So Great Uncle dies and there is a will. So far, so normal. But he isn’t fond of his family – again normal, and hasn’t seen them for many years, apart from a small party he hosted to see them again before he finalised his will. At this party he spends some time talking to his Great Niece Hannah.
He’d had a major bust-up with his sister – over what she wouldn’t say, and on the whole, his family are not likeable characters being fixated on money and social status. All except for his niece Hannah. She is a young woman who has not quite made up her mind what she wants as her career and as a result has drifted rather, but is now finishing an English degree after trying out various others. She is denigrated by her family for her lack of ambition and her sister is rather vile to her all the time.
Which of course is where the will comes in when Great Uncle dies. He has made a number of bequests including some very small ones for his ‘blood’ relatives which rather angers Nicholas, who it turns out was adopted, even though Hannah had not known this until then.
Hannah is however singled out from her relatives and asked, through the auspices of her uncle’s solicitor, to read a number of letters left for her and to undertake some tasks – unspecified – in order to receive a reward – again unspecified. But which she suspects will be the same small bequest that her other cousins got. Intrigued and about to take her finals, with nothing set up to do afterwards, she agrees. She hopes that as her uncle indicates in the first letter, she might gain some self-awareness and thus might know where to go with her life.
There are some great characters in this novel especially Mrs Crumpton as she talks to her dead employer – a lot of us do that – but usually in our heads! And finding out how Great Uncle made his money is also rather unusual and not at all what you might expect.