It took a while to really get into this because it all seemed a bit “set piece “, but about half way through, she had me, even though you can see the levers being pushed.
Basically, two sisters with different fathers and a shallow, egotistical Mama have trouble connecting as adults. One is a driven divorce lawyer. The younger has lived with her father at a rural camping ground since the age of nine, when Mama took off to be in a TV series. The elder mothered the younger, who felt abandoned when the elder, having gone off the rails, disappears. Thanks to the help of a school teacher, the elder pulls herself up by the bootstraps to become the high earning lawyer with commitment issues. The younger, meanwhile, after bombing out of school and having a baby at a young age, has the loving support of friends and father. Hannah is good at describing how the sisters get their wires crossed, misinterpreting the intentions of the other.
When the younger falls for an itinerant singer and decides to marry him, the older is all set to persuade her out of it. With a great deal of difficulty, the feisty lawyer keeps her mouth shut on criticism and by way of restitution, offers to help organise the reception. The two are becoming closer and healing is in sight.
Then disaster strikes in the form of a tumour. This is where the book really takes off. Through tears you find yourself really hoping that it will work out, but fearing that it won’t. The sisters really come together in a very difficult situation that is well described.
This is very competent writing that covers many modern difficulties. It’s often very funny as well, particularly when the lawyer sasses her shrink. The subplots are interesting. The basic message here is that damaged people need to learn to trust the possibility of love.