Sunday, November 16, 2008

Review: The Almost Archer Sisters by Lisa Gabriele

About the Book: Georgia "Peachy" Archer always thought she was happy with her choices in life: quitting college, marrying young, raising two boys in the same small town where she grew up. But just as Peachy's life is beginning to settle into a careful routine, her sister's life begins to dangerously unravel.

Beth Archer chose a different life: fancy apartment in Manhattan, fancy friends, making lots of money. She's been on her own since she was a teenager, and she's still on her own, outgrowing dress styles and boyfriends faster than Peachy can inherit them. But on a visit home one weekend, Beth upends everything Peachy thought she knew about being happy.

My Review: I generally enjoy a good story that explores the dynamics of sibling relationships, particularly sisters as we women are so complex and I am both a woman and a sister. So when this book was offered to me for review, I eagerly accepted.

The endorsements on the book all say that is a funny book, even going so far as to say hilarious. And I have a hunch it has been classified as chick lit...of the humorous sort. I think all of those things have done a disservice to this book, in fact, I had to step away from it before reviewing because I was set up to expect a much different book than I received.

The Almost Archer Sisters is the story of a deeply complicated and messy sibling relationship. One frought with a painful past and a present that is based on unknowing envy. Peachy's life is hard. She gave up her dreams for her family and has a child with special needs that demands extra attention. She begins to imagine the possibilities of doing something to shake up this life when it is shaken for her. And so she takes some time strictly for herself to see what she wants to do.

In many ways, this book is quite dark. There are no rose gardens here, just a bunch of flawed people trying to make their way and love each other in the way they best know. While I certainly kept turning the pages, I had a hard time really liking any of the characters. I could feel some sympathy for Beth and actually quite a bit for Peachy, but I also felt they each were at least somewhat aware of what they could do differently to make their lives better yet they were unwilling to do it.

In the end, this is the story of reclaiming oneself, and it's an engaging read, but it's also a serious read. If you enjoy books with these sorts of messy and complicated relationships than you might also enjoy this one.

(please note this is a general market book with considerable language)


Toni said...

Thank you for this review. I do want to read this book, but it might not be on my holiday upbuilding reading list. I also love books that explore the dynamics of sisters/siblings. Thanks again.

Michele said...

Excellent description of the book, Amy! It's always interesting to find a book where the marketing (so to speak) describes something different than what you experienced reading it. Nice review!

Marie Cloutier said...

great review :-)
i think i fixed my feed problem. let me know if you still get the ads.

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