Cathy Kelly's Between Sisters is a poignant and ultimately heartwarming tale of mothers and daughters, families and friends. The Kineally sisters - Coco and Cassie - are both bubbly, likeable, no-nonsense, successful Irish women : Cassie as a happily married mum of two and Coco as the owner of a quirky vintage clothing store. But there is an aching mother-shaped void that has left them heart-wounded with an irrespressible fear of abandonment which can be destructive to the very relationships that they cherish the most.
Their grammy Pearl, a solid matriarch who took over as their maternal figure throughout their childhood and beyond, holds the family together, but she feels guilty for the part she played in pushing their mother away in, what she now sees, may well have been her hour of need.
As an epic family saga, it's an uplifting but rather predictable story, especially as the opening chapter gives you a huge spoiler that shows you exactly where the rest of the novel will be going. I found the relationship problems that both Cassie and Coco go through believable, but the reunions with their respective partners at the end felt rushed and too-good-to-be-true.So much so that the big happy ending was slightly too saccharine and I skimmed over the final pages, rather than savouring them !
It would be a great book to discuss at book club with several themes to explore, such as addiction and its effects on families, what constitutes good or bad parental choices (in particular the decisions made by the girls' father), toxic relationships and the sins of the fathers (or in this case mothers) being passed on to future generations.
It's a feel-good easy read that will have you smiling affectionately as the story unfolds rather than perching on the edge of your seat in nail-biting suspense !
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £16.99
Disclosure : I received a copy of the book in order to write an honest review.