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review 2018-07-10 20:03
Not Really Chick Lit
Bookends - Jane Green

I finished my re-read of this a few days ago, just didn't have the energy to post a review. I think the main issue I had was that the re-read was a bit of a bust. Probably because this wasn't as chick-lit as I was hoping. There are some serious issues here (discussion of HIV and AIDS) but also there is some mean-girling crap that goes on that just didn't fit the characters who were supposed to be adults in their 30s. The main character of Cath just reads as a doormat throughout this book and I just wanted her to be stronger and push back on people more. The ending was okayish, just not great.

 

"Bookends" has Cath and her best friend Si dealing with being unlucky in love. Living in London they seem to be going through the motions of things. Cath refuses to try her hand at love again after having her heart broken and Si is desperate to meet Mr. Right even though the men he is usually with are terrible.

 

Cath and Si have boring, but familiar get togethers with their college friends Josh and Lucy and things seem to be carrying along fine until a woman (Portia) from their college days pops up again.

 

Most of the book is Cath thinking about Portia and how Portia supposedly held them all together until she broke up their friend group. What gets me though is that when we readers finally get a glimpse of Portia, she's not all that Cath (or Green) makes her out to be. There is no there there, and I wanted there to be better development of her.

 

Cath stumbles upon a love interest that wasn't that interesting and Si ends up with a shocking new way of life after a betrayal. The book just ends up taking too many things on and not doing them well.

 

If the above isn't enough, we also have Cath trying to open a bookstore.

 

The writing is typical older Green (when she wrote her chick lit books taking place in London). This just doesn't read or feel like chick lit. The flow is okay, though going back to past and present was a bit much.

 

I guess I was just put out by the whole lesson to be learned about real friends that people who should be old enough should already know at this point.

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review 2017-12-20 14:46
The Sunshine Sisters - Jane Green

The sunshine sisters by Jane Green
Have read other books by the author and have enjoyed them.
This one is about 3 sisters and their mother who's sick. Starts at present day then goes back to 1970's then 2000 then back again.
To me it's so mixed up and hard to keep track of who os who. There are three sisters and the best part for me is when they are summoned home from their jobs and family.
Their mother is very ill and she tells them a secret she's held close for a long time.
The sisters are once again together, something that's not happened since they were young.
Good story and I've though of doing same thing, my husband and myself if our circumstances get to that point. It's legal in OR already.
Wish each of the sisters had gotten their own book because I like to get to know my characters.
Liked mixture of careers and relationships but I couldn't tell you who was who at any given point.
I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).

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review 2017-06-15 14:15
The Sunshine Sisters
The Sunshine Sisters - Jane Green


Ronni Sunshine is a famous, wonderful, pleasant actress on stage, but at home she is anything but wonderful and pleasant. She has no time for her daughters.

We follow Meredith, Nell, and Lizzy as they grow up in an unloving household with a mother who is more of a tyrant than a mother and a mother who cares only for herself.

The girls flee the nest one at a time and have troubles of their own because of their childhood, but now that Ronni is dying, she wants her daughters to rally around her. Ronni also had something else in mind when she invited her daughters back to their childhood home.

Each sister has a totally different personality, and it was interesting to follow them to see the path each one took.  Nell seemed to be the responsible one.  Meredith seemed to still be looking for happiness.  Lizzy was still the fly-by-night, spoiled one.

The family issues and the different lifestyles the girls led were nicely developed by Ms. Green and could be the lifestyle of any young girl growing up trying to make choices.

This is my first book by Ms. Green.  It was an enjoyable read and not something I normally read so I was surprised how her writing and story line pulled me in.

Nell seemed like a genuine person who worked hard in her life to make up what she had missed during her childhood.

Meredith kept speaking to me because of the way she put everyone before herself and kept the peace.

Lizzy was self-centered like her mother, and I liked her the least.

The characters did grow on me as they grew emotionally and made choices they never thought they would.

Women's fiction fans will enjoy this book because of the family drama, the regrets, the healing, and how Ms. Green addressed both family and friend relationships, as well as addressing end-of-life decisions..  4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Source: silversolara.blogspot.com
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review 2017-06-04 11:37
Interesting book that explores family dynamics and relationships
The Sunshine Sisters - Jane Green

Three sisters are summoned home by their mother with no explanation. She wants to give them some news. All three have been estranged, not only from their mother, but from each other. They have rarely returned home to Westport, CT, after they left, and they do not often communicate with each other. They wonder why their mother has reached out to them and wonder if it is just another one of her ploys to get attention.

Ronni Sunshine, their mother, was a famous actress. Nell, Meredith and Lizzy have all lived in her shadow in one way or another, throughout their lives. Ronni had little time for them as they grew up, neglecting them and her marriage, devoting herself to her work in order to further her career.

Each sister has a different personality which developed in response to the way in which their mother treated them and the way they reacted to her often cruel tirades and selfish needs. Lizzie is forceful and confident and would laugh, never letting her mother’s moods bother her. Nell would withdraw and show no emotion, when the moods were particularly unpleasant. Meredith would feel shame and blame herself when her mother harangued her. She lacked self confidence. She took the brunt of her mother’s rage.

How each daughter reacts to the call to return home to see their mother and how they interact with each other is the substance of the novel. It explores the relationship between parent and child, sibling and sibling and husband and wife. Relationships between partners of same and opposite sex, married and unmarried are unmasked and described in detail. How will they all get along when they suddenly find themselves thrown together in their family home, confronting the anger and jealousy they each harbored toward each other and their mother?

There are some humorous as well as some more serious touching moments as the story rolls out. The author presented several important issues and they were developed well. In addition, like most books today, the author seemed eager to subtly present her views on controversial issues through the types of characters she developed, the problems they faced, the careers they pursued, and the lifestyles they chose. At times, it felt a little contrived as it moved back and forth in time, revealing the family’s history and problems by exposing the memories of each character. However, it did keep me interested and was an enjoyable read. It is definitely more of the type of a book I would describe as chick lit or a companion to take with you on vacation. I especially enjoyed reading about some of the communities in the story which were suburban or bucolic and with which I am familiar.   

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review 2017-05-30 19:32
Wow. This Was Bad.
Mr. Maybe - Jane Green

This was one Jane Green book from her chick lit days I never read. I wondered why I never bought this and now I know why. I must have read the sample and said no thank you. That was a smart decision. I am kind of horrified at how bad this book was. The main character was awful, so were two of her love interests. Her friend was having issues (serious ones) that she ignored. Her mother made Mrs. Bennett in Pride and Prejudice look like a saint. I mean my God. That's a terrible bar to be lower than. So why did I keep reading? I kept wondering how bad could it get. It got really bad.

 

Told in the first person, we have Libby Mason who is looking for love in all the wrong places. Libby is told constantly by her terrible mother that she's not worth a damn until she gets married and married to a man with money. And though Libby has dated (and frankly based on the way she acts, I can see why men left her butt) she is still looking to date a rich man who can keep her in designer clothes and a million dollar mansion. Working in publicity has Libby next to the wealthy, but she's not wealthy. 

When she goes out with friends, she runs into Nick (who she has met before). She and Nick have insta-chemistry/lust in this one and though Libby knows it won't work out, thinks she is capable of just having a fling with Nick (she's not). 

 

Nick is everything that Libby doesn't want, he's jobless, poor, and doesn't see a problem with dressing like he's homeless. But you know, hot sex, yadda yadda yadda. When Libby starts to catch feelings for Nick, he realizes they should stop while they are ahead. Libby then ends up meeting her rich man and wonders if he is the one for her.

 

I just can't with this book. Nick is a jerk and so are his friends. Libby is a jerk too though so I don't know who wins that contest. I have never read a book about so many unlikable people in my life. And the only one I felt sorry for was the guy Libby ends up dating after Nick, Ed. Ed wines and dines Libby and she's angry that he's bad in bed, has a gross mustache, etc. but is still happy to get all the flowers and presents the guy showers onto her. Her mother practically offers herself up to him if he will keep dating Libby.

 

I think in the end I should be happy about follow your heart or something, but wow they all suck. 

 

 

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