3 out of 4 stars
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At first glance, the title gave me the impression that I was headed on a journey with film making siblings. I could not have been more wrong. The Reel Sisters by Michelle Cummings is a fiction novel that sets you out on a journey to enjoy the leisure of fly fishing and the outdoor life. It is a story of love, friendship, fly fishing and mentor-ship.
Set in Colorado the story is of five ladies from different walks of life who bond over fly fishing. Sophie, Amanda, Veronica and Rose are a group of women fly fishers. One day whilst fishing near Rose’s cabin they rescue a screaming, naked young lady from the rapid downstream current. They later invite her to join them on their vacation and learn how to fly fish as well. Each one has a story of life challenges, fears and joys. In spite of what they face, they each make time to spend together fishing, leaning on each other for comfort and wisdom.
Told from the view point of each of the five main characters, the novel was the first of its sort that I’d come across. Rose who is the eldest of the ladies is considered a mother figure among them. She is widowed and owns a cabin in the woods. As their mentor in fly fishing techniques,Rose is accepting of each one of the ladies in spite of their differences. She knows how to reach out to them. Sophie is not only single, but also afraid of relationships. She runs her own farm and green house. She is known to take care of everyone else, but herself. Amanda is a young military wife with two small children. She is thrifty and very good at tying her own flies. Her husband is deployed in Afghanistan. So she misses him a lot and tends to carry that burden. Veronica’s ethnicity is of African origin. She owns her own company where she coaches top-level women executive to be better leaders. She is married and has no children. Being a city girl, she is a little too smart for camping life. Melody is of Asian origin. She is a teenager, a little Gothic and has plenty tattoos. She is a talented photographer, plays musical instruments and is not too close to her parents. These ladies must go through a storm, how will they look at life after it?
The book is divided into ten sections that are filled with chapters that are narrated by the ladies.The first page of each section is titled with a brief insight into fly fishing. These sections are: (1) Gearing up, (2) Fly fishing in a river, (3) Little rivers, (4) Sharing, (5) Practice, (6) A perfect cast, (7) The joy of going solo, (8) Striking , Playing and Landing, (9) Catch and Release, and (10) The present and years ahead- Ethics and manners.
What I liked most about the book was learning that fly fishing is a recreational sport. It is a type of fishing where one does not necessarily catch the fish to eat it, but instead release it later. I also liked imagining the way the ladies cast their lines. The characters seemed believable. Veronica doesn’t like to use a hole as a toilet. Amanda needs the fly fishing weekends as me-time away from her children. Sophie is defensive of not having a love life. Lastly, there was a lesson in knowing that we cannot keep hurts in our hearts. We have to let them go.
What I didn’t like was the inconsistency in the text. It was bold and then non-bold throughout the book. Sometimes a word could have a few letters that were bold whilst the rest were not. Sometimes the change in text could be noticed mid sentence. It was quite distraction. I also didn’t enjoy reading of ladies swearing.
I would rate the book 3 out of 4 stars due to the inconsistencies of the text. On the whole it is a worthwhile read. If you are interested in a new outdoor sport or just love the outdoors it is definitely a book you could read.
The Reel Sisters
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