Friday, June 10, 2011

Book Review: The Story Sisters

I picked up this book at my local library.  I received nothing in exchange for this review.

Alice Hoffman has written other stories, of which I remember exactly Practical Magic, not because I read it, but because I love the movie.

Anyway, The Story Sisters is about three sisters whose last name is Story.  Their lives, as written, are rich and complex and troubling and captivating, for the most part.  Some parts of the book dragged a bit, though I kept reading, because the story as a whole had me wanting to know what happened.

The story bounces around from their home in a relatively small town in New York, to New York City, to Paris.  The girls' grandmas live in Paris, though one is of Russian descent.  The peripheral characters, most notably the family members are well-drawn and add to the book.  Each girl has her own demons, and since we hit the story running when the oldest is fifteen, we get to know those demons pretty quickly.  In some ways, this story is typical of any three siblings, with internal squabbles, but a united front to any outsider.  Two of the girls are closer because of something in their past.  It doesn't take long for the oldest girl to go off the deep end, and her downward spiral informs the actions of the rest of the family for years to come.

My biggest disappointment with The Story Sisters was the ending.  It would have been a good ending for a less complex tale, but something this intricate deserved a better ending than the one we got.

I would have given this four stars, but the ending lost a star, and this story rates only a solid Good because of it.