As girls growing up in
Clare Valley, Australia, Anna, Bett, and Carrie Quinlan were childhood
singing stars known as The Alphabet Sisters. The unbridled enthusiasm of
their flamboyant grandmother Lola was the glue that held them together.
As adults, though, the women haven’t spoken in years–ever since Bett’s
fiancé deserted her to marry the younger Carrie. Now Lola is turning
eighty and she is determined to reunite the girls for a blowout bash.
And no one ever says no to Lola.
Bett, who fled to London after
the scandal of losing her fiancé, is hesitant to face her sisters and
her hometown–especially since she has yet to find another man.
Sophisticated Anna, the eldest sister, isn’t too keen on the prospect
either, though she’s secretly grateful for any excuse to leave her
crumbling marriage behind in Sydney.
And Carrie, who remained in Clare
Valley, is perhaps the most apprehensive. Her marriage–the nominal cause
of the sisters’ estrangement–is also on the rocks. Was she wrong to
have followed her heart and run off with Bett’s fiancé?
shares her special request, that the girls stage a musical she has
written, their short visit becomes a much longer commitment. As they are
forced to spend more time together, the sisters must confront the pain
that lingers between them. Preconceptions and misunderstandings are
slowly put aside and the three find themselves gradually, irresistibly
enveloping one another once again–until an unexpected turn of events
changes everything in ways none of them could have ever imagined. . . .
the lighthearted antics of small-town life with a heartbreaking story
of loyalty lost and found, The Alphabet Sisters is an unforgettable
story of two generations of women who learn that being true to
themselves means being true to one another
A few years ago I read Upside Down Inside Out by this author. It was ok, as far as a romance novel goes, but I wasn't overly impressed. Last month Monica McInerney made a stop on her Australian promotional tour of her latest book, Lola's Secret, at my local library and I went with a friend who was a big fan of hers, to hear her speak. I was impressed. Very impressed.
Monica is a fabulous and very entertaining speaker. Charming, witty, and humorous.
Lola's Secret is a follow-up book to The Alphabet Sisters. The friend that I attended this event with highly recommended both The Alphabet Sisters and another work of McInernery's called The Faraday Girls, and she readily admitted that Upside Down Inside Out was not one of McInerney's best works.
The Alphabet Sisters is a warm, sometimes humorous, often touching story of sibling rivalry, families, insecurity, love, and loss. For me it felt similar to a Rosamunde Pilcher story, but set in Australia and a little bit more up to date. Not quite as warm and fuzzy maybe, but every bit as touching and if you have siblings, very relevant.
I truly enjoyed The Alphabet Sisters and will shortly read Lola's Secret.
What are some of your favorite contemporary fiction novels about family?
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