Odette and Olivia are seemingly identical in all facets – Harvard graduates, accomplished doctors (one an OB-Gyn, the other a pediatrician), each happily married with a “McMansion” apiece and both pregnant. As Clementine observes “Despite our closeness, my sisters were sometimes a unit without me. All my life I’d mournfully watch the walls of their castle, wishing they would crumble and let me march in.”
Clementine is the perfect singleton – choosing Bs and Cs over As, graduating not from Harvard, but Oberlin. She has had a few career stops and starts and is currently living in her parents’ carriage house, applying to vet schools. She is also a widow of sorts – her college boyfriend drowned over one summer break – and she has fallen in and out of relationships ever since.
The triplets’ parents are controlled. Dad, a pediatric neuurologist, makes Mom account for every penny spent in an account book. Each family member is required to record their whereabouts in yet another account book. Mom ran a tight ship and, now that the triplets, are on their own, has become ensconsed in the world of her greenhouse and flowers. And it is at this point that Dad goes AWOL and Mom’s complete faith in Dad is shattered. It also brings about divisions and reconstitutions within the sisterhood, with all three girls realizing both their individualities as well as their sisterhood, not two and one, but three – ” . . . we are sisters together, but not alone.”
This was a good read. It is well written, effortlessly shifting from present to past. It is a well-written message of the realities of families as imperfect. Truly enjoyable!
Simon & Schuster provided a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
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