As girls growing up in Clare Valley, Australia, Anna, Bett, and Carrie Quinlan were childhood singing stars known as The Alphabet Sisters. The unbridled enthusiasm of their flamboyant grandmother Lola was the glue that held them together. As adults, though, the women haven't spoken in years-ever since Bett's fiancé deserted her to marry the younger Carrie. Now Lola is turning eighty and she is determined to reunite the girls for a blowout bash. And no one ever says no to Lola.
McInerney's buoyant new novel chronicles the three Quinlan sisters' efforts to reconcile their combative past and reconnect when their grandmother, Lola, summons them home to South Australia for her 80th birthday party. Under the guardianship of Lola ("etiquette teacher, boot-camp mistress, and musical director"), Anna, Bett and Carrie had celebrated their youth on stage as the pop singing group the Alphabet Sisters. As adults, they stop speaking to each other when Carrie runs off with Bett's fiance, Matthew. But after three years of silence, they heed Lola's call and resolve to make their peace. Anna, a voiceover actress and the eldest of the three, arrives from Sydney with her seven-year-old daughter, Ellen, who is scarred by a horrific accident, but without her absentee husband. Bett, the middle sister, flies in from London, where she does PR for a record company, while the youngest, Carrie, lives close to Lola, running a motel and suffering in her foundering marriage to Matthew. When Lola announces she's written a musical starring the Alphabet Sisters to benefit the local hospital, Anna, Bett and Carrie put aside their differences, rebuild their relationships and grow closer than ever before. In this heartening if predictable novel, three struggling women relearn how the bonds of sisterhood can steady them against life's ebb and flow. Agent, Christy Fletcher. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
May 16, 2005
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from The Alphabet Sisters by Monica McInerney
Your sister is married to your ex-fiance?" Jessica's voice rose to such a pitch Bett Quinlan half expected the lightbulbs to explode. "We've worked together for nearly two years and you tell me this now?"
Bett knew right then she had made a big mistake. "It didn't ever really come up until now."
"Something like that doesn't need to come up. That's something you tell people within minutes of meeting. 'Hi, my name's Bett, short for Elizabeth. I work as a journalist in a record company, and my sister is married to my ex- husband.' "
"Ex-fiance," Bett corrected. She tried to backtrack. "Look, forget I mentioned it. I'm fine about it. She's fine about it. He's fine about it. It's not a big deal." Liar, liar.
"Of course it's a big deal. It's a huge deal. And they'll both be at your grandmother's party? No wonder you're feeling sick about it."
"I'm not feeling sick about it. I said I was a bit nervous about going home for it, not sick."
"Tomato, tomayto. Oh, Bett, you poor thing. Which sister was it? The older one or the younger one?"
"The younger one. Carrie." Bett felt as if the words were being squeezed out of her.
"And what happened? Were they having an affair behind your back? You came home from work early one day and caught them at it in your marital-sorry, engagement-bed?"
"No, it wasn't like that." Bett stood up. She'd definitely made a mistake. That afternoon at work she'd decided to invite her friend and colleague Jessica back for dinner to tell her the whole story. She'd hoped it would help make this trip back to Australia easier. Prepare her for people's reactions again, like a dress rehearsal. But it wasn't helping at all. It was excruciating. She ran her fingers through her dark curls, trying to take back control of the situation. "Can I get you a coffee? Another glass of wine?"