Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Book Review: Sisters One, Two, Three by Nancy Star

Book: Sisters One, Two, Three

Author: Nancy Star 

Pages: 354

Read on: Kindle {via Kindle Unlimited}

Read in: 3-4 hours 

Plot Summary: After a tragic accident on Martha’s Vineyard, keeping secrets becomes a way of life for the Tangle family. With memories locked away, the sisters take divergent paths. Callie disappears, Mimi keeps so busy she has no time to think, and Ginger develops a lifelong aversion to risk that threatens the relationships she holds most dear.

When a whispered comment overheard by her rebellious teenage daughter forces Ginger to reveal a long-held family secret, the Tangles’ carefully constructed web of lies begins to unravel. 
Upon the death of Glory, the family’s colorful matriarch, and the return of long-estranged Callie, Ginger resolves to return to Martha’s Vineyard and piece together what really happened on that calamitous day when a shadow fell over four sun-kissed siblings playing at the shore. Along with Ginger’s newfound understanding come the keys to reconciliation: with her mother, with her sisters, and with her daughter.

Things I Liked: 
1. This is a book about a dysfunctional family, family secrets and complicated sibling relationships. So, obviously, I was going to read it! Duh?! Family dynamics is an area of endless fascination for me- I love reading about themes that revolve around familial relationships, family politics, secrets and their impact on familial relationships and so on. So, the premise of this book had me hooked from the get-go. 

2. This a well-written book. The writing is effortless and the author's voice is in parts wry, in parts anxious and, as a young Ginger, in parts helpless, frustrated and precocious. Ginger is our protagonist and the voice of this book and I love how subtly the writing changes to reflect Ginger's age and mindset. 

3. The characters in this book are so interesting. Also, I love the way their hearts are revealed in layers as the narrative gradually unfolds.
~ Glory Tangle (Ginger, Mimi and Callie's mom), for most of the book, comes across as this self-centered, chaotic, almost-uncaring sort of a mother and wife. She is obsessed with the theatre, fancies herself as somewhat of a Broadway star, and keeps berating her husband for coming into her life and ruining her chances of being a star. Glory, when she is older, is also so annoying because she refuses to tell Ginger where Callie is or why Callie went away in the first place. Glory is the typical 70s mother- one who didn't want the kids to ask her any questions, which made her uncomfortable, giving birth to many secrets in the Tangle family.

~ Ginger is a natural-born worrier! I could relate to her because she spent a lot of time worrying about the people she loved and always had a Plan B, C and D for any situation. Through Ginger's eyes we get to see the broken relationship between her parents, her struggle with understanding her family and her own world as she stepped into her teens and also her confusion as she was told next to nothing in the aftermath of her brother- Charlie's- death. 

~Even the little kids Charlie, Mimi and Callie are so endearing. I, especially, felt bad for Mimi, who seemed so lost in that family. No wonder she grew up to keep her distance from her mom and Ginger. 

I also really liked Evelyn (young Ginger's neighbour, whose kid she babysat) and Callie (but I don't want to say too much about her because I don't want to spoil the book!).

4. There is a neat little surprise/ twist in the book, which is just so heart-breaking and yet holds the key to everything you and the characters in the story have wondered about. It took me by surprise, even though, you sort of see it coming but once you read about it, it just breaks your heart makes you see a set of annoying characters very differently. 

Things I Didn't Like:
1. There were far too many detailed description of places in this book. Don't get me wrong, I love it when a book brings a place alive, especially, a place I haven't been to before (e.g. Martha's Vineyard) but there were just unnecessary descriptions of beaches, ferry rides and so on and so forth in the book, which if edited out would have created a much sharper end product. 

Rating: 4/5
This is a great book and I highly recommend it to all lovers of family dynamics-driven stories.

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