4 out of 4 stars
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The Reel Sisters, by Michelle Cummings, is a wonderful story of five women and their lives told through their love of fly fishing. It is not a fishing story, however little blurbs about fly fishing appear at the start of each chapter and add a lot to the book. Written in the first person the story is told in diary-like chapters from the points of view of the individual women: Sophie, who owns a plant nursery, Amanda, a mom, teacher and military wife, Veronica, a life coach, Melody, a photographer and Rose, who owns the cabin where they all meet. They come from very different places, but they find common ground in the river next to Rose’s cabin.
Early in the book it becomes clear that fishing is a metaphor for how they handle their individual lives. The majority of the story is told in dialogue in their own voices, so it is clear to the reader what they gain from their shared hobby. As in real life their strengths and weaknesses are demonstrated through their hobby.
The book moves along at a good pace and you get to actually know the characters better through their actions as the book moves along. The book climaxes in a major storm which parallels the “storm” affecting each woman’s life. Relationships, work, past history, soul searching, and family life are all tossed about in the thunder, lightning and rushing waters of the storm. When the storm ends, and the skies clear, all of their lives are changed forever with a plot twist you never see coming.
The book itself is an easy fairly light read. There is some heavy material it but does not weigh down the story, rather it serves to move the story along. The characters are engaging and likeable and the reader finds themselves wanting to know them better. The story focuses on all the relationships, how the characters relate to each other away from the cabin, what their lives are at home and at work. The backstory is well filled in, you know the relevant history and the plot flows like the river at the center of the story. The dialogue is engaging, and free of unnecessary fluff. The description of land draws you in and you really get a sense of place. You can picture the cabin, the river and the campfire surrounded by Adirondack chairs.
I really enjoyed The Reel Sisters and for these reasons I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars, and I do hope to see more from this author.
The Reel Sisters
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