4 out of 4 stars
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The Reel Sisters is a tale of friendship. Fly fishing ultimately brings all of the characters together. First there are four of them, recruited by Sophie. They are the veterans of the group. Also, between Amanda and Rose, there is quite a bit of variety in age. Then Melody comes along as a newcomer. This allows Michelle Cummings to show the full cycle of a spectacular friendship. It begins, and then it keeps going. Each member of the group gives and takes, and their lives are better off for it. This all builds up for a beautiful conclusion that resonates with the soul.
This book is not for a child audience. This is a story about adults and sometimes they feel the need to use language as strong as the f-bomb. There is even one character that, at times, uses such language in casual conversation like a rebellious high school student. However, I feel that this story is one most people can appreciate with it’s unique cast of characters. It is by no means a mystery, but the story unfolds to the same affect of life. You have a general idea of where things are going, but there are a bunch of surprises on the way.
I really enjoyed the character’s interactions with one another. It’s neat to see a bunch of goofy friends in an environment where they are right at home. The prose flowed well, and I enjoyed the descriptions of nature. I also thought that the fly fishing analogies were used perfectly. They gave this story a deeper meaning for me, and its tale will likely live on in my memory till the day I die.
I was disappointed in moments where some of the characters seemed to be the same person, almost. The biggest differentiation in characters was their personal situations. It gave these characters a place to return to in their mind when they backed away from the present. Amanda constantly worried about her husband Mike in the military. Sophie often worried about her life, absent a husband. These worries didn’t always tread new ground. Then there were other moments where characters would admire character qualities in dialogue that didn’t stand out as much in the unfolding of the story. It struck me as showing instead of telling. In one instance, Sophie mentions meeting Rose who dropped two f-bombs in minutes of their first encounter. This made Rose a special person to her, but, in the rest of the story, this encounter seems less fitting of Rose's character. We see Rose switching words in a fun, corny fashion to avoid cursing with the names of religious figures, but she never seems to feel the need for more vulgar words. More distinguished characters traits that the reader can see would have helped the first person view, that got passed around between the quintet of characters, be a bigger masterpiece.
I didn’t find a lot of errors in this story. In fact, I encountered a few new words. I had to look up au naturale, initially thinking it a mistyped version of all natural. Then a web search confirmed I had a new word to add to my vocabulary. Much of this story's magic was in the little pieces. Each character's thread of story came together like a masterful quilt. This effect is why I award this story 4 out of 4 stars. The story grew slower at times, but I never found myself losing interest!
The Reel Sisters
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