Saturday, July 6, 2013

Summer with my Sister – Lucy Diamond

Polly has always been the glamorous sister with the high flying job in the City and an expensive lifestyle to match whilst Claire is a single mum, struggling to make ends meet as she brings up her two children in a ramshackle cottage just around the corner from her parents who are her main support. The two sisters couldn’t be more different, they barely speak to each other any more and these days only get together around Christmas time each year.

Suddenly, Polly’s fortunes change and she finds herself penniless with nowhere else to go other than back to her home town. Her parents have a small place which is just about big enough for the two of them and as soon as Claire realises the sacrifices her parents are making having Polly stay with them, she, reluctantly, offers Polly a room in her home. For the first time in years the two sisters find themselves living together.

With all the close proximity, the children playing up, a petulant ex-husband, the re-appearance of an old flame, the resurfacing of a long hidden family secret and the raised emotions all this evokes, the two sisters find that things are a bit fraught but when the chips are down, is blood thicker than water after all?

This is a lovely story about family dynamics and the ties that bind us. The storyline may sound a bit cliché from the description, however, it is written in such a way that it is anything but cliché. Lucy Diamond does a great job of making her characters believable, flawed, vulnerable and powerful when it matters most. She draws some great caricatures of City-types and village folks and the pace of events is timed perfectly.

Summer with my Sister is only the second Lucy Diamond book I have read (the other one was The Beach Café, which I loved and is also a great summer read) and after reading it I immediately ordered her new book – Me and Mr Jones – because I loved this one so much. It is an entertaining and heart-warming story and I highly recommend it as a summer read.