Rainy Day Sisters, sisters there for each other in their time of need. Well that’s not exactly how you would describe Lucy and Juliet at the beginning of this book. They are half sisters, a fact that is very important to them, at least to begin with. Lucy has fled to the Lake District from Boston following the break up of her relationship both with her boyfriend and, it would seem, with her artist mother Fiona. Fiona has written a scathing newspaper piece about Lucy’s own artwork and her forthcoming exhibition has been cancelled. With her world collapsing about her, she asks Juliet if she can stay with her for a few months. Although Juliet agrees to this, things are decidedly frosty between them. The (half) sisters hardly know each other at all – there is a big age gap between them and Lucy moved to America with her mother as a young child leaving teenage Juliet behind.
What made this book so enjoyable for me was reading about Juliet and Lucy slowly getting to know each other. Juliet is very resentful of the mother-daughter relationship she thinks that Lucy has enjoyed with Fiona over the years. Lucy, however, has a different perspective. Kate Hewitt writes so well about the emotions and complex relationships between Lucy and Juliet. They are both searching for meaningful relationships in their life whether with their mother, each other or a romance. Very gradually and with not a few arguments and tense moments, the sisters begin to understand each other and form bonds
Aside from the sisters’ relationship, I also very much enjoyed the setting of Hartley-by-the-Sea. It was not a romanticised version of Lake District, beautiful though that can be. The fictional Hartley-by-the-Sea is in the western Lake District and for much of the story, the wild weather is very much a feature. I liked the other villagers too: Alex Kincaid, the headteacher of the primary school where Lucy finds work, the grumpy shopkeeper who isn’t really under his gruff exterior, local farmer Peter and the children and staff of the school. And there is love in the air as well. I am pleased that Hartley-by-the-Sea is the first in a planned series as I am keen to know what happens next for Lucy and Juliet as well as perhaps learning more about the other villagers.
Rainy Day Sisters was an emotionally captivating story and one I was completed absorbed in for a few days. Juliet and Lucy finally come to realise what is important to them and that they can be true sisters without that 100% blood relationship. Peter (the farmer) sums it up when he says “People make mistakes but in the end [are] human, just like me.”
My thanks to Jenny from Neverland BlogTours for arranging a review copy via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. Rainy Day Sisters was published on 5th August 2015. Buying links are listed below.
Welcome to Hartley-by-the-Sea in England’s beautiful Lake District, where two sisters who meet as strangers find small miracles tucked into the corners of every day.When Lucy Bagshaw’s life in Boston falls apart, thanks to a scathing editorial written by her famous artist mother, she accepts her half sister Juliet’s invitation to stay with her in a charming seaside village in northern England. Lucy is expecting quaint cottages and cream teas, but instead finds that her sister is an aloof host, the weather is wet, windy, and cold, and her new boss, Alex Kincaid, is a disapproving widower who only hired her as a favour to Juliet. Despite the invitation she offered, Juliet is startled by the way Lucy catapults into her orderly life. As Juliet faces her own struggles with both her distant mother and her desire for a child, her sister’s irrepressible optimism begins to take hold. With the help of quirky villagers, these hesitant rainy day sisters begin to forge a new understanding…and find in each other the love of family that makes all the difference.
About the author:
Kate Hewitt is the author of over 40 novels of women’s fiction and romance. She loves telling an emotional story in a variety of genres, and has been nominated for the Romance Writers of America RITA Award twice. An American ex-pat, she lives in the Cotswolds of England with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever. You can follow her adventures in village life on her blog, http://www.acumbrianlife.blogspot.co.uk.
Barnes & Noble: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/rainy-day-sisters