ve you ever had a sister? I haven’t. Apparently they’re hell, siblings. They seem to wreak havoc in each other’s lives, spend most of their childhood making up new inventive ways to maim each other and pass their adulthood playing at that passive-aggressive kind of warfare that comes to a head when everyone’s gathered around the Christmas dinnertable listening to Aunty Mabel make digs at Aunty Viv for being irresponsible.
Yeah, my idea of family life is pretty much based on what I’ve read in novels.
The Secrets Sisters Keep by Sinéad Moriarty is a perfect example of this.
Mum-of-four Julie thought that if her family had more money, life would be easier. But now that they’ve inherited a fortune, her problems are only starting. Lawyer Louise is used to having life go exactly as she wants it to. So accepting that she cannot control the most important thing in her life is beyond her. And former model Sophie can just about cope with getting older – that’s until her ex-husband finds a younger model.
It starts out a bit average-chick-lit, and I was thinking about putting it down, but it’d been a while since I’d torn myself away from the TV to actually read something, so I thought I’d keep going, and I’m glad I did.
As the characters develop you start to see their complexities, and as the evening drew in I kept saying to myself “I’ll just read one more chapter and then I’ll put it down”… but I didn’t. I kept on going, because I wanted to see how everything would turn out – especially for Louise, the independently-minded one who refused to accept help from any of her family members (or even admit she needed it), but predictably was about as fragile as they come.
It’s a surprisingly moving book that creeps up on you and has you hooked before you realised you’d been drawn into the story. And I think it’s a pretty accurate description of sisterhood too; despite all the bickering and confusion, it made me wonder if being an only child really is better after all.
Who am I kidding? Of course it is.