8 August 2011
Book Review: Me and My Sisters by Sinead Moriarty
I haven't read any of Sinead Moriarty's books in a while, but I did love her 'Baby Trail' series from a few years back. When I received a copy of Me and My Sisters for review, I was quite excited to start reading her books again, and the gorgeous navy blue cover with sparkly silver bits certainly helped a bit too. It's quite a large book, at 464 pages long but it doesn't feel that way when you are reading it, the book simply melts away because you're so engrossed in the story within. Moriarty has created another story set around one family, this time with several issues going on that I am sure many readers will be able to relate to, and this is perhaps what makes her books so readable.
The Devlin family are the main focus of this book, and certainly have an interesting tale to tell! There are 3 sisters, Sophie, Louise and Julie, and while each of them seems happy with their lives, behind closed doors it's a different story altogether. Sophie, the youngest daughter, is a bit spoilt and is pushing that onto her young daughter as well, something her sisters resent. Louise is a successful lawyer living in London but she's hiding her own secret that threatens to blow her family apart. Finally, Julie is the mother of 4 boys, 3 of them being triplets and is falling apart with the pressure of it all. However, the sisters don't share their woes with each other but when all their lives begin to unravel, they turn to each other like never before.
I loved the family element of this book, and how the three women's stories all wrap around each other throughout the novel. Each of the chapters follows one of the women, but there isn't a pattern to it and I liked this because you didn't know where the story was going next. As it progresses, the sisters all appear in others stories more and more, and you can see how the importance of family being around is becoming more and more relevant. Moriarty deals with some pretty relevant issues in the book too - from bankruptcy to depression, affairs and single motherhood, and she deals with them all perfectly. Clearly she has done her research as it reads very well, and you really feel for the Devlin sisters as you are reading, having to deal with these horrible things all at once.
I found this book very readable, and was always reluctant to put it down. Things unfold at a good pace, not being rushed or happening too slowly, but at a believable pace and I liked this very much. I have to say I really liked reading Julie's posts she put on her mother's forum, I'm sure quite a few people have been there and done that, I know I have, and it's great to see Moriarty incorporating that into her novels. Her writing is very readable as usual, and she envelops you into the book with every word. I just thought the relationship between the sisters was so well written, it made me wish I had a sister of my own to turn to when I need someone to talk to. I found Sophie's story particularly touching, although I really disliked her at first, I thought she was fantastic by the end. I also liked how realistically Moriarty writes Louise's struggle with single motherhood and juggling her job too, I am sure so many women reading this are going to relate to that.
I think Moriarty has written another best seller here, and it's probably my favourite of her books to date. It is easy to read, very enjoyable and a book you certainly won't be able to put down until it's finished. The characters are realistic, you can't help but sympathise with them because the same things that happen to them could happen to anyone of us, and that is the appeal of the book. It moves from Ireland, to London and Moriarty writes so well about both places. But the best thing about this book is that it shows you how important family can be, whatever your trouble, they will always be there for you no matter what, and it's a very heart-warming and fortifying read. If you've got a sister, you'll want to give them a hug after reading this, and if you haven't, hug your brother or wish you had a sister! It was a truly excellent read, and puts Sinead Moriarty back to the top of my watch list.