I have no idea how I discovered Kristin Hannah last year. I think I was enthralled with the Barnes & Noble ereader app for my iPhone, and the fact that I could buy hardcover books that had just been released for ten or twelve bucks, and I bought Winter Garden, which I really loved. I don’t know about you, but when I find an author whose books I like, I tend to get a little crazy and read a lot of them all at once. That’s the case with Kristin Hannah’s books. (Plus, and I’m not gonna lie here, I really love the covers of the trade paperback books. Just sayin’. You all know that draws you in, too.) If you’re a Jodi Picoult fan, you’ll probably really like Kristin Hannah.
If you’re not familiar with Hannah’s novels, they all have pretty similar themes: mothers, sisters, or mothers and sisters. I’ve got some mommy issues of my own, so really her books are right up my alley. Right after I read Winter Garden I read The Things We Do For Love and got a little weepy-eyed. So I’ve been on a Hannah kick since then. I was drawn into Between Sisters because of its blurb, which you can read on Amazon because I’m not going to post it here. In a nutshell: two estranged sisters are forced to reconnect. How very… original, you say. Well, it’s not, really, and neither is this book, but dang it, I really did like it.
These books are not difficult reads, and honestly, I don’t judge them or critique them the same way I would critique a classic. I think that’s fair.Between Sisters is, as a whole, more than brain candy but less than… something huge and noteworthy. It’s no opus. But it’s a fun read and it kept me turning the page to find out how the sisters reconnected, how their lives intertwined again, and who found love (because that’s always an important part of Hannah’s novels, too). I know this is not really an overwhelmingly positive review but I think, like I’ve read several other people say, it’s so much easier to review a book you either LOVED or HATED than a book that you just liked. I also think I really liked this book because it totally reminds me of the things of stuff I wrote in high school (in terms of plot) and the kinds of stories I wanted to tell when I was taking writing classes in college.
Spoilerish — you’ve been warned. The only thing that kind of made me go, “Uh, WTF, dude?” was Claire’s illness. (I’ll let you be surprised by the specifics. I’m nice like that today.) First of all, hello, melodrama! But at the same time, I loved it. Because like I said above — this is exactly the kind of stuff I loved to write as a teenager and in my early 20s. (Seriously, I wrote a story in high school — that won an award! — about two sisters who weren’t close, and one of them died in a car accident, and there was this whole back story dealing with butterflies, and the dead sister was a sculptor and was making a butterfly statue for the living sister as a baby shower gift… I can’t even get into what I wrote as a college student.)
So overall, this book was fun to read. I liked Claire, I liked Meghann, I liked the setting, I liked the plot. It was likable enough to read and recommend to others.