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The Alphabet Sisters
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Australian siblings Anna, Bett, and Carrie Quinlan were known as the singing group the Alphabet Sisters throughout their childhood. Now adults, they are not on speaking terms, estranged three years earlier when Carrie stole Bett's fianc?. Then their grandmother Lola schemes to reunite them by throwing herself an 80th birthday bash. When the girls meet again, there are many tense moments, but forgiveness ultimately prevails. Making her U.S. debut with her fourth novel, Australian-born McInerney tells the story of each sister with compassion and humor, never losing the narrative thread; events are well paced throughout and speed up in the final third, when several surprises are revealed. However, these surprises do not threaten the overall believability of the story or call the integrity of the characters into question. Highly recommended for popular fiction collections.-Anastasia Diamond, Cleveland P.L. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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.

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