“The Hustings” by D. L. Gollnitz
The Hustings is a book that I really enjoyed. In fact, I read it twice!
It is true to its title and is a book web-filled with many elements that make a book great. Family, love, loss, wealth, passion, distrust, and family secrets! And, there are many questions. Who is a part of the family? Is the love real or is there an alternative reason for the love? Can one recover from immense loss? Does wealth make someone happy or does wealth cause harm? Is passion always real? Is distrust deserved or imagined? Do family secrets ever truly get solved? So many questions that need answers!
When D. L. Gollnitz wrote The Hustings, she took on a big task! The Hustings first chapter is set in November of 1945, called “A Child Arrives”. The last chapter, “Coming Home” is set in September 2015. That is 70 years, nearly a lifetime! The beginning of the book introduces a baby, the main character throughout, Veronica Hustings. Veronica’s mother died after Veronica’s birth and she is primarily raised by Betty, on staff at the Husting Estate. Her father, Robert Husting, is grief-filled, he never recovers, never bonds with Veronica, never answers young Veronica honestly when she asks, “Are you happy, Daddy?”
Robert, who buries himself in work and is still dealing with his grief, has another problem. His mistress has returned with THEIR daughter, Margaret, almost the same age as Veronica. Part of the family web.
Time goes on, Veronica becomes a young woman in love, sneaking in and out of the house to the pool house at all hours. She is warned by Betty about her relationship with Ware, who works at the Husting Estate and lives in the pool house. (more to the web!)
Veronica gets engaged! But, not to Ware, who she loves, instead to someone from her dad’s business world, Quentin. Unfortunately, Veronica (Ronnie) continues to be drawn to the pool house and to Ware. This wedding decision starts a path for Ronnie that changes everything in her life, and the decision she makes after the wedding changes things even more. Not long after, a new generation begins in the Husting family when Sandra is born.
The Hustings is a book that proves the saying of history repeating itself. Ronnie has been taken care of her whole life and really doesn’t know how to care for or handle the inconvenience of a baby, so she relies on Betty, just as her father relied on Betty to raise her, to continue her lavish lifestyle. When Ronnie moves, she counts on the hotel concierge to arrange a nanny. As Sandra grows up, she realizes her mother isn’t there for her and never has been. When Sandra becomes an adult, the two have no relationship with each other.
The span of this book encompasses four generations. Can the actions of one generation impact generations to come? Can you forgive a lifetime of being hurt and forgive the past? Or will suffering continue as cycles continue to repeat? What if there are outside things happening that no one is aware of? Can everyone be trusted? There are so many questions and answers revealed in The Hustings!
The Hustings also has a discussion guide in the back. It would be great for your book club. There would be so much discussion!
One last thing, Ware is my favorite person in the whole book. Who is yours?
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