Friday, October 5, 2018

Book Review: My Sisters And Me

By Becky Gulc

Meet Rae, Emmy and Noelle. They are three sisters who are tasked with renovating their childhood home for their mum Willow. Following the death of her husband/their father around a year ago it’s not somewhere Willow Lake spends a lot of time, preferring to spend her time travelling, and so came the idea of doing their home up as a holiday let. The problem is the sisters, the family, were never really welcomed in Maplewood. They were treated as dirt and the sisters never really knew why. So the thought of returning for a period of three months isn’t one that’s exactly appealing to the sisters, particularly Emmy and Noelle who have unfinished business in Maplewood. Unless they are going to stay indoors for three months can they avoid their past, the people who made their lives hell? Or will they find everyone has moved on or grown up after a decade or so? You’ll have to read this to find out!

I have LOVED Lisa Dickenson’s Christmas novels so I was excited to read another novel by her. My Sisters and Me was an enjoyable read although I didn’t love it quite as much as the Christmas novels if I’m honest but the bar has been set very high before!

The sense of place throughout the novel was fantastic. Maplewood came to life for me, as did the house (in the woods), which felt important given the focus of the story. This grew in strength throughout, and I particularly loved the last third of the novel for this. The three sisters are all quite different and I enjoyed getting to know each of them individually in their day-to-day lives before they head back to Maplewood. What I struggled with at times was empathy towards the sisters; sometimes their fears of returning to Maplewood and how they acted seemed a tad repetitive and immature given the time lapse. I felt more empathetic once as a reader I learnt more about how they’d been treated in the past (and why) by various characters that were still local.

I thought the novel picked up greatly in the build up to the Halloween party and its aftermath. There were some very funny scenes involving the local mayor. I also enjoyed how the sister’s ‘endings’ were not predictable. What this novel does well is self-awareness, being proud of who you are and where you come from and sisterhood, a definite feel-good book.

I am already looking forward to Lisa’s next novel and would happily re-join this family again; I would love to read more about Willow! If you haven’t heard of her before I would definitely recommend checking out her books for fun lighthearted reads.

Thanks to Sphere for the book in exchange for an honest review.

More by Lisa Dickenson:

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