Three sisters all with their own role in the family: Bev, our narrator is “the smart one”, older sister Clare is “the pretty one”, and younger sister Joey is “the wild one”. Each is struggling to define themselves beyond these set roles with varying degrees of success. Bev wants to move away to escape her family’s disapproval of her career choices, Clare flirts with having an affair because her own husband doesn’t make her feel beautiful anymore, and Joey tries to stay clean and off drugs. Throw a couple of hot guys, a midget couple, and a murder mystery in to the mix and you have a novel that is as messy and unpredictable as real life.
There is a lot to like here: some laugh out loud funny scenes, well drawn characters, and sharp dialogue. The murder mystery is inspired by something that really happened on Long Island and gives the narrative a nice anchor. Trouble is, there were also a few things I didn’t like so much. There were a couple of incredibly preposterous scenes (i.e. the “Letterman” scene and a car wreck that induces burns without further mention of these burns) and love interest Kenny did some things that really rubbed me the wrong way. But what bothered me the most was the frequency with which the author goes off on unnecessary tangents that distract from the plot (and frankly made reading a chore).
I was drawn in by the cover (I just can’t resist apples), daunted by the length (358 slow going pages), driven to finish by my commitment to the Blog Stops Book Tour (go there for links to more blogger reviews), but ultimately disarmed by this story of three sisters and their bond. I am still thinking about them a few days later. My verdict? A tough read, but charming nonetheless.