Rainy Day Sisters
Book 1 in the Hartley-by-the-Sea series
Author Kate Hewitt
Narrated by Rosalyn Landor
Publication date Dec 8, 2015
Running time 12 hrs
Audiobook provided by publisher for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
The USA Today bestselling author presents a heartfelt novel about two sisters struggling toward new lives and loves.
Welcome to Hartley-by-the-Sea in England’s beautiful Lake District, where two sisters who meet as strangers find small miracles tucked into the corners of every day….
When Lucy Bagshaw’s life in Boston falls apart thanks to a scathing editorial written by her famous artist mother, she accepts her half sister Juliet’s invitation to stay with her in Hartley-by-the-Sea, a charming seaside village in northern England. Lucy is expecting quaint cottages and cream teas but instead finds that her sister is an aloof host, the weather is wet, windy, and cold, and her new boss, Alex Kincaid, is a disapproving widower who only hired her as a favor to Juliet.
Despite the invitation she offered, Juliet is startled by the way Lucy catapults into her orderly life. As Juliet faces her own struggles with both her distant mother and her desire for a child, her sister’s irrepressible optimism begins to take hold. With the help of quirky villagers, these hesitant rainy day sisters begin to forge a new understanding and find in each other the love of family that makes all the difference. http://www.kate-hewitt.com/hartley.html
There are bad mothers and then there are selfish, terrible women who have children to serve some agenda other than motherhood. In this book we see two half-sisters. When Lucy undergoes a public humiliation and a break up her barely known to her sister invites her to stay with her in England. Mi casa is sort of your casa. The inn in question is in a small village and since Lucy is actually British, Juliet fixes her up with a job. At the job, Lucy makes friends.
Where Juliet’s experience of her mother was terrible it seems to have turned her into a hard, mirthless woman. Her Mother left her to go to the US with Lucy while she was in high school. Nevertheless she goes into the hospitality industry. This was a sticking point to me; Juliet is nearly anti-social. If she were the keeper of the inn where I was to stay, I would leave.
On the other hand, Lucy has grown up with their showy, self-aggrandizing mother. But she is much sunnier, given to ignoring what she doesn’t like, and fickle about her path.
The two together form a shaky alliance, bound to collapse on some front. Juliet resents Lucy because of their mother. There’s a big revelation that actually cements the two as sisters, and even friends. It takes time to get there.
This story is well-written and a sensitive portrayal of two people recovering from the failure of the most primal of life’s relationships: Mother and Child. Their shared mother gives them common ground but also sets them up for division. While Lucy’s open nature and willingness to give her all brings Juliet forward, Juliet’s steadfast nature gives her the support she never had maternally. It’s interesting that both characters suffer the same parent and grow up damaged, but one from abandonment and neglect and the other from a different kind of neglect.
I liked the description of the area including the use of local Yorkshire dialect.
I like the way the relationships develop; the way Juliet’s small town accepts Lucy even before Juliet fully does. Juliet’s anger is finally allowed to come out and its release allows her to grow into a kinder and gentler person. The only thing that really bothered me is how skewed Juliet’s personality is; she is barely socialized.
The pace is slow, like the pace of life in a small town.
Having difficult sibling relationships I felt I understood the story and that it “spoke to me.”
It was worth my time if a little slow.
AUTHOR BLOG: http://www.acumbrianlife.blogspot.co.uk/