Rainy Day Sisters by Kate Hewitt
|Rainy Day Sisters by Kate Hewitt|
|Category: General Fiction|
|Reviewer: Louise Jones|
|Summary: Two estranged sisters form an unlikely friendship in a wet and windy village by the sea.|
|Buy? yes||Borrow? yes|
|Pages: 368||Date: August 2015|
|Publisher: New American Library|
|External links: Author's website|
Amateur artist Lucy Bagshaw isn't exactly living the American dream; she lives in Boston with her overbearing mother and works as a barista in a coffee shop, but things are about to get a lot worse. Her mother, a famous and controversial artist, writes a scathing editorial, publicly insulting Lucy's artwork just before her first exhibition. The editorial quickly goes viral and a humiliated Lucy flees the country, unsure of where her life is heading. She runs away where nobody can find her; a sleepy Cumbrian village by the sea, where her estranged half-sister runs a boarding house. Lucy quickly questions the wisdom of her decision when she receives a frosty welcome from her sister in a village that seems permanently cold, wet and rainy. Should Lucy try and make a new life for herself here, or should she return to Boston and face her demons?
Rainy Day Sisters is a charming tale of two very different sisters: the bubbly, sociable Lucy and the haughty and cold Juliet. The only thing they have in common is their frightful mother, who casts a huge shadow over both of their lives, but for very different reasons. The sisters begin the story with a huge psychological wall between them, but as they get to know each other, the wall slowly comes down, one brick at a time.
What really makes this story special are the characters, which are well fleshed-out and astutely observed. The cast is quite small and intimate, so we get to know all of them well and they soon feel like old friends. Hewitt is adept at writing scenes of pure emotion, whether it be happiness, loss, elation or humiliation. She also does awkward incredibly well, encapsulated perfectly in a cringe-worthy scene in the local pub, where a sheepish Julia asks a very personal favour of the local farmer. The writing is spot-on and it is just one of those scenes that replay in the mind, long after the book is finished, making you chuckle at the most inappropriate moments!
Although the book has a good dollop of sweet romance thrown in, the real emphasis of the story is on the growing bond between the two sisters. Slowly they begin to share details of their lives and each begins to understand the other a little better. Soon, these very different women become woven together by an invisible thread and their bond deepens. I liked the way that the romantic storylines took second place to this central theme.
I absolutely loved the story and couldn't put the book down. I read it within 24 hours. It's just one of those books. From the very first page it pulls you into the heart of the story and refuses to let go. I was absolutely delighted to see that Hewitt plans to write a whole series on Hartley-by-the-sea. There seemed to be an unresolved story arc about one of the mothers at the school where Lucy worked. I wondered whether her story would be the subject of a future book. I can't wait to find out.
So hurry up, Kate Hewitt, and put pen to paper once more, because I'm absolutely desperate for more tales of that wet and windy village by the sea and the endearing bunch of people that live there.
For more sisterly tales, try The Secret Lives of Sisters by Linda Kelsey.
You can read more book reviews or buy Rainy Day Sisters by Kate Hewitt at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Rainy Day Sisters by Kate Hewitt at Amazon.com.
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