About this book: 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?
About the author: L. Alison Heller is a divorce lawyer and the author of The Love Wars. She lives with her family in New York City. You can find her online at lalisonheller.com.
Genre: Fiction/Contemporary/Women’s Fiction
Would I read this book, judged on its cover alone? Yes, especially as spring turns toward summer and I start looking for beach reads, whether I’m heading to the beach myself or not.
If this book were a movie, I would rate it: PG-13. A bit of profanity.
Reminds me of… Elin Hilderbrand
You’ll want to buy this book if … You enjoy sharp-witted stories about urban career women and their messy lives. It releases on June 3 and is available for pre-order until then.
Why did I read this book? For New American Library for review
Would I read another by this author? Yes. Her debut, The Love Wars, is highly touted. Would be interested in seeing how it compares.
My take: This story started strong but wasn’t able to hold my interest all the way through. I would suggest two, no three, reasons why. First, the information hold-out as to why the husband, Dave, was suspended stretched too thin. It strained my credibility to accept that a wife would allow him to keep such info to himself as long as she did. Granted, there was a reason given to support her behavior, but still…it didn’t completely cover the gap for me.
The second reason is simply a matter of personal taste, and therefore purely subjective. When it comes to women’s fiction–or almost any other genre–I prefer prose that leans more toward gravitas than levity. (Think Hannah Richell’s The Shadow Year or Eleanor Moran’s The Last Time I Saw You.) The Never Never Sisters has a tone that borders on chick-lit, a style not unlike Kristin Gore’s in Sammy’s House or Lauren Weisberger’s in The Devil Wears Prada. Which is obviously neither right nor wrong, just a matter of preference.
The last reason has to do with expectations. With its title and cover, I expected this book to be about two sisters. Well, yes, there are two sisters, but I found the story to be much more about their entire family in general and the husband and wife in particular. I also anticipated more of a summery beach read, meaning more of the story set on the beach, which was not the case.
That said, I must also point out that the writing is tight, the characters interesting, the settings fun. Many readers will find it just right for summer reading.
Thanks to Wunderkind PR for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
End notes: When was the last time you read a book whose story did not match the cover? Did it influence your enjoyment of it?