Thursday, February 8, 2018

Sisters Like Us

If anyone knows about sisters, it's me. I myself have none, just one brother, but I'm raising three girls and a boy but every single one of those girls are as different as the next. The only thing similar are looks (kind of), their feet, and the fact they all have two middle names. Everything else about them is different and though I'm a long ways away from their teenage years (the younger two, anyways) I know that they are going to give me the run for my money. Literally.

Sisters Like Us (Mischief Bay #4) - Susan Mallery

Divorce left Harper Szymanski with a name no one can spell, a house she can’t afford and a teenage daughter who’s pulling away. With her fledgeling virtual-assistant business, she’s scrambling to maintain her overbearing mother’s ridiculous Susie Homemaker standards and still pay the bills, thanks to clients like Lucas, the annoying playboy cop who claims he hangs around for Harper’s fresh-baked cookies.

Spending half her life in school hasn’t prepared Dr. Stacey Bloom for her most daunting challenge—motherhood. She didn’t inherit the nurturing gene like Harper and is in deep denial that a baby is coming. Worse, her mother will be horrified to learn that Stacey’s husband plans to be a stay-at-home dad…assuming Stacey can first find the courage to tell Mom she’s already six months pregnant.

Separately they may be a mess, but together Harper and Stacey can survive anything—their indomitable mother, overwhelming maternity stores and ex’s weddings. Sisters Like Us is a delightful look at sisters, mothers and daughters in today’s fast-paced world, told with Susan Mallery’s trademark warmth and humor.

The great thing about a Susan Mallery book is that you know going in that it's going to be something you can relate to in real life and it's going to be funny. You'll find yourself smiling and nodding your head because you get it, and she's telling it like it is in the nicest way possible. I didn't realize how much I was going to connect with this book but when I started the first chapters detailing Harper's excessive need to be over the top, do more than expected, juggle every plate, keep in touch with all the family (even the ones who aren't her own), do it all because that's what you do. Early on in the book there was this:

"Harper did her best not to scream. Of course she needed help! She was working sixty hours a week in a desperate attempt to stay afloat financially, taking care of her house, dealing with a sixteen-year-old, decorating for the holiday and getting ready to cook a fancy meal. Help would be nice. Help would be grand. But, in Bunny's world, the woman of the house did not ask for help. No, she did it all herself, seemingly effortlessly. Family came first. The measure of a woman was how well she looked after her family and so on."

I can relate to this. Bunny is Harper's mother, but unlike Harper, it isn't my mother putting this pressure on me. It's all me. How screwed up is that?! I don't have a standard to live up to, no that isn't true. I suppose I do, but my circumstances are wholly different than my mother's. But in my head I have this ideal of what a mom should be, I have things I do simply because I wish at some point they were done for me, and it's completely selfish the reasons I do these things but I cannot help it. So when I try to level those expectations with my limitations now, it's upsetting. I feel like I am sub par, I'm not fulfilling my duty as a wife and mother. I fully understand Harper in this book.

Her sister Stacey, not so much. She's terrified of being a disappointment but more so the reaction from their mother, she's never ready for it. But she's 40 now, with an exemplary career, the problem is that she's pregnant. Six months pregnant, to be exact, and she's just not told her mom for fear of the reaction. Her husband. Kit, plans to be a stay at home dad, leaving his teaching career behind, and that just is NOT done so Stacey isn't sure if she can handle everything bound to come her way.

We have a lot of twists and turns, some you see coming and some you don't. But I just... I just really have a special spot for Harper in my heart. I wonder if this is me in a few years? We're not far off in age but I imagine if Matt up and left me for a much younger woman, I don't know how I would stay afloat, I just haven't planned on that. I don't have that side fun because I won't need it, divorce just is not an option, so I imagine I would feel much like Harper does.

Overall? I'm giving this 4.5 stars. I can only knock it down because it was just a little longer than I like normally, but it makes up for it in humor. It's a funny book and while you could wait to read this on the beach, as the cover invites you to do, it's worth snuggling in a warm spot thinking of beach days and reading it now. If you're a fan of Dorothea Benton Frank, you'll love Susan Mallery!


1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour!