Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Book Review: When We Were Sisters

About the Book:

As children in foster care, Cecilia and Robin vowed they would be the sisters each had never had. Now superstar singer-songwriter Cecilia lives life on the edge, but when Robin is nearly killed in an accident, Cecilia drops everything to be with her. 

Robin set aside her career as a successful photojournalist to create the loving family she always yearned for. But gazing through a wide-angle lens at both past and future, she sees that her marriage is disintegrating. Her attorney husband is rarely home. She and the children need Kris's love and attention, but does Kris need them? 

When Cecilia asks Robin to be the still photographer for a documentary on foster care, Robin agrees, even though Kris will be forced to take charge for the months she's away. She gambles that he'll prove to them both that their children—and their marriage—are a priority in his life. 

Cecilia herself needs more than time with her sister. A lifetime of lies has finally caught up with her. She wants a chance to tell the real story of their childhood and free herself from the nightmares that still haunt her. 

As the documentary unfolds, memories will be tested and the meaning of family redefined, but the love two young girls forged into bonds of sisterhood will help them move forward as the women they were always meant to be.

My Comments:

Emilie Richards is a favorite author and this book did not disappoint.  Cecilia and Robin are both probably in their early thirties.  Robin's kids are in school and her neighborhood friends, who have kids her kids age are moving on with their lives--going back to work or getting involved in things beyond the neighborhood playgroup.  She hasn't been able to move on because her husband, a high-powered attorney, is never home, so the kids and house are pretty much a full time job.  Her best friend's death is the catalyst for her to take action and join her "sister" in making a documentary about the foster care system in which they were both raised.  

Some friends and I were talking at one point about adopting older children in need of a home.  Basically, we all said we couldn't do that to our kids.  The kids in the foster care system aren't kids who were in a perfectly happy, perfectly functional two parent home until their parents were tragically killed in car accident (at least not the overwhelming majority).  They are kids whose lives were bad when they were with their parents or other relatives and who generally have all sorts of problems as a result.  Cecilia and Robin had their share of problems but managed to bond with each other.  Now, as an adult, Cecilia, who is now a celebrity, is going to tell the story of how she ended up in foster care and what happened to her as a foster child.  Watching the characters film the documentary tells us about the past, and as the characters live their daily lives we see how that past has made them into the women they are today.  

I really enjoyed the book, though I found the big secret to be rather unbelievable--though unfortunately I found what led up to it to be much more believable.   Once Robin and Cecilia confronted their past and were honest with each other about what they knew, both of them were on a road to healed relationships.  

I'd like to thank the publisher for providing a complimentary review copy via NetGalley.  Grade:  B+

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