4 out of 4 stars
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The Reel Sisters by Michelle Cummings is a fiction novel about the lives of five women who are drawn together through the sport of fly fishing. Their friendship defies social status and age. Their love of fly fishing bonds them and creates a very unique friendship. This book is a beautiful tale of the realities of life and relationships. It is a reminder that anything is endurable with true friends by your side.
This novel is the tale of five very different women. Cummings has written this novel with a unique pattern. Each chapter is simply titled by the name of the character sharing the events of their life, and the chapters rotate back and forth between characters. This allows the reader to feel very close to each character and to have real insight into their thoughts.
The story begins as you meet Sophie. Sophie grew up on a farm in Kansas. She hunted and fished growing up but had never gone fly fishing. After watching the movie “A River Runs Through It”, she was intrigued. The pristine setting and fly casting had her hooked. Sophie shares how she met Rose and where the group meets to go fishing. You learn about the matriarch, Rose, and her beautiful cabin on the Arkansas River in Colorado. Rose and her husband built the cabin in the 1960s. Rose graciously shares her cabin with her friends and always has hot food ready with a glass of wine. You are immediately connected to Rose as if she were your favorite aunt you have known all your life. As Sophie shares how she met Rose, you get a very clear picture of the sense of humor shared between them. Rose shares how they met while looking at flies in a fly shop. She was laughing out loud at the names such as “Two-Bit Hooker” when Rose overheard her. Rose exclaimed her success using those flies by saying it was the best two-dollar hooker she ever bought! The bond was instant.
The story continues as you also meet Veronica and Amanda. Veronica is an executive who travels extensively coaching women to be better leaders. Amanda is a teacher with two small children. Her husband is deployed to Afghanistan. Melody is literally swept into their little group after falling into the river while taking nude photos of herself. Melody is a very talented photographer and musician.
The reader is taken on a journey of discovery as the lives of each character unfold. I loved most how you learn about each character personally. You learn of Sophie’s broken heart and struggle to love again. You connect with Rose as she slowly shares all she has lost in her life. Cummings carefully and slowly reveals her secrets. Veronica is an inspiration as you learn of her success that is truly related to her fly fishing hobby. You feel the struggle Amanda has daily to work full time and then come home and be a single mother while her husband is deployed. You relate to Melody as she joins this already solid group of four. She is a loner and a unique individual that seemingly doesn’t fit. I believe what makes this group so special is they are completely bonded through fly fishing. With this common sport, all are accepted.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel. It made me laugh and cry. It made me long for the solid girlfriends to go through life with. When I read the last page I was so disappointed it was over! I felt like I had lost a group of friends. I am anxiously awaiting the sequel! I found no errors and I give The Reel Sisters 4 out of 4 stars because of the eloquent story and moving characters. The only thing I disliked about this book was the cover. I believe a picture of the group of friends would be perfect. This book will appeal to anyone who enjoys fishing and stories about true friendship. Reader note, the ending has quite a twist. This should be the next book you pick up and read. “What are you wading for”?
The Reel Sisters
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