June 1, 2016

When We Were Sisters. Emilie Richards.

When We Were Sisters book cover
Published:Mira.
Date: 31st May 2016
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 496
Genre: Fiction
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Rating:
5 stars             Add to Goodreads
As children in foster care, Cecilia and Robin vowed they would be the sisters each had never had. Thirty years later their bond remains strong. International pop star Cecilia lives life on the edge, but when Robin is nearly killed in an accident, she drops everything to be with her.

Robin set aside her career as a successful photojournalist to create the loving family she always yearned for. But now, as she realizes how close she's come to losing everything, she questions what she really has. Gazing through a wide-angle lens at both past and future she sees that her marriage is disintegrating. Her attorney husband is rarely home, leaving Robin to be both mother and father. She and the children need Kris's love and attention, but does Kris need them?

When Cecilia asks Robin to be the still photographer for a documentary on foster care, Robin agrees, even though Kris will be forced to take charge for the months she's away. She gambles that he'll prove to them both that their children—and their marriage—are a priority in his life.

Cecilia herself needs more than time with her sister. A lifetime of lies has finally caught up with her. She wants a chance to tell the real story of their childhood and free herself from the nightmares that still color her nights.

As the documentary unfolds, memories will be tested and the meaning of family redefined, but the love two young girls forged into bonds of sisterhood will help them move forward as the women they were always meant to be.
My thoughts banner
Emilie Richards has again written a story that held me enthralled all the way through. I read it slowly because I wanted to linger and be with the characters in their struggles  to sort through their lives and see what they truly valued and wanted. It is a powerful story, with complex characters - with two women, while meeting in the foster care system are truly sisters. The only part I hated was the end. No the ending of the story was fine - I just wanted it to go on and on!

Cecilia and Robin met in a foster care home and bonded. Cecilia was older and always looked out for Robin. Yet when we meet them they are adults and going about their lives - not always though with peace and happiness. Robin is a mother of two and wife to husband Kris. She is at a point in her life when she wants to be more. She has that need I think we all have, to have a creative purpose in life that tests our own unique passion and skill set. For Robin that is photography. As the story opens she is making a stand for herself.

Kris her husband is very unavailable - a lawyer who at this point in his life is working hard to keep his family well cared for in monetary terms. However he is missing out on family life and giving them what they really need - himself. How he develops over the story is interesting and I liked how eventually he chooses what was most important for him.

Cecilia is a very successful singer/song writer, famous and rich. Yet apart from Robin she really holds people at arm's length and doesn't let them in. She likes to be in control, but that is all about to change. Mick a documentary film maker has asked Cecilia to work with him on her experience in the foster care system. As well Robin comes along as the stills photographer on set.

The story is told in the first person from three points of view - Cecilia, Robin and Kris. I really liked this because each narrator does not see what is exactly going on in the others, yet we the readers do. It made me think of how quick I might be to judge something or someone, without really knowing what is going on for them.

As the movie is made Cecilia and Robin bond in a new way as they re-experience the past. In facing the past, feelings are explored and revelations made. Some I saw coming - some I didn't. These two women are courageous and in the exploration healing happens. 

I loved the main characters and the minor ones. Each had their part to play and enriched the experience. I think especially of Hayley, a young girl in the foster care system, Roscoe a dog in need of rescue, Robin and Kris' children, well just about each one of them - good or bad - made this novel what it is. 

Secrets, lies, guilt, hard heartedness, cruelty and deep hurt on one hand, - revelation, love, forgiveness, standing for self, owning the real self and trust - on the other.  And very importantly - the rights of children to safety, care and love. The kind of book I totally love, placing it on my Keeper's Shelf!

Find Emilie Richards:
On her website - Emilie Richards She is very active on her blog and has culled a playlist to go with When We Were Sisters, plus some other posts about the characters in the book.

Find: When We Were Sisters


19 comments:

  1. A keeper shelf read! Those are well obviously great :D

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    1. Yes the Keepers I keep and hopefully reread if there is time.

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  2. Wow! Great review Katheryn. I'm of corse adding this to my ToRead list. So many books so little time. My turn for selecting a book for my book club is coming up in a couple of months. I think I will put this on my reccomendation list, if I don't read it before then.

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    1. This would be very good for a book club selection as there would be plenty to discuss.

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  3. Kathryn what a fantastic review! I too loved the first person, loved getting into the heads of her characters and understood more why each individual did what they did. I hope she continues her Goddess Anonymous series but she told me that right now Mira, her publisher wants only single titles so she'e exploring other options for her series outlet.
    Again FANTASTIC review!!!
    xo

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    1. Thanks Debbie. Yes if it were me the publisher (ahem!) I'd want more of the Goddess Anonymous series - they are her very best in my humble opinion! I hope she does explore elsewhere.

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  4. Oh, this one sounds heartbreakingly good! I love a good sister story (I guess because I only have brothers....)

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    1. Oh I have six sisters Melinda!! Have you noticed how many titles there are with sister in the title? I have become aware of it since tracking this book.

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  5. You had me at the foster care theme....I love anything and everything that shows kids experiencing the challenges they face in foster care, and when they develop bonds, I am always rooting for them. Thanks for sharing; this one sounds really good.

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    1. Aha Laurel-Rain I knew! You are the perfect reader for this.

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  6. I really need to read one of her books.

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    1. Do give ER a go Mary. As I said above I love her Goddess Anonymous series - would be a good place to start.

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  7. This was a great review, Kathryn. I found the book interesting. Gonna check to make sure I have it on my TBR.

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    1. Stefanie certainly worth the read.

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  8. I love Emilie Richards and how she wonderfully she writes about really difficult situations. I love the sound of the sisters and with it being Richards I'm sure it's amazing. Fantastic review! I can't wait to read this.

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    1. Katherine she is such an unique writer, I have been saying I love the Goddess Anon series and then I think, wait... what about the Shenandoah Album too.

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  9. I just brought this one home and look forward to it.

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  10. I just saw this one (I think in Costco?) the other day. I didn't pick it up (telling myself I have hundreds of books to be read). If it's still there next time I go, it will be coming home with me!

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