Title: The Sisters Club by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Publisher: Diversion Books
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 340 pages
Book Rating: B+
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher
Some families you are born into. Some you choose. And some choose you.
Four women have little in common other than where they live and the joyous complications of having sisters. Cindy waits for her own life to begin as she sees her sister going in and out of hospitals. Lise has made the boldest move of her life, even as her sister spends every day putting herself at risk to improve the lives of others. Diana is an ocean apart from her sister, but worries that her marriage is the relationship separated by the most distance. Sylvia has lost her twin sister to breast cancer, a disease that runs in the family, and fears that she will die without having ever really lived.
When Diana places an ad in the local newsletter, Cindy, Lise, and Sylvia show up thinking they are joining a book club, but what they discover is something far deeper and more profound than any of them ever imagined.
With wit, charm, and pathos, this mesmerizing tale of sisters, both born and built, enthralls on every page.
In The Sisters Club by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, four very diverse women form an unlikely friendship that changes their lives. This heartwarming novel is a realistic depiction of their friendship and the various up and downs they encounter as they embark on life-altering events.
Diana Taylor is newly married and a little lonely since leaving Great Britain to move to the US with her husband, Dan. After yet another unsettling conversation with her sister, Artemis, she places an ad in hopes of meeting other women she can connect with. Much to her delight, Lise Barrett, Sylvia Goldsmith and Cindy Cox answer the ad and despite their somewhat awkward introduction, the women soon become close friends. After no-nonsense, outspoken Sylvia challenges the women to do something about the areas of their lives they are dissatisfied with, they eagerly begin working on their goals.
Diana’s weight has always been an issue for her and after Sylvia’s common sense advice, she researches weight-loss options. She quickly decides to undergo gastric bypass surgery while Dan is out of town for a business trip. The only problems? She makes the decision without talking it over with Dan and her recovery is not as easy as she thought it would be. Delighted with the immediate effects of the surgery, Diana is soon obsessed with daily weigh-ins, counting calories and exercise. Although her weight loss is dramatic and she is ecstatic with the results, her self-esteem remains low and she requires enormous amounts of reassurance about her new look. Her relationship with Dan also continues to deteriorate as Diana strikes up a long distance friendship that goes in a questionable direction.
Lise is a college professor who put aside her dream to write a novel after she began her teaching career. She has been involved an in on again/off again relationship with Tony DiCaprio for quite a few years and she does not plan on making any changes to their arrangement. After Sylvia’s blunt advice, she quickly begins working on a novel but finds it difficult to balance writing with her regular job. Lise makes an impulsive decision that shocks her family and jeopardizes her relationship with Tony.
Cindy Cox lives with her boyfriend, Eddie and works at a lingerie store in the mall. Her dream is to have a baby and after hearing Sylvia’s suggestion, she throws out her birth control. She quickly gets pregnant but her life with Eddie is anything but stable and once everyone realize how volatile he is, Sylvia whisks her away to safety. Cindy then must decide whether returning to Eddie is the best choice for her and her unborn child.
Sylvia is gruff and plainspoken but she has a heart of gold. She has never married and she is still mourning the loss of her twin sister, Minnie. She is reluctant to talk about her problems but after a health scare, she forms an unexpectedly close bond with Cindy. Diana’s weight-loss surgery pulls the women together and Sylvia eventually becomes the group’s unofficial mother figure. While Sylvia does not really have any big issues initially, a surprising friendship with Dr. Sunil “Sunny” Gupta leads to the possibility of a romance and an unexpected job opportunity also comes her way.
While there are several secondary story arcs for each of the women, The Sisters Club is easy to follow. The chapters alternate between the four women’s points of view, but these perspective changes are clearly marked at the beginning of each chapter. The characters are beautifully developed with easy to relate to flaws and imperfections. The women’s relationships are realistically portrayed and the dynamics between them ebb and flow throughout the story. Tempers sometimes flare and the various relationships occasionally become tense but everyone easily sets aside their differences to support their friends when needed.
An absolutely delightful story that resonates with genuine emotion, The Sisters Club by Lauren Baratz-Logsted is a heartfelt and engaging novel that I highly recommend to readers of contemporary fiction.