I raced through itBook Brunch
Every generation needs its own novels examining how marriage, children, dreams and ambitions can coexist. This one does it beautifully, with warmth, truth, humour and loveLouisa Young
…the characters are sharply drawn and the author has a knack for wry phrases… if you like Motherland, you’ll love this funny, tender book.The Sunday Times
One of the most honest, poignant and well-observed books about family life we’ve ever read… full of wisdom, you’ll be clutching your heart for a long time.Woman & Home, Book of the Month
We recognise that this is a book about going to new places and the fear of new people, but also about the comfort of community, the way that even a place like Magnolia Road can be a source of the kind of friendship and support that gets you through even the darkest timesObserver
A compassionate and insightful look at relationships and friendships in a wonderfully well-observed novel that is tender, sharp and, at times, very funnySunday Express
Warm-hearted and perceptiveThe Times
One for fans of the TV show Motherland, this is a touching drama about the minutiae of family life set on a street in west London. An impressive debut from an accomplished memoiristThe i, 40 Best Books for Summer
Brilliantly causticAlex Preston, Guardian