1. It’s a memoir. I like memoir.
2. It’s about sisters. I have a sister.
3. The sisters grew up around the same time I grew up. I like relating.
However, it fell flat.
I wanted to like it. I liked the structure. The chapters switch back and forth between the two sisters and start off with the age they were when the moment happened. You often see the same event from both points of view, which is great because of the four year age difference. This worked well when the two were dealing with their mother’s miscarriage.
Except for that one section though, I found myself not really caring.
I think it was the written voice of the sisters. It felt like they were dictating the basic elements to someone else and not exploring the emotions behind everything. It felt like adults trying to remember how a teenager would feel and then trying to wrap that around their current version. There were a few horrible moments and I thought to myself “I should be really upset about this, but I’m not.” I was upset that I didn’t feel upset.
Even when they did get into emotions, it felt too much like telling and not showing. There were a few moments that felt real and captured what had happened. Unfortunately these made other moments feel even more flat because they didn’t hold up. The potential was there but the follow through wasn’t.
I did relate to much of the story. My sister is six years older than I am, so I responded to Natalie’s reactions to Shannon. However, their family dynamics are nothing like mine and my sister’s. However, there were some universal threads in there so the book wasn’t a total loss.