Newest Review: ... start from around a penny! So without giving too much of the plot away, the book is basically about sibling rivalry (if you hadn't already... more
Is Beauty all it's cracked up to be?
The Ugly Sister - Jane Fallon
Member Name: Lbird99
The Ugly Sister - Jane Fallon
Advantages: Tackles sisterly rivalry well - Easy Read
Disadvantages: Slightly Shallow, slow moving
I have been a big fan of Jane Fallon since reading her first book Getting Rid of Matthew. I had put her latest one The Ugly Sister on my Christmas list, but it wasn't one that Santa chose for me so I was delighted to find it in the charity shop last week.
Since her sister Caroline was scouted as a supermodel when she was 16, Abigail has always felt that she has been living in her sister's shadow. Twenty years on, they are virtually strangers - meeting up on rare special occasions and catching up by email - but when Abi finds herself without a place to stay over the summer due to a mix up with a flat purchase, Caroline (now Cleo) offers her a room with them for the summer. While Abi thinks this may be a chance for the sisters to regain the closeness they had as children, does Cleo have an ulterior motive for asking her sister to stay?
It is hard not to like Abi - she is a fighter and when compared to her sister you really want her to do well. However I couldn't help but feel that she had wasted her life by not making the most of her intelligence, and chose to be kept in Cleo's shadow rather than fighting to be her own person. I was also a bit confused by the characterisation of Cleo - at times she seemed utterly reprehensible and shallow, but then there were flashes of vulnerability which just didn't seem to fit with where Jane Fallon was going with the character. I really liked Jon, and I felt he was written with just the right balance of metro sexual and manliness - however I felt he needed a little bit more backbone!! Jon and Cleo's daughters were sweet young girls, but they did seem to fall into the trap of sounding much to mature for their age, which is a problem I have found in a lot of recent chick lit portrayals of children.
I found the book quite slow paced compared to Jane Fallon's earlier books, but this did not affect my enjoyment of it. To be honest I do not think the blurb on the back does not do the storyline justice, as it makes the book sound a lot shallower than it actually is - if I had not read her earlier works then I possibly would have passed this one back. That said, the undercurrent of brains versus beauty is an undercurrent throughout the book, which does give it a slightly shallow feel which is a shame because to me the real strength is the theme of sisters with differing personalities and clashes in the family which most readers will be able to identify with in some way - I am one of 3 girls and we are all very different in both looks and personalities, causing awful clashes at times so I could identify with the Cleo and Abi in a few ways!
I would recommend this book, although there are better Jane Fallon books. I like the fact that her books are a bit darker than standard chick lit, and she touches on subjects that feel real, albeit sometimes uncomfortable. The ending was a bit of a disappointment, as I like my books to have a definite ending and I felt this was a bit lacking - however I feel the storyline made it quite hard to give a finite conclusion without changing the dynamic of the characters (I don't want to give away too much!) The ending does leave the door slightly ajar for a possible sequel.
Available from Amazon for £4.62 delivered or £4.99 on Kindle
Summary: Sometimes Sisters aren't always friends.....