Book Review: The Never Never Sisters by Alison L. Heller

An absorbing, highly entertaining novel about family secrets, The Never Never Sisters introduces you to the strong-willed and big-hearted Reinhardt women, as they reunite one summer in New York. Gifted storyteller L. Alison Heller has written another witty and moving page-turner that will captivate readers and keep them guessing right up until the satisfying end.

Sometimes you just need to get away….

Marriage counselor Paige Reinhardt is counting down the days to summer, eager to reconnect with her workaholic husband at their cozy rental cottage in the Hamptons. But soon a mysterious crisis at Dave’s work ruins their getaway plans. Paige is still figuring out how to handle the unexplained chill in her marriage when her troubled sister suddenly returns after a two-decade silence. Now, instead of enjoying the lazy summer days along the ocean, Paige is navigating the rocky waters of a forgotten bond with her sister in the sweltering city heat.

As she attempts to dig deeper into Dave’s work troubles and some long-held family secrets, Paige is shocked to discover how little she knows about the people closest to her. This summer, the self-proclaimed relationship expert will grapple with her biggest challenge yet: Is it worth risking your most precious relationships in order to find yourself?
Release Date: June 3, 2014
Age Group: Adult
Source: Review copy from publisher
Reviewed By: Kelli
This was my first time reading Alison L. Heller and I really enjoyed her writing style.  The Never Never Sisters is women's fiction at its finest: the story of a woman in a complex marriage with deeply hidden truths, and a family dynamic that is flawed at best. 

I liked Paige from the very beginning of the story.  This was my first time reading a book with a marriage counselor as the protagonist, and I enjoyed that aspect of The Never Never Sisters.  I thought Paige would have a rock-solid marriage, given her profession, and she believes that she does, until her husband is unexpectedly suspended from his job at a high-profile law firm.  Paige's husband, Dave, is less than forthcoming about why he was suspended, and Paige ends up taking it upon herself to figure out the truth.  Suddenly, the tide shifts and Paige sees that her marriage is in fact on very shaky ground.  I felt for Paige, how she desperately tries to fix things with Dave, while he continues to hide the truth from her.

In the middle of Paige and Dave's murky relationship is the reappearance of Paige's sister Sloane.  Sloane has been absent from her family for twenty years, having cut off contact with her family after her stint in rehab as a teen.  Their mother, Vanessa, desperately wants Paige and Sloane to reconnect, and to rebuild their family as a whole.  I liked Sloane, and really enjoyed getting to know her and her fiancé Giovanni.  I thought that the addition of Sloane's story, especially given that she shows up during the most trying time of Paige's life, gave The Never Never Sisters even more depth.  But it was the inclusion of Vanessa's journals during the time of Sloane's disappearance that gave the story so much gravitas.  I loved reading Vanessa's innermost thoughts, especially given that she only shows her best face to her family.  Some of the chapters were narrated by Vanessa, which made the story more interesting.  I was equally invested in both Paige and Vanessa's stories, which ended up converging with Sloane's reappearance in their lives. 

Overall, The Never Never Sisters had an understated feel to it.  I definitely enjoyed it, but the book was slow at times.  Once I was about two-thirds into the story, the plot reached a "can't put it down" point, and Heller ended the book on a very strong and hopeful note.  I really liked The Never Never Sisters and look forward to reading more from Alison Heller.   


1 comment:

  1. Ms. Heller created an intricate story that weaved beautifully through different decades and generations. The Never Never Sisters was so enjoyable and entertaining - I look forward to the next book Ms. Heller writes!


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