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67 of 72 people found the following review helpful
BETWEEN SISTERS by Kristin Hannah
February 9, 2008

Rating 4/5 stars

This was my first book by Kristin Hannah and I loved it! I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the story and how fast I was able to get through it.

Meghann Dontess is a high-powered divorce lawyer and is obviously very successful based on where she lives and how she lives. She goes from man to man, never seeing anyone for very long, avoiding commitments. Her life is empty. Part of Meghann's problem is a guilt that she's lived with for most of her life. She and her younger sister Claire Cavenaugh were separated when Meghann decided to leave Claire with Claire's biological father. Their mother rarely was around to take care of them, and in order to save themselves, Meghann had gone in search of Claire's biological father, who promptly took them in. But Meghann and Claire's father clashed, and so Meghann ran away, knowing she was leaving Claire in responsible hands. But since that parting, the two sisters have grown apart, and every time they do talk on the phone, they fight. Meghann actually took care of Claire as a mother would a daughter, because their own mother was not responsible enough or was ever there to take care of them herself. Being an actress was much more important to their mother.

Now, Meghann and Claire are reunited. Claire has decided to marry a man that she had just recently met, and Meghann feels it's her responsibility to steer Claire in the right direction. Meghann had been out of Claire's life for the past 27 years, but now she feels it's time to do the right thing. Claire, however, doesn't want her older sister meddling. All she wants is Meghann's blessing.

When everything seemed to be falling into place, something happens that may bring short the sisters' new found friendship. I don't want to reveal what happens, but the story becomes a near tragedy by the end of the book, and will have the reader in tears.

In a subplot, Meghann meets a man while visiting Claire and helping her get ready for the big wedding. He's a mystery at first, until the reader and the characters in the story realize who he is, the brother of one of Claire's best friends. His story is tragic and ties in with Claire's, as it will be revealed in the last half of the story. Meghann may have finally found the man of her dreams, but she is afraid to go that extra step. Commitment had never been her strong point, and she is afraid she may get hurt again.

BETWEEN SISTERS was a highly enjoyable piece of women's fiction. Good writing style, characters who were believable, and I was very interested to know how things were resolved at the end. I will definitely be reading more by this author.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2003
What a great book! The story of Meg and Claire will evoke every emotion you can muster up...anger, misunderstanding, happiness, sadness, joy...I could go on and on. I don't even need to describe the story line, all you need to know is that if you like a heartwarming story...this is the book for you. Kristin Hannah has done it again.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Author Hannah sets up an intriguing dilemma, one that will be familiar to many readers. Two sisters strike out in different directions, then come together again at a critical point in their lives. WIll they reconcile? That's what keeps the pages turning. But I believe the deeper question is: Why should they feel guilty if they don't?
The novel begins with big sister Meaghan, a hotshot divorce lawyer, being challenged by her highly-paid therapist. She's almost a stereotype: wealthy and successful with an unsatisfying, empty personal life. Coincidentally Claire, the younger sister, has just become engaged to a country singer. Naturally Meaghan's first thought is not to congratulate the bride, but to offer help with the pre-nuptial agreement!
Hannah begins by emphasizing the contrast between the sisters. Claire, a party-girl who dropped out of college, versus Meaghan who got a law degree. Claire, simple in the country; Meaghan, sophisticated in the city. Stereotypically, we're supposed to feel sympathy for Claire and resent Meaghan's heavy-handed intrusions.
Meaghan feels guilty about losing touch with Claire, but it's hard to see why. As children, left alone by a self-centered mother who stumbled into a starring television role, Meaghan saved Claire from a foster home with Social Services. It was Meaghan who ended up homeless, who put herself through college and law school. In the novel, I believe the Meaghan character was more well-rounded and more interesting, with contradictions that led to questions.
Following a bizarre episode in a courtroom, Meaghan finds herself with time on her hands. She visits Claire and volunteers to help with the wedding. Personally, I think attending a bridal shower with *games* is going beyond sisterly devotion, entering the realm of masochism -- a funny and sad scene, marred only by wondering why an experienced sophisticate like Meaghan wouldn't ask ahead of time about dress code.
After that the book becomes predictable. I don't want to give away the ending -- which most readers will figure out somewhere early in the book -- but by a series of coincidences, everyone ends up helping everyone else. A frog...er, bum...turns out to be a prince. And Meaghan becomes transformed. Pre-nup? No way!
Of course this book has to follow genre conventions, but I wish we had been exposed to a more complex sisterly relationship (see The Interpreter by Kim for an excellent recent example). Sure, I kept turning the pages, but it was like finishing up a gooey dessert. By the end I was ready for a return to meat and potatoes.
And what's so unromantic about a pre-nuptial agreement? Given the career directions of some of the characters, I bet everybody will eventually wish they'd had one!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on October 9, 2005
This is one of the most outstanding books that I have ever read! It has all the elements of a book that can't be put down nor wait until the next chapter. I listened to it in audio form and even carried the cassette player in my pocket while doing chores! That's how good it was. Didn't want to miss a single line. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a book that has love, family, mystery, challenges, good and bad relationships, healing old wounds and appreciation of people that touch your lives. You won't be able to put this one down!!!!!!!!!!!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2003
Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah, is another heartwarming story by this amazing author. I have read all of Hannah's books, and each and every one of her books is endearing and so filled with life's realities. Hannah is able to draw the reader directly into the story and one just does not want to put her books down until the every end! The reader is relating to all the characters by feeling all of their emotions and seeing their world perfectly due to the artistry of Hannah's words.
I love Hannah's books, as they are so full of hope and love, even through the challenges that life presents each and every one of us. There is nothing stronger than love and Hannah portrays that so very well in all of her books. A crisis surely pulls a family together, where the love of one another is able to overcome even the strongest challenge.
Hannah portrays that so well with her latest book on the bond of two sisters, broken apart by life, yet love pulls them and those around them closer together. Love heals, as Hannah so clearly shows. Sisters torn apart by family forces yet brought together again though their love of one another.
Hannah's books are not only wonderful stories, but she also weaves a message throughout her books that just fills one with hope.
I loved this book and highly recommend it anyone! You will not be disappointed! Five stars does not do this book justice!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
I thoroughly enjoyed BETWEEN SISTERS, but that doesn't surprise me, for Hannah always delivers a well-written, emotional story about relationships and situations that most women face sometime in their lives. Women's fiction is my favorite genre (or sub-genre, that's an ongoing debate) and there are a number of authors who are at the top of my list TBR. Hannah is one of them. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2006
Having never read Kristin Hannah before, I found this book on a clearance shelf, so I took a chance & bought it. WOW!!! What a great story. I have never read a book that literally moved me to the point of tears, as "Between Sisters" did.

(Truth be told, I was sobbing like a baby).

I was so impressed with this book, I ran out & purchased many of her other titles. She is now on my list of favorite authors & I eagerly await her new releases.

"Between Sisters" is one of her best.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2004
Wow, what a great book!! This was my first Kristin Hannah novel and definitely won't be my last! I laughed with these characters, I cried with them and I also rejoiced with them. I'm amazed at Hannah's ability to make you to feel what her characters are feeling. In fact, I really feel like I know them personally now and I'm sad that the story is over. This book was a fun read and a fast page turner. I really didn't want to stop reading once I started. Read this book!!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2003
Kristin Hannah always delivers. Between Sisters has all the things I love in a book - rich, believable characters, individuals who must face their fears and weaknesses in order to grow, external challenges, friends, romance, and a great plot. I had to pace my reading so I wouldn't finish it too quickly!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 10, 2012
I was so excited to read this book based on all the 5- and 4-star reviews. What a disappointment. While the story was engaging, the characters were caricatures of real people, and the plot required so much suspension of disbelief I couldn't fully enjoy the pleasant story.

I wish someone had indicated in the reviews that this is not serious literature at all. It's not even semi-serious literature. It's just a mildly enjoyable romance novel, with some funny lines and likable characters.

Slight spoiler here: The beautiful, and completely unrealistic, tying up of loose ends was too unbelievable to be satisfying, and really, the author should do a little more research if she's going to tackle a medical subject. A patient who just underwent brain surgery is not going to wake up with a headache in a recovery room -- she's going to be in intensive care. These sorts of false details and the far-fetched ending left me feeling like I'd just wasted a good bit of time on this book.
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