A little while ago my sister gave me The Olive Sisters. She had enjoyed reading the book and thought I would too so it went on the bedside table awaiting its turn. Don’t you find that many books we read are recommended or given to us by family and friends? It’s another way of connecting with each other that adds a wonderful depth to our reading experiences.
Well, I’ve just finished the bookÂ and must say I enjoyed this Australian story about sisters, mothers, families, generations, secrets, memories … belonging. Adrienne is a career woman, a single mother of a teenage daughter and experiencing the odd hot flush or two. Sound familiar? It is through her that the story unfolds.
It’s a warm, engaging and yet unsettling story about Adrienne going home, literally and emotionally. Often our childhhod memories and adult awareness don’t overlay each other all that well. There can be blurred lines and even major distortions that come as a great shock. The shattering of childhood illusions is heartbreaking and possibly cathartic at the same time. I think many of us would rather go through life with a few illusions still in place – a happy childhood being one of them.
But sometimes we have no choice but to go back. It’s like having to mess up the jigsaw of memories we’ve created and attempting to put it together again. We recognise some old pieces that still fit but what we end up with is a whole new jigsaw. Our response to this is often where a good story lies.
I recently met with Amanda Hampson and we had a great chat about her writing and of course, life itself. She was very generous and gave me two copies of The Olive Sisters to give away to WN subscribers. Just pop me an email with your name and address and you may be lucky.
I’ll be posting my interview with Amanda soon so keep an eye out for that.