A few years ago I read one type of book (except book club choices) - murder mystery/thrillers. And it was mostly the big names - Patrica Cornwell, Janet Evanovich, Sue Grafton, etc (all of which I still love). I could not imagine reading chick lit - I thought that meant it was all romance, gushy, graphic sex, light, airy, things I would not want to read. Now, before you start yelling at me that I am wrong, I KNOW!
One of the authors that changed my mind on this was Monica McInerney. The first book I read was The Alphabet Sisters. From the author's website:
Sisters are always there for each other . . . aren’t they?
Anna, Bett and Carrie Quinlan were childhood singing stars – the Alphabet Sisters. As adults they haven’t spoken in years. Not since Bett’s fiancé left her for another sister . . .
Now Lola, their larger-than-life grandmother, summons them home for a birthday extravaganza and a surprise announcement. But just as the rifts begin to close, the Alphabet Sisters face a test none of them ever imagined.
A witty, wise family saga, filled with warmth and humour, this is an unforgettable story of three women who learn that being true to themselves means being true to each other.
OMGosh! I laughed, I cried, I was so emotional through this book! I just loved all the women in it - the sisters, Lola, their mom. It made me want to have a better relationship with my sister and my mom. It made me want to have more sisters! And, of course, a little jealous that they all could sing - it's just my sister with the star quality voice. This was definitely my favorite book of 2006.
Another of my favorite Monica McInerney books is The Faraday Girls. From the author's website:
As a child, Maggie Faraday grew up in a lively, unconventional household in Tasmania, with her young mother, four very different aunts and eccentric grandfather. With her mother often away, all four aunts took turns looking after her – until, just weeks before Maggie’s sixth birthday, a shocking event changed everything.
Twenty years on, Maggie is living alone in New York City when a surprise visit from her grandfather brings a revelation and a proposition to reunite the family. As the Faradays gather in Ireland, Maggie begins to realise that the women she thought she knew so intimately all have something to hide…
Those Faraday Girls is a rich and complex story full of warmth, humour and unforgettable women. Spanning several countries and thirty years, it is a deeply moving novel about family secrets and lies – and how the memories that bind us together can also keep us apart.
This was such an amazing story of family and women. How women in the same family can view things so differently, have such unique personalities, but still have a fierce love for one another. It's about two generations of women in one family, how events and choices affect people for years to come. But mostly it's a wonderful story about families, women and their love for one another. Again, I laughed and cried and was emotionally spent when I was done with this book.
All of Ms. McInerney books are wonderful. She has also written another book that's available in the U.S., Family Baggage, which was also a top read for me. I wish her other books were also available in the U.S. as I'm sure I would love them. If you haven't read anything from this author, I suggest you add her to your list as soon as possible!
Ooo! In looking through the links and such for this post, I found that another of her books is available in the U.S.!!!! Upside Down, Inside Out was originally published in 2002 in Australia and Ireland (at least that's how it looks from the reviews) but is now available here. I'm going to reserve it at my library today!