This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Growing up, Diana and Bev Putterman were like chalk and cheese. Bev did everything by the book, however it is Diana the selfish risk taker who their Mother favours. Bev is now estranged from her sister, but when she hears of Diana’s death she steps up to provide a stable home for her fourteen year old niece Alabama.
Alabama has lived unconventional life with her mum Diana, so a future with her straight-laced Aunt is not something she looks forward to. They clash about everything, especially Diana. In desperation, Alabama sets out to find her late father’s family. However in the process she learns more of her mother and aunt’s history and what led to their estrangement.
When this book arrived in the post I could not wait to start it; American drama set in the eighties is definitely my kind of book. However, I'm afraid to say it did not live up to my high hopes. The story starts off well when we meet drunken single mum Diana, who is struggling with the decision to end it all. I felt her torment and the outcome surprised me. However, from then on I felt the story dragged. I seemed to be reading and reading but not getting much further on.
Bev and Alabama’s relationship is made up of stereotypical generation gap misunderstandings, which I have read before. Even the side stories of Alabama’s gay best friend and Bev’s mother’s life seemed tagged on and, for me, did not add anything to the overall story.
That being said I did enjoy the flashbacks as we delved into Bev and Diana’s past and the details of what tore them apart. In those flashes of the past I felt for the two sisters and really I think if the storyline had followed them through that time of their life more then it would have made for a more riveting read.