Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Book Review: The Never Never Sisters

Sometimes you just need to get away...

Marriage counselor Paige Reinhardt is counting down the days to summer, eager to reconnect with her workaholic husband at their cozy rental cottage in the Hamptons. But soon a mysterious crisis at Dave’s work ruins their getaway plans. Paige is still figuring out how to handle the unexplained chill in her marriage when her troubled sister suddenly returns after a two-decade silence. Now, instead of enjoying the lazy summer days along the ocean, Paige is navigating the rocky waters of a forgotten bond with her sister in the sweltering city heat.

As she attempts to dig deeper into Dave’s work troubles and some long-held family secrets, Paige is shocked to discover how little she knows about the people closest to her. This summer, the self-proclaimed relationship expert will grapple with her biggest challenge yet: Is it worth risking your most precious relationships in order to find yourself? (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

Miriam Plotinsky:

Once again, Heller has created a plot that provides plenty of twists and turns. Paige Reinhardt, a purported relationship expert, spends much of the book trying to find her bearings and her sense of security when her own marriage is called into question. Furthermore, the arrival of a long-absent sister who is both intimidating and kind (while maintaining an enigmatic demeanor) causes Paige enough uncertainty to make her character both relatable and sympathetic. Heller keeps us guessing about Paige's ultimate fate and as her character navigates a tricky relationship with a touchy husband, we feel her pain. It's that quality in Heller's writing that makes her books so magnetic. It's one thing to have characters experience rocky times, but quite another for a writer to be able to make the audience empathize with and root for that character. We want Paige to be happy, but we also think she needs to confront her husband about the changes to their marriage, and we want her sister to turn out to be a positive addition to her life.

The Never Never Sisters is well worth the read, and encourages us to examine the ties in our lives that we take for granted or don't pay attention to. Having now enjoyed two of Heller's books, I hope she keeps writing. She has a gift for weaving absorbing stories.

Amy Bromberg:

I’ve always enjoyed reading books about sisters because I am an only child. I would have loved to have had a sister growing up to do “girl” stuff with, like putting on makeup and doing each other’s hair. This is one of the reasons that I thoroughly enjoyed The Never Never Sisters by L. Alison Heller.

Alison juggled two dramas effortlessly, one of them being between Paige and Dave and the other between Paige and Sloane. I enjoyed watching Paige grow as a person, become more self-confident and take charge of her life. She stepped back and took a hard look at issues in her life, and realized that yes, some things do need to change. I would have preferred to read more about Sloane. I wish there were more flashbacks or information on Sloane’s life previous to the story’s time period. We do get to know a little bit about her from Vanessa and Paige, but it would have been nice to read about Sloane from her point of view. I also thought it was a little unrealistic that Paige would hire a private investigator to dig up information on Dave, because as a therapist, I’m thinking she wouldn’t be for this if she found out one of her patients did it. But when we’re desperate we tend to do things we later regret.

The book asks us to consider how much dishonesty we can tolerate in our partners and our families. To be honest I can’t tolerate any. I had a boyfriend who lied to me numerous times but I never found out. I found out about all of them after his last lie to me. And that was when I knew I could never tolerate dishonesty, especially in a partner.

If you’re looking for a beach read that is fast and entertaining, then by all means pick up a copy of The Never Never Sisters.

Thanks to Wunderkind PR for the books in exchange for an honest review.


Janine said...

This one is on my wish list. I really want to read it.

The Reading Frenzy said...

Great review-I actually interviewed the author and in combination I have to put this at the top of my pile