The Good Sister Paperback – October 1, 2010
An Amazon Book with Buzz: "Sweet Sorrow" by David Nicholls
"With fully fleshed-out characters, terrific dialogue, bountiful humor, and genuinely affecting scenes, this is really the full package of a rewarding, romantic read."—Booklist Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
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Roxanne has spent her adult life trying to forge some level of independence for both herself and her sister, yet cannot seem to break away, even at the potential cost of her own marriage.
This is a timely subject, post partum depression/ psychosis is more common than most people think and effects people at all socio economic levels. Most people have a lot less sympathy for a wealthy women who can afford to have household help and Simone was such a controversial offender, in part, because of her wealth.
The parts about Simone and Roxanne's childhood went a long way to explain how they ended up in the roles that the played in life.
I loved that Drusilla Campbell painted Johnny (Simone's husband) to be a 3 dimensional character. He was quite unlikable in places, yet in other places, he was almost loveable. Their mother Ellen was also well written, at times she seemed totally irredeemable and yet, she also had her moments of good.
I really loved little Merrell. She was smart, perceptive, funny and very in charge. She kept things running but deserved much better. She was quickly becoming an adult in a child's body. I just wanted to slow this down for her.
The crying baby felt so real for me. My oldest was a crier and was not a sleeper at all. I could sympathize with the fact that nobody in the house ever got any peace. It really puts anyone on edge.
Although it dealt with a very disturbing topic, the author handled the attempted murder scene quite well; without any unnecessary description or sensationalized details.
WHAT DIDN'T WORK:
This was a good book. There wasn't a lot that didn't work for me. I guess it frustrated me that no one forced Simone to get any mental help until it was almost too late. With all these people around her and all the money and education they had, you would have thought someone would have seen it coming.
First off, I really like the author. She paints an interesting picture and her story is easy to follow and become immersed in. I really enjoyed the throw-back aspect of the girl's childhood and the relationship with mom and grandma. However, I just didn't see how the rest of the book fit together. Yes, we know one of the main characters has a mental illness. Yes, we know she has "issues," but these were never adequately explained. I would have liked to hear more about her history and how this impacted her sister, husband, mother, etc. To me it seemed like a selfish and childish woman rather than a woman who is mentally ill or of borderline intelligence. Also, I didn't particularly like any of the other characters, either- so maybe that's why it has been hard to reflect on the underlying messages of the book.
I don't know... I would read another one of her books but I'm not sure I would recommend this particular read to any of my friends. It's good, but not great. And the reader is sort of left with alot of unanswered questions and alot of gaps within the relationships and overall story line. I know I was left with a "what was the point of that book?" kind of mentality and even as I sit here and write this review, I still feel that way.