4 out of 4 stars
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From page 1 the flow of the book was so smooth that it wasn’t until pages later I realized just how hooked into the story I had become. The writing was impeccable with great imagery for the scenes and the little stories dotted here and there as the reader was introduced to each of the characters.
Sophie opens the story and is the first of the main characters to be introduced. Right off the bat I found myself immediately drawn to her decisive go-get-em attitude. I absolutely loved her spin on “the art of peeing.” That alone was enough to have me giggling, nodding, and eager to know what other wisdom will be departed. I found her easily relatable as a fellow tomboy experienced in general with fishing and impressed that after having her curiosity peeked by a film (“A River Runs Through It”), she had the gumption to give it a go.
Earlier I mentioned that I was drawn to her decisiveness and I truly was in awe at how she not only found something to be passionate about, but that she “let” it change her life. Few people have that kind of inner strength to follow their heart and I thought the author handled relaying this very well, as it easily could have crossed the line into the area which a reader might not find it quite believable.
I also loved the play of the “ripples in a pond” effect storyline as Sophie’s first venture into fly fishing ends up influencing others and eventually forming a small female fly fishing group. And these weren’t old friends with established bonds over fishing that decided to take it a step farther. These were complete strangers – 2 who had never fished and ended up trying because of Sophie’s passionate nature. I also thought that including a bit more of the bitter side of Sophie’s life was a great way to add realism and depth to the character.
Next came Veronica and her introduction was of a happily married city girl who eventually finds a way to connect with fly fishing. The descriptions about her and her husband’s interactions were just so cute and I loved the revelations the character experienced thanks to her struggles with the sport.
Then there was Amanda. I did wonder how the author would handle a rather common character trope in what was already looking to be a unique-feeling cast of characters. Shouldn’t have even questioned it because the connection was quick. My heart went out to her as she spoke about having her Afghanistan deployed husband make “stuff I want my kids to know” videos just in case something happened and watching those videos on nights she really missed him. I completely teared up at just those few paragraphs, as well as when she talks about one her kids, Parker, possibly not being able to sleep through the night for fear she would disappear as well. Her enthusiasm as she found her niche in fly fishing was catching; and I found myself grinning just as I imagine she would be grinning as she talked about tying flies.
Rose was the last to be introduced before the book began its course of the overall plot of the book. And she was a most anticipated introduction. Rose’s caring and thoughtful personality is easily noticed in the first few paragraphs. Her bond with DJ was apparent and a much welcome surprise “6th character” in the group. She is the matriarch of the group – mother-figure and advisor. I think, in many ways, Sophie may have been the leader, but Rose was the foundation.
Overall, the characters diversity in age, their introduction and take to fly fishing, life situations and strengths and weaknesses played well together and truly enhanced the story as it continued. I also found myself enjoying the basic walkthroughs on various situations, which was surprising. Many books that attempt to explain certain things end up becoming tedious and losing that immersive quality. But with this book - whether it was about peeing, details on fabric chosen for quilts, or how to chop wood, the author managed to weave these things into the story so well that I didn’t mind it at all.
When the group finally comes together (aside from the bantering which I really enjoyed), I do have to say that I was a little disappointed at the dialogue. It was the first instance that I thought things got choppy because it felt stilted.
Then Melody was introduced and that was a total switch in the feel. It went from cozy, warm, and comforting to shocking and loud. Complete opposite and it was a little jarring. It didn’t affect the immersive quality of the story, but rather allowed for the descriptions of the night life and Melody’s personality to really hit.
The events leading up to the rescue and the rescue itself were captivating. I really couldn’t explain or describe it in a way that would do it justice without just spoiling it. My eyes were glued to the pages and I wouldn’t have been able to put it down if I wanted to. I actually felt my heart rate pick up a bit as I anxiously rooted for the women to not just save Melody but to remain safe doing it…although I admit I laughed hard at Sophie’s reaction of “Jesus, you’re naked!” I love that character so much!
Simple yet powerful. I think that’s the best way to describe this book. The characters, the introduction, the ups and downs of life that unfold in the story, and even the tragedy that they all end up facing. It is a powerfully impactful story of life that will grip you up until the end. Beautifully written and professionally edited.
Without any hesitation, I gladly rate this story 4 out of 4 Stars.
P.S. Keep an extra box of tissues handy…just in case.
The Reel Sisters
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