Title: Names My Sisters Call Me
Author: Megan Crane
Published: April 11, 2008
# of Pages: 318
Courtney, Norah, and Raine Cassel are as different as three sisters can be. Norah, the oldest, is a type A obsessive who hasn’t forgiven Raine, the middle sister, for ruining her wedding day six years ago. Raine is Norah’s opposite, a wild child/performance artist/follow-your-bliss hippie chick who ran off to California. The only thing the two have in common is their ability to drive Courtney, their youngest sister, crazy.
When her longtime boyfriend proposes, Courtney decides it’s finally time to call a truce and bring the three sisters together. After all, they’re grown-ups now, right? But it turns out that family ghosts aren’t easily defeated–and neither are first loves. Soon Courtney finds herself reexamining every choice she has made in the past six years–including the man she’s about to marry–and the value of reconnecting with the sisters she knows she needs, in spite of everything.
I liked this book. It was fun and light, a quick read that kept me involved with its characters and the progression of their story. But I didn’t love it. By far, it wasn’t a favorite of mine in the womens’ fiction genre. Let’s start, though, with the aspects of Names My Sisters Call Me that were positives for me.
I liked two of the characters – Lucas and Norah. What was great about Lucas was how he really stood up for Courtney and truly supported her when the rest of her life was in turmoil, even when she was less than honest with him about some stuff. And Norah, well, she was definitely annoying and self-centered, but her perfectionist personality reminded myself of me, and also she was really the only member of their family (excluding “outside” members like Lucas and Phil) who was completely honest about her feelings. I felt like Courtney and their mother were always trying to smooth problems over and fix everything, and Raine was always avoiding everything, but Norah was the only one willing to say how angry she was and not willing to sweep problems under the rug. I liked that about her.
The second major thing that I liked about Names My Sisters Call Me was the fact that a chunk of the book took place in San Francisco, my favorite city in the United States (that I’ve traveled to, at least!). Reading about Courtney’s time there made me feel like I was right there with her, gazing out toward Alcatraz Island and walking along the beach, smelling the delicious aroma of the salt water. It was fabulous to read about.
What didn’t I like? While parts of the story moved along very quickly, other parts were a little too slow for my liking – what comes to mind first is the middle section after they return from San Francisco. I would have liked more stuff to “happen” during that portion of the story. I also, for some reason, did not feel much sympathy for Courtney. It’s strange, because I too have a sister with whom I have a pretty complicated relationship, but something about Courtney’s personality did not resonate with me and I didn’t much care about her. Don’t get me wrong, I was intersted in what happened to her, but she simply didn’t click with me for some rason.
I was satisfied, however, with the ending, and with the decisions that the characters ultimately made. I closed the book feeling pleased with it overall. Megan Crane is an author I would pick up again, even though I didn’t love my first endeavor into her work.
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