March 2014, Pen Press, 272 pages, Ebook, Review copy
Content: family drama, a bit of romance
After Emma, a successful career woman, steals the husband of her younger sister Ann, a comfortable stay-at-home mother, they are estranged for many years. Reunited again at his funeral and carried away by the emotion of the moment, they impulsively decide to go on holiday together.
Unable to agree on a destination, they eventually compromise on a cruise. But intermixed with thrilling new experiences, unfamiliar destinations and the amusing antics of some of their fellow passengers, Ann and Emma find it difficult to heal their wounds.
On board the disconnected and at times surreal world of a cruise ship, there are accusations and revelations amid the tears and laughter as they take tentative steps towards a greater understanding of each other and their painful past.
Perhaps because I refuse to go on boats these days, not liking the rocking motion and having a mild phobia of water which is deeper than I can stand up in, that I find cruises fascinating. That teamed up with my love of stories involving siblings (so long as one of them is female) made this ocean read highly attractive for me. I wasn't disappointed either! I was able to experience all the ins and outs of a cruise, most positive but some not so fun events, while engaging in the complex relationship between the two sisters.
They are linked by more than just blood, which took a little while to get my head around. I like how they both tried to get on, although sometimes they got so annoyed with each other that they separated themselves for a while. That's an easy thing to do on a cruise ship which these days are fairly humungous. That said, the cruise did bring the two of them closer together. It enabled them to air their issues, gain perspective, and have some fun. The other passengers provided much amusement with their distinct personalities, as did the ship's cruw. I'm definitely rereading this book! It only skipped top marks because there was the odd event I wasn't keen on, but nothing major.
Another family based read is Tiny Acts of Love by Lucy Lawrie (Fiction, 9/10E)