The Alphabet Sisters by Monica McInerney

Australian born Dublin, Ireland based author, Monica McInerney,  has written several best-selling novels.  I found her book “The Alphabet Sisters” when my local library was selling off some books.  The story revolves around three sisters Anna, Bett, and Carrie Quinlan. They were childhood singing stars known as The Alphabet Sisters. Their flamboyant grandmother Lola was the glue that held them together. As adults, though, the women have not spoken in years – ever since Bett’s fiancé deserted her to marry her younger sister, Carrie. Now Lola is turning eighty and she is determined to reunite the girls for a grand birthday bash. No one ever says no to Lola.

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Bett now lives in London, England. She is hesitant to face her sisters after the scandal of losing her fiance.  Sophisticated Anna is the eldest sister.  Anna is not too keen on the idea of the reunion either,however, she’s secretly grateful for the excuse to leave her failing marriage in Sydney, Australia. Carrie, who remained in Clare Valley, is perhaps the most apprehensive. Her marriage, which is the cause of the sisters’ estrangement, is also on the rocks.

Lola makes a special request, that the girls stage a musical she has written.  This means their short visit becomes a much longer commitment.  As they are forced to spend more time together,  the sisters confront the difficulties between them.

Misunderstandings are slowly put aside and the three find themselves gradually, irresistibly reuniting again:  until an unexpected turn of events changes everything in ways none of them could have ever imagined.

The author layers the light hearted antics of small-town life with a heartbreaking story of sibling loyalty lost and found, “The Alphabet Sisters” is an unforgettable story of two generations of women who learn that being true to themselves means being true to one another. I read the book whilst on holiday in Portugal.  It is the first book I have read for a long time that truly made me cry.  If you have missed the book to date, take a body-swerve and read it now.

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