3 out of 4 stars
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The beauty of fly fishing or any kind of fishing was completely lost to me, as a person who does not consume meat or any other animal product an activity such as fishing which is basically a form of marine hunting does not appeal to me, at all. However, I will put my biases aside in trying to review The Reel sisters wholly with justice. Which managed to challenge and expend my opinions on the sport, and gave me a lot of information on an incredibly interesting topic which featured superb imagery and writing.
The premise of the book is that it’s supposed to allure more woman into the sports, it explores the long history of this fishing technique with mention early on of the controversial (for its time) first ever published work by Dame Juliana Berners who was a nun in the 1400’s and was also the first woman to have a published work accredited to her. The story goes on to explore multiple characters and their personalities and grievances and how they relate to each other with fly-fishing being a unifying factor. Each character is introduced to the sport in a unique and surprising way. Fly-fishing creates a strong bond and a sisterhood between these women who would probably not fraternize normally giving how diverse their lifestyles and personalities as well as ages are, I appreciate the depth and beauty of the relationship these women develop from the sport and although I don’t personally approve of using other lifeforms for sport, the woman almost always releases their catch.
Of course drama is involved as no good tale is without its shares, multiple characters see themselves having to face grief and overcome it, especially the most senior character Rose who is confronted with a scene which brings her painful memories of her past she would much rather forget. I must say too that this book held a punch to the emotions, as I found tears of sorrow and indignation escape at the fate of some of the characters. The book is extremely well edited and I found no major instance of grammatical or punctuation errors, however there were multiple instances of profanity perhaps too many even. The books tale of camaraderie, vanquishing grief and near death experiences makes it appealing and enjoyable to a wide audience beside potential female fly-fishers but due to the shear level of profanity I would keep it away from young readers.
The fact that the book is about recreationally hunting animals is not my favorite part. I must however admit the immense quality and beauty of this unique tale, which is why I think It merits a 3 out of 4 stars. The story is clearly geared towards woman and coming in I knew this but the writer’s narrative and perspective is surprisingly relatable and I found myself being able to relate to a character who avoided pursuing a romantic relationship for years due to a negative past experience.
If adventure, self-exploration, friendship and independence are things you are interested in reading about, I recommend this book for you.
The Reel Sisters
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