I requested this book from NetGalley because I have read other Cathy Kelly books and found them well written, even when the characters are frustrating at times! It is so easy to immerse yourself in the world created here that you get caught up in the characters lives. I felt that the story line involving each of the sisters, Cassie’s and CoCo’s, lives was the most fleshed out and the others were hovering around the periphery. In the end the character’s stories converged and after much angst, we had a happily ever after.
The major themes explored here are abandonment (by a mother), mental illness, and addiction (including alcoholism). The sisters were abandoned by their mother as children and it skewed the lens they view the world through. Although they have different lives, one is a “perfect” wife, mother and employee and the other is a single entrepeneur, the effect of their mother’s addiction and subsequent abandonment comes shining through in their interactions with others and their life choices. I felt this was very well done and was the shining star of the book. The behaviors exhibited by Adult Children of Alcoholics were very true to form, especially in Cassie. My only issue with this is that I felt that Shay was given a free pass, just based on the fact that Cassie, his wife, exhibited these behaviors. Don’t want to spoil it, so I won’t say more!
I was not as connected to the other stories, Phoebe’s, Pearl’s, Ella’s or even Jo’s, except as in how they intersected with the sisters’. The plot does tie all the threads together to make for a good ending. Nicely done women’s fiction, not my favorite Cathy Kelly book, but still a good read!