4 out of 4 stars
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The Reel Sisters is a story of five women united by a common hobby. Different backgrounds, ages, or life situations don’t matter when Rose, Sophie, Amanda, and Veronica head to the river to catch some fish. Rose owns a charming cabin near the river, which is a perfect getaway for these four women. In the evenings they lay down their fishing gear, and in the smoothing shelter of Rose’s cabin, they tell stories, laugh, cry and share life. One particular day they head out to the river as usual, when something unexpected happens. The four women fish a naked girl out of the raging river. This is how they meet Melody, who shortly becomes the newest member of their private little fly fishing group.
Just by looking at the book cover, I couldn’t figure out what Michelle Cumming’s The Reel Sisters was all about, or to which category I should label it. After reading the first few chapters, however, I had it all figured out and was ready to pigeon-hole it to the section of cheerful, harmless, and good-humored girl power books. It felt a bit like Sophie Kinsella’s hilarious stories of Ms. Shopaholic. I switched my brain off from serious-mode and was prepared for some girly giggles. Little did I know. Abruptly the story shifted into more serious waters, catching me off-guard. The consequences of a sudden severe storm shattered the very being of the five women, leaving me breathless. Instead of giggles and a goodnight’s sleep, I ended up spending sleepless moments at early morning hours, just pondering about themes such as unfairness and unpredictability of life.
What bothered me a wee bit in The Reel Sisters, was the layout. I found the pictograms of fish and spinning rods separating the paragraphs and chapters rather childish and unnecessary. Another, much more disturbing detail to me was the fishing habit of catch and release the five protagonists were following. Apart from what I learned while reading this book, I know absolutely nothing about fly fishing. However, I could not even begin to understand this philosophy. Why cause such a terror accompanied by hook holes by the mouth to the poor fish in a matter of sport?
Despite the fish and hook holes, I still really enjoyed the warm and loving manner this book was written. The relationships between the five protagonists were heartwarming. Age or social status didn’t matter when these five connected. Their equally different characters and journeys of personal growth guarantee that every reader will find a soul sister to relate to. I most certainly found mine and learned some valuable life lessons while reading her story. This being said, I would recommend The Reel Sisters to women only. Men naturally need to have their own brotherhood stories too, but this book is not it.
The author Michelle Cummings has done a marvelous job with this captivating story. The editor also deserves some compliments from doing an excellent job. The reading experience was overall very smooth, and I caught only a few minor mistakes. The Reel Sisters deserves no less than 4 out of 4 stars. I was hooked from the first page, just like the fish the characters were pulling out of the river. I doubt I’ll ever become a fly fisher but this book managed to pierce a hook hole into my soul.
The Reel Sisters
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