Author: Cathy Lamb
Genre: Women's Reads
Rights: UK & Comm ex Can
Pub. Date: 8th April 2010
This is a story about a family that’s fallen apart and ends up being put back together again. It’s about a Queen Anne house, a bakery, a motorcycle, a mid life crisis Corvette, flowery smelling pink letters, an amusing divorce, burning bras, a crime writer, love, a kid who studies different religions each week, fear, giant cupcakes, a lost father, and a disastrous childhood partially spent living in a car...
'I would have to light my bra on fire. And my thong. It is unfortunate that I feel compelled to do this because I am particular about my bras and underwear. I spent most of my childhood in near poverty, wearing scraggly underwear and fraying bras held together with safety pins or paper clips, so now I insist on wearing only the truly elegant stuff...besides after that pink letter arrived yesterday, I needed to breathe.'
Ever since the Bommarito sisters were little girls, their mother has written them letters on pink paper when she has something especially important to tell them. This time, the message is urgent and impossible to ignore. River Bommarito requires open heart surgery, and Isabelle and her sisters are needed at home to run the family bakery and to take care of their brother, Henry, and grandmother, Stella, who believes she’s Amelia Earhart.
Poignant, funny, and as irresistible as one of the Bommarito Bakery’s delicious giant cupcakes, Henry’s Sisters is a novel about family and forgiveness, mothers and daughters, and gaining the wisdom to look ahead while still holding tight to everything that matters most.
'Cathy Lamb delivers grace, humour and forgiveness along with a litany of family trauma, which might seem heavy-handed in lesser hands. Fortunately, this finely pitched family melodrama is balanced with enough gallows humour and idiosyncratic characters to make it positively irresistible.'Publishers Weekly
'If you loved Terms of Endearment, The Ya-Ya Sisterhood, and Steel Magnolias, you will love Henry's Sisters'The Three Tomatoes Book Club
A truly fabulous novel about families, forgiveness, love and cupcakes. It takes you on a roller coaster of emotions that you won't want to get off. A perfect novel from a great author, one to read and then read again.Penny Bullock, Lancaster
I recommend this book! If you want to laugh and cry reading a book this is for you. I loved the characters - and wish I could have jumped into the book to sit and talk to them all! I will certainly be looking out for more books by this author. Julia's Chocolates is next on my list!Jane Duncan
I absolutely loved this book!! Very intense to begin with, but it really hooked me and I found myself 200 pages in before even realising it. Wonderful, rich characters with so many things happening but melting together perfectly. I just loved Henry and 'Amelia Earhart' what a great combination, their voices seemed really authentic. This book was like one of those cartoon presents that you see, where it pops open and lots of things come spilling out! It made me chuckle, it made me smile and it certainly made me cry. An excllent, well drawn story, filled with vibrant characters. An author I will definitely read again!Shona, Gainsborough (Book Babblers book club)
This is so difficult to review without giving away half the story, but I absolutely loved it - all her other books went straight onto my bookmooch wishlist. The first 50 pages were a challenge - "full on" as Anne said, and I was dreading reading the whole thing. But what a story - superb and complex characters, well drawn, and minor characters springing into full 3D. Lots of laugh out loud stuff - some of those mealtimes, wonderful. So loved Henry - can see him now, swooping round the lawn with Amelia Earhart and handing out the bakery samples with a "Jesus loves you" (read it, you'll understand then!). The ending was fantastic - heartbreaking, but funny + life affirming too. A superb book that worked at so many levels - really loved it.Annie, Gainsborough (Book Babblers book club)
What a mixed bag this book is. Like one reviewer I was tempted to give up after the first 50 pages, it all seemed too over the top and the characters are very much larger than life. My life at least! But once it got down to the nitty-gritty and why these sisters were the wrecks they were it was totally absorbing. On the up side equally emotional, tragic, funny sometimes farcical sometimes deadly serious but also way too much screaming, sentiment and religion for me. It would certainly make a great chick flick, gave it a 4* as in the end it's a book with a big heart.Liz, Gainsborough (Book Babblers book club)
The opening chapters of Cathy Lamb's novel 'Henry's Sisters' catapults the reader straight into the lives of the sisters of the title. Three women, each with complex personalities, all very odd and eccentric, all with major problems and all stemming from their bizarre and dysfunctional childhood. Isobelle; famous photographer who sleeps with every man she meets; Janie; successful crime author who has to count everything and taps constantly and Cecelia; overweight mother of two and newly separated from her unfaithful husband. Combined, these three with Momma - manic depressive with a tongue that can cut her daughters to ribbons; Stella; their Grandmother who believes she is Amelia Earhart and the wonderful Henry, their Downs Syndrome younger brother and you have a cast of characters that jump from the page and make you love them. Isobelle narrates the story and after the first few chapters the pace begins to slow down as the family history is uncovered. Tragic events have followed this family throughout their lives and shaped their lives as adults. Through every terrible event it has been Henry that kept the family together, although he is the one with 'special needs' he is the only good and pure character in the story. When the three girls have to return to their home town to care for him and their Momma they slowly begin to realise just how much the family means to them. In turns very very funny, often very sad and sometimes quite harrowing this is a wonderfully crafted novel. The plot is sound and the characters are true to life. It is very difficult to write a full review without giving away the story, lets just say that I had a lump in my throat at the end.Anne Cater, Gainsborough (Book Babblers book club)
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