Thursday, June 4, 2015

Sibling Rivalry and Sisterhood

When Paul tells Iris he wants to end their sixteen year marriage, she's devastated. They have been growing apart for sometime, but the reality is painful. Iris is barely able to cope, and her household is in chaos. When she receives a postcard from her sister Leah, who is getting married, asking her to come home and help prepare for the wedding, Iris decides to go. She needs time apart from Paul and the children to come to terms with her situation.

Iris has always been the good girl; Leah, the adventurous one. Now Iris has her own problems, and Leah is getting married to a wonderful man. The sisters have always been rivals and now they are having trouble becoming close. Iris has a particularly difficult time as she thinks Leah has everything she wants. As the novel progresses, the sisters bridge their differences and a bond of sisterhood begins to emerge.

I felt the opening of the novel was so fraught with Iris falling apart that it was almost unrealistic. Too much time was spent showing how much of a mess she was. However, when the story moves to the produce farm her parents own on a beautiful lake, the story picks up.

I couldn't warm up to Iris. I felt she was too needy and couldn't seem to stop making clumsy mistakes. Leah was a more interesting character. She was an independent woman who lived her life the way she wanted, but underneath there is a fragility that is appealing. It makes you want to find out what her problem is.

While the female characters were well fleshed out, I thought the male characters were too stereotypical and perfect. We hardly see Paul, but he's the typical self-absorbed male. Cooper, Iris' high school crush who she has a summer romance with, is patient and caring, almost too good to be true. Stephen, Leah's fiance, is also the perfect man.

The best part of the book was the setting. The produce farm owned by Iris' parents is on a beautiful lake that seems to hold Iris and Leah's family together. I could feel summer in the descriptions.

This is a good story, not predictable, so it holds your attention. My only disappointment was in the characters.

I reviewed this book for Net Galley.