Three Sisters by Susan Mallery ( web | tweet )
Part of the Blackberry Island series but can be read as a standalone.
Publication Date: February 26, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Target audience: adult
Keywords: new start, family, tragedy, friendship
Format read: ARC from NetGalley via Publisher. (Thanks!)
Summary: After being left at the altar, Andi leaves Seattle for a quaint life in a new town, complete with a new practice and a house in desperate need of renovation. In alternating passages, her neighbors — Deanna (a Stepford wife who is losing the respect of her husband and kids) and Boston (one half of a marriage facing tough times after an unexpected tragedy) — take centerstage, as their lives intertwine.
Did you ever just finish a book, sigh deeply, and think: GEE I REALLY NEEDED THAT?
This is exactly how I felt with Susan Mallery’s latest, Three Sisters. I should tell you in advance that Three Sisters is the name of the houses that our leading ladies live in; Deanna (a mom who vows to be perfect in everything) and Boston (married artist) have lived there forever and Andi decides to renovate the third to jump start for her new life (her longtime boyfriend left her at the altar) and her practice (she’s a pediatrician).
Mallery alternates between the stories of Deanna, Boston, and Andi, who practically have no choice but to get to know each other because Blackberry Island is tiny. (Case in point: Boston’s niece is Deanna’s oldest daughter’s best friend and also the daughter of Andi’s hunky contractor. Got that?) And when you move from a big, happening town like Seattle to an island, you can only hope (like Andi does) that you are going to like your neighbors.
To be honest, for these three, it takes a little time, drama, and a few bottles of wine.
I hate to play favorites but Andi took the prize for most of the book; she was the most approachable, while Boston was distant and Deanna was probably one of the most annoying characters I’ve met in a long time. I understood of course, why Boston was standoffish but with Deanna… I couldn’t figure it out. It seemed like SHE even knew that her kids and husband thought she was too regimented of a mother and still, she could not put an end to it. (Even when it meant that her kids did not enjoy spending time with her and her husband was ready to stop trying himself.) Mallery’s tendency to be repetitive with certain details did not do Deanna’s character any favors either. Not to get too specific, but I found it hard to believe that Deanna and her husband would even get to five children with the way she operated in her family… how was this only becoming a problem now?!
Anyway, three times the ladies, also means three times the sexy (and three times the issues). Andi has a little (ginormous) crush on her contractor, Wade, (she’s quite tongue tied with him and I found myself laughing at their exchanges) while Boston and Deanna are both working to rekindle the flame with their husbands. I liked that all these ladies were in different stages of their relationships; it gave us a reason to feel invested in each of them and continued the fast pacing of the book. In general, Mallery did a great job of balancing the three plotlines, as well as carefully intertwining them.
Three Sisters provides friendship, hot moments, and glimpse at adults who really have to make the effort to move forward in their lives to find happiness. As always, a Mallery read is all in good fun!