Thursday, June 20, 2013

The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters

At this very moment, I am sitting here with mascara tears running down my face pleading Berkeley to stop laughing ala the Kim Kardashian Ugly Cry. I have just finished reading The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson for the second time.

This novel is the one-sided story detailing a year in the life of a young Hollywood producer Olivia
Hunt. The story unfolds through a series of written correspondence opening with a letter from Hunt to her best friend sharing the diagnosis of her sister Maddie's leukemia. This collection of handwritten letters, emails, and faxes captures all the details throughout the 16 months following the diagnosis. Not just the big important stuff either, but the little details of life that make the reader feel as they are living the story as well.

I picked up this title at a Border's clearance sale before they closed their doors in 2006, but I didn't read it the first time until just before my 20th birthday. I remember loving the story this novel told. I could recognize the unfailing love and frustration that is between sisters, and I connected to the experiences that are unique to those with a family member fighting cancer. For whatever reason the feelings I felt reading this novel the first time were nothing compared to my reaction to it this time around. This time though, it somehow meant so much more.

In the six years since I first read The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters my life has substantially changed. This time around I noticed how complex this story is. Robinson cuts the heartbreaking sadness with real, sometimes sarcastic, and uplifting hilarity. For me, this time around, the somber plot was also delightful with these interjected bits of joy, wisdom, and love that I had forgotten about from the letters Hunt sends to her loved ones and coworkers that also give another depth.

Maybe I resonate more with the constant tug of war feeling you get when trying to balance work, romance, relationships, and illness while having to travel between who and what you love. I am no movie producer, but for us being near our loved ones, as well as making a living, means being on the road, especially with Berkeley's job.

Putting all of my emotions and reactions into this review has been a lot harder than I had anticipated. It was just a good read. If you are looking for an easy read for the summer, this may be a title for you. For more information, reviews and a peek at the first eight pages on the amazon page.

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