Published May 31, 2016
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
When We Were Sisters is the first book by Emile Richards that I have read and it definitely won’t be the last. I read the description and thought it sounded like something I would enjoy reading and I was right. It didn’t take long for the story to pull me in. It kept me on my toes and held my interest throughout the entire book.
Cecilia and Robin met in a foster home when Robin was nine and Cecilia was thirteen. Right away they clicked, they filled the need for the love that they both lacked in their lives. Their relationship grew and they have grown even closer over the years. They are, “true sisters, joined at the hip and the heart”. Now years later, these sisters are taking an emotional journey together back to their childhoods.
The book starts in present day from Robin’s point of view. After a devastating accident, Robin is re-evaluating her life. Once a busy professional photographer, she has been solely focused on her family for the last decade. Robin has begun to feel like she’s being taken for granted.
Cecilia has also had a recent incident that has caused her to take a look at her own life. Both sisters at a point in their lives where they realize that there may still be some demons they need to face from their past.
They will be working on a documentary about Cecilia’s personal life growing up in the foster care system and her subsequent rise to fame as a famous singer/songwriter. Cecilia wants Robin with her, on this journey as her photographer and for emotional support. For Robin this opportunity to dust off her camera and take some time for herself couldn’t have come at a better time.
This story is about much more than the making of a documentary.
“Love and loyalty made them sisters. Secrets could still destroy them.”
The author knows her stuff. Although it’s a fictional story I still learned a lot about how the foster system works (and doesn’t work) for foster children, both then and now. How things like the government, policies, funding, and so much more is behind how the system is run. I’ve always wondered how often is a child taken out of one bad situation and put into another. But there are also many good people who truly want to help children.
I enjoyed how the story was told from multiple points of view. It was very emotional. I cared about all of the characters and liked knowing what they were thinking and feeling. The relationships felt quite realistic in many ways. I think the author did a great job of showing the different relationships and the challenges that come along with them.
Although some of the subject matter is sensitive and hard to read at times, the author does a great job of helping the reader understand the experience and feel for the characters, without going overboard on the details.
A wonderful story about secrets, family, love, loss, strength and forgiveness.
I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to reading more from Emilie Richards.
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and Emilie Richards for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.