The MacLeod sisters are four very different individuals who share quite a history. Avril, the oldest, is a dedicated career woman with little time or patience to fall in love and have a relationship. Milly is the overwrought mother of four who is approaching a midlife breakdown. Natalie is the Stepford wife wanna-be who has become an almost intolerable Bridezilla in her attempt to win over her future in-laws. Hazel, the baby of the family, is a vagabond, free-spirited woman-child who gets along with everyone but Natalie. When she comes home for Natalie’s wedding with Matt, an old family friend, the sister’s lives veer drastically off-course.
This is the second book I’ve read by Ellie Campbell. The story is set in England and, like the last book I read, I had to get adjusted to the different tone and style of writing. The story starts quickly, with little preamble – I immediately found myself in the middle of some intense drama that never really subsided. It’s quite a ride. The author has a knack for dialogue and physical comedy, especially in the group setting. There are several characters in the story and many family squabbles, but I never got lost – I was picturing family scenes similar to the television shows Brothers & Sisters and Parenthood.
The storyline is full of surprises, which I don’t want to spoil. Suffice as to say, there are multitudes of family problems, rivalries, arguments and tragedies. It would have been overwhelming, if not for the entertainment value that the unique and fully developed characters provided. At times however the sisters were rather nasty to each other and I didn’t care for that. I didn’t grow up with a sister, perhaps that’s just par for the course? Another disappointment for me was how Natalie’s story was quickly wrapped up in a neat little bow. I would have liked a bigger payoff for her (and me). Overall though, How To Survive Your Sisters is a thoroughly entertaining story.