#BookReview: The Sister’s Club by Lauren Baratz-Logsted


I was given this eBook for free from NetGalley and Diversion Books in exchange for an honest review.

Four women have little in common other than where they live and the joyous complications of having sisters. Cindy waits for her own life to begin as she sees her sister going in and out of hospitals. Lise has made the boldest move of her life, even as her sister spends every day putting herself at risk to improve the lives of others. Diana is an ocean apart from her sister, but worries that her marriage is the relationship separated by the most distance. Sylvia has lost her twin sister to breast cancer, a disease that runs in the family, and fears that she will die without having ever really lived.

When Diana places an ad in the local newsletter, Cindy, Lise, and Sylvia show up thinking they are joining a book club, but what they discover is something far deeper and more profound than any of them ever imagined.

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I’m not sure what I was expecting when I read this book but I think I disappointed myself by having higher expectations. It wasn’t that the book as bad, far from it, it’s just that the book was stagnant the entire read for me. Each character had such promise and I can honestly say only two really continued to show promise from beginning to end.

Diana is a chubby girl that can’t see past the fat. She is so obsessed with it that she goes behind her husband’s back to have a life threatening gastric bypass surgery while he’s away on business. It’s your first glimpse into how self-absorbed and shallow Diana is and will continue to be. She’s married to a decent guy who loves her because of her charm, intelligence, wit and beauty. He could care less if she weighed a ton but she thinks he’d love her more skinny. It’s a vicious cycle being in her head and only gets worse after a trip home to visit her family. Diana originally puts an ad in a bookstore newsletter to seek out friendship and sisterhood because she’s in a new country and far away from a sister she’s doesn’t really like but depends on. It’s very strange how she’s so offended by her sister but craves her approval and opinion on everything.

You meet Lise who is a college professor who teaches young writers who to get a book published despite never having published a book herself. She was seen as the next big thing when she started at the college but never really followed through. After having an extremely annoying student challenge her ability to teach she decides to write a book and is introduced via email to a publisher through Diana. The guy completely tears her first draft apart so she burns the manuscript and destroys every copy. I found that to be odd, how can expect to be a successful writer if you let some publisher tell you your work sucks and you throw it away. Of course a first draft sucks! It’s the first draft. She’s also been dating the same guy for 10 years and does the same thing Diana did, she quits her job to write fulltime on a new book and neglects to mention it to her boyfriend. I didn’t expect her to ask permission but relationships include two people right?

Cindy is a high school drop out with a jerk off boyfriend she thinks she can’t live without. She works at the mall selling bras and thongs but once she becomes friends with the women in the group she takes the advice of one of them and begins online classes to graduate. She does do something deceitful in the beginning and that’s get pregnant without informing her boyfriend, Eddie, until she’s nearly 6 months. I think he was also in denial to not notice her mood swings, swelling belly and overall personality change. But he also comes across as a egoistical asshole who only really cares about himself and has major control issues. After a rather violent end to a dinner party Cindy takes a vacation with the Sister’s Club and has her “ah ha” moment. She sees that Eddie will never be the man she wants him to be nor will he be the father she child deserves. In the end she walks away from him.

Sylvia might be the best character in the book. She’s a surviving twin that has lived her entire life as one half of a whole. After her sister dies she becomes incredible sad and mean as hell. She runs a catering business and decides to answer the ad to help her move out of her comfort zone. After meeting the other women she’s not pleased at all and leaves immediately but that doesn’t stop them from including her when Lise as to help Diana home from the hospital after her surgery. She eventually becomes the blunt conscious the group needs. After discovering a lump in her breast and being afraid to go to the doctor Cindy makes her an appointment and refuses to allow her to bail out. I really enjoyed the relationship with these two women the best. I could have read a book strictly about them. The lump turns out to be nothing but it leads to the doctor entering her life and pursuing her, something Sylvia is definitely not prepared for…who would want her she wonders.

The story moves along but I set the book down several times and only finished it because I can’t not finish a book. I’m only giving this book 2.5 stars because it just didn’t do anything for me.

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