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Sinead Moriarty is one of my very favourite authors and I have absolutely loved all of her books. Her stories are mainly set in Ireland and feature honest vibrant characters and enthralling story lines. She very much focuses on family and relationships and what it is like to be a modern woman. This is exactly the case with her latest book, 'Me and My Sisters' which I found to be a truly wonderful read.
The book focuses on three sisters (all aged between late thirties and early forties) who have totally different views on life. Julie is a harassed mum of four boys (including triplets!) she is literally just trying to make it through each day. She loves all of her boys but is beginning to feel worn down by the sheer drudgery of it all especially as the boys are nearly always not as well behaved as they could be. Sophie could not be more different and enjoys living a life of luxury with her husband Jack and their daughter Jess. Her days are spent lunching with friends, shopping for all the top designer labels and pampering herself. The third sister, Louise, is again entirely different. She is an extremely successful lawyer in London who lives for her work. Little do they all realise that very soon their lives are going to change beyond all recognition. The fascinating thing for the reader is to see how they all cope with their changed circumstances and whether their new situations will ultimately break them or make them stronger!
I was really hooked by all of these stories by the very first page and I really warmed to all three of the sisters. Being one of three sisters myself, I could really identify with the relationships and the strength of the bonds between them, however different that they seem. I loved the sense of family that came through every single page and the way that the sisters were there for each other and supported each other even when they did not always approve of each others' actions.
I always thought that 'Me and My Sisters' is an extremely well written book. I liked the way that the sisters all took turns in narrating different chapters and although all of these were written in the first person I did not find this confusing and always knew who was telling the particular part of the story. I also felt that because the book was written in this way that I got to know all three main characters very well which is why I warmed to all of them and kept on hoping that things would turn out all right in the end.
The book is also very well balanced with the more serious issues that the three sisters find themselves facing being interspersed with some much lighter moments. These mainly involved the antics of their tree hugging, environmental protester younger brother Gavin and also some of the misdeeds of the triplets although Julie rarely finds these amusing.
So overall 'Me and My Sisters' is a fantastic book that left me wanting much much more. This is definitely Sinead Moriarty at her best, although I would have to say that this is the case of all her other books too.
'Me and My Sisters' is currently available on Amazon for £9.09 (January 2012).
There's more than one way of being a modern woman, not that the Devlin sisters would admit it ... Julie used to be the easy-going sister. But now she's a mother of four boys under five, her marriage is under strain and she is struggling to keep sane. She needs support, but her sisters don't understand. After all, their lives are perfect. Lawyer Louise has always been top of her game, with little time for family and even less for romance. But with a drunken mistake threatening everything she's worked for, she may need to accept that she needs help to keep going. Gorgeous Sophie got everything she ever wanted: a loving husband, a beautiful, well-behaved daughter and a designer lifestyle. Her sisters consider her spoiled and shallow but she doesn't care - that's until her life is turned upside-down and she realises they may be right. Not that she's going to let them know the trouble she's in. The Devlin sisters think they have little in common. They might just be in for some big surprises ...
I haven't read any of Sinead Moriarty's books in a while, but I did love her 'Baby Trail' series from a few years back. When I received a copy of Me and My Sisters for review, I was quite excited to start reading her books again, and the gorgeous navy blue cover with sparkly silver bits certainly helped a bit too. It's quite a large book, at 464 pages long but it doesn't feel that way when you are reading it, the book simply melts away because you're so engrossed in the story within. Moriarty has created another story set around one family, this time with several issues going on that I am sure many readers will be able to relate to, and this is perhaps what makes her books so readable.
The Devlin family are the main focus of this book, and certainly have an interesting tale to tell! There are 3 sisters, Sophie, Louise and Julie, and while each of them seems happy with their lives, behind closed doors it's a different story altogether. Sophie, the youngest daughter, is a bit spoilt and is pushing that onto her young daughter as well, something her sisters resent. Louise is a successful lawyer living in London but she's hiding her own secret that threatens to blow her family apart. Finally, Julie is the mother of 4 boys, 3 of them being triplets and is falling apart with the pressure of it all. However, the sisters don't share their woes with each other but when all their lives begin to unravel, they turn to each other like never before.
I loved the family element of this book, and how the three women's stories all wrap around each other throughout the novel. Each of the chapters follows one of the women, but there isn't a pattern to it and I liked this because you didn't know where the story was going next. As it progresses, the sisters all appear in others stories more and more, and you can see how the importance of family being around is becoming more and more relevant. Moriarty deals with some pretty relevant issues in the book too - from bankruptcy to depression, affairs and single motherhood, and she deals with them all perfectly. Clearly she has done her research as it reads very well, and you really feel for the Devlin sisters as you are reading, having to deal with these horrible things all at once.
I found this book very readable, and was always reluctant to put it down. Things unfold at a good pace, not being rushed or happening too slowly, but at a believable pace and I liked this very much. I have to say I really liked reading Julie's posts she put on her mother's forum, I'm sure quite a few people have been there and done that, I know I have, and it's great to see Moriarty incorporating that into her novels. Her writing is very readable as usual, and she envelops you into the book with every word. I just thought the relationship between the sisters was so well written, it made me wish I had a sister of my own to turn to when I need someone to talk to. I found Sophie's story particularly touching, although I really disliked her at first, I thought she was fantastic by the end. I also liked how realistically Moriarty writes Louise's struggle with single motherhood and juggling her job too, I am sure so many women reading this are going to relate to that.
I think Moriarty has written another best seller here, and it's probably my favourite of her books to date. It is easy to read, very enjoyable and a book you certainly won't be able to put down until it's finished. The characters are realistic, you can't help but sympathise with them because the same things that happen to them could happen to anyone of us, and that is the appeal of the book. It moves from Ireland, to London and Moriarty writes so well about both places. But the best thing about this book is that it shows you how important family can be, whatever your trouble, they will always be there for you no matter what, and it's a very heart-warming and fortifying read. If you've got a sister, you'll want to give them a hug after reading this, and if you haven't, hug your brother or wish you had a sister! It was a truly excellent read, and puts Sinead Moriarty back to the top of my watch list.
ISBN: 978-1844882441. Published by Penguin Ireland on 4th August 2011. Pages: 464. RRP: £12.99.
Thank you to the publishers for sending me a copy to review for http://chicklitreviews.com.
Thank you for reading.