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Sunday 22 January 2023
SISTERS by Judith Barrow #TuesdayBookBlog @JudithBarrow77
How I discovered this book: have enjoyed a few by the author in the past, and saw her talking about it on Twitter :)
In a Nutshell: Family drama set in northern England and Wales in the 70s.
I was immediately engrossed in the premise of this book - in 1970, sisters Mandy and Angela are forever torn apart by a tragic event that changes the entire dynamic of their family life forever, and for which there is no fix. The question of fault and blame encircles all of them - a tangle of smoke and mirrors, deals made, emotions never voiced, that will imprison the players in anguish for many years; the truths are as painful as any of the lies told. Angela decides on a course of action that she will regret deeply in years to come, while Mandy takes a safer path.
The first part of this book, in particular, is so well drawn, and illustrates the time in which it was set so well. It's not the music or the mentions of platform shoes, but the attitudes of the working people, their prejudices and delight in pointing a finger. I thought Mandy's experiences at school were so realistic.
As the story carries on the true antagonist emerges; the plot is skillfully put together, with developments I did not foresee, as the two young women move forward in their vastly different lives. I felt that a lot of emotion went into the writing of this story and it weeps out of the pages, it really does.
On occasion I would have liked a bit more detail about some areas/periods that were covered quickly, but on the whole it's a very well-structured novel. If you like down-to-earth family dramas, you will love this!