The USA Today bestselling author presents a heartfelt novel about two sisters struggling toward new lives and loves.
"Welcome to Hartley-by-the-Sea in England’s beautiful Lake District, where two sisters who meet as strangers find small miracles tucked into the corners of every day....
When Lucy Bagshaw’s life in Boston falls apart, thanks to a scathing editorial written by her famous artist mother, she accepts her half sister Juliet’s invitation to stay with her in a charming seaside village in northern England. Lucy is expecting quaint cottages and cream teas, but instead finds that her sister is an aloof host, the weather is wet, windy, and cold, and her new boss, Alex Kincaid, is a disapproving widower who only hired her as a favour to Juliet.
Despite the invitation she offered, Juliet is startled by the way Lucy catapults into her orderly life. As Juliet faces her own struggles with both her distant mother and her desire for a child, her sister’s irrepressible optimism begins to take hold. With the help of quirky villagers, these hesitant rainy day sisters begin to forge a new understanding…and find in each other the love of family that makes all the difference."
The thing that struck me early on with Rainy Day Sisters is that it is the perfect read to welcome Autumn. Picture the scene; snuggled on the sofa, sipping on a cuppa, munching on a biscuit and divulging in an entertaining book set in the raining and cold Lake District. All the talk of fleeces and wet weather paired perfectly with the view from outside my window, but I was warm and snug reading (unlike the characters!) perfect, huh? Pretty much, and that's what I experienced when reading Rainy Day Sisters, a book I really enjoyed and absolutely flew through.
At the start of the story we are introduced to Lucy, a fairly ditzy yet lovable character who is fleeing her problems in America and going to stay with her estranged older sister, Juliet, in the Lake District. When we meet Juliet it's pretty apparent that although she offered for Lucy to stay with her at a time in need, it isn't all welcome. Juliet is rather bristly and stern, in complete contrast to Lucy's quirky and bubbly personality. Although sisters, the two are very estranged and don't really know each other, which provides some awkward and difficult moments.
I loved watching the relationship with the two sisters pan out. As it is told from both their viewpoints, you really get to know both the sisters and see why they feel the way they do. Personally, I preferred Lucy as she was so loveable and bubbly, but as the story unfolds you understand why Juliet is as prickly as she is and actually begin to sympathise with her, and hope she manages to lighten up and enjoy herself.
One of the main highlights of Rainy Day Sisters for me was the location. You all know by now that I'm a big fan of stories set in quaint English villages and so this book was immediately a winner in my eyes. The story unfolds in Hartley-by-the-Sea, a small village nestled in the Lake District. There's a tight-knit community feel to the place which at times proves a challenge to Lucy and Juliet, but as a reader I loved it. Another highlight was seeing Lucy in her new job, as a receptionist at the village school. It not only highlighted the community aspect of the story, but also introduced you to Alex, the stern yet handsome headmaster. He isn't all that impressed with Lucy at first and I enjoyed it as they got to know each other more.
The plot being centred around a sibling relationship as apposed to romance (although that does play a part too) was a slightly different storyline to my usual reads and one I really liked. The characters are interesting and relatable, the location is brilliant and I loved watching the developing and changing relationships with the different characters in this story.
So get yourself cosy and snug, out of the Autumnal weather, and get yourself settled with this book. It is a true delight - entertaining, light-hearted and fun it will make you smile - it certainly did me!
Kate Hewitt is the author of over 40 novels of women’s fiction and romance. She loves telling an emotional story in a variety of genres, and has been nominated for the Romance Writers of America RITA Award twice. An American ex-pat, she lives in the Cotswolds of England with her husband, five children, and an overly affectionate Golden Retriever. You can follow her adventures in village life on her blog, http://www.acumbrianlife.blogspot.co.uk.