What is one sister without the other? Is it even possible to imagine?
New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice explores the complex emotional equations of love and loyalty that hold together three pairs of remarkable sisters. Here in the halls of Newport Academy, a unique private school that has attracted generations of rebels, outcasts, and visionaries, an unforgettable lesson in the eternal truths of sisterhood is about to begin….
After years away, Maura Shaw has returned to Newport, Rhode Island, to teach English at the academy. Behind her lies her life as the perfect Midwestern wife and mother, a life that seemed on the surface to be all she had ever wished for. That illusion vanished in a storm off Mackinac Island in the wake of an accident that engulfed Maura’s husband and her older daughter, Carrie. Now, with her son and younger daughter, she hopes to find a new beginning.
Newport has never failed to infuse Maura with a sense of mystery and hope. But for fourteen-year-old Beck, the move is a painful upheaval from everything she has ever loved—especially her sister, Carrie. Ever since her sister disappeared, Beck has retreated into the world of mathematics, where principles are permanent, unlike so many other things in life. Without Carrie, Beck has lost half of herself—the half that would have fit in at the elite private school she and her brother, Travis, will now attend. The half that made things right. Still, Beck clings to the hope that her sister will return to them.
My perception of Luanne Rice has always been that she writes fiction for more 'mature' audiences. I have no idea where that judgement came from, but it's prevented me from reading anything by her before. However, this book popped up as a recommendation from my local library and the title intrigued me. I come from a family of four girls, so naturally the idea of sisterhood appeals to me.
This book did not disappoint. While none of the story lines are ground-breaking (old love rekindled, the sinner repents, the lost child is found) the feeling of longing (for a mother, a sister, a lover) is palpable. I found myself pondering what could possibly make me walk away from my relationship with my mother, my sisters. And that is where I found the story to be just slightly disingenuous. Nothing could make me walk away from them - certainly not the reasons cited in the book. Which kind of makes the whole story feel just a little bit disappointing and predictable.
Overall, it was a decent read, but it doesn't necessarily change my opinion of the author. I might pick and choose over her other titles, but I won't be adding her to my 'Must Read' list.