Rainy Day Sisters
by Kate Hewitt
I spotted Rainy Day Sisters on my library’s new shelf and it looked like the perfect quick, happy read. And it was! I absolutely loved this book. I read it in two sittings and thoroughly enjoyed every second. The writing was so good, the characters unique yet real, and the plot sweet and endearing. I can’t say enough good things about this perfect little book.
Lucy has just lost it all: her job, her boyfriend, and her reputation. She wants to escape Boston and her old life. Her half-sister Juliet offers a solution. Juliet lives in Hartley-by-the-Sea, a snug little coastal town in northern England and invites Lucy to live with her for four months to get back on her feet. There’s even a receptionist position open at the local elementary school as the previous receptionist is away on maternity leave. Lucy, the eternal optimist, anticipates a warm welcome and a fresh new start from day one. However, her sister greats her with coolness and her job gets off to a rocky start: it’s overwhelming and her boss is stern (though also, unfairly young and hot). Lucy’s tempted to go home, but her determination wins out and she decides to stay and do her best to get her new start. Spoilers: Before Lucy came to England, she worked as a barista at an art gallery and as an artist. Her gallery agrees to show her work, but before the opening, Lucy’s mother (who is an established, popular artist herself) writes a scathing article saying how awful Lucy’s art is and how she won’t help her make her way just because she is her daughter. Lucy is crushed, she had wanted her mom there as her mom, not as the famous artist, and didn’t want her name to help her. The gallery refuses to open her display and her boyfriend breaks up with her because he has two sons and the “bad press” will hurt them. It’s is a horrible blow which sends Lucy away. However, being in Hartley-by-the-Sea is good medicine and Lucy falls in love with the town, and ever so slowly the town falls in love with her. The children at the school adore her, the tattooed postman starts warming up to her, and she begins to make friends with her co-workers. Her boss, Alex has a 12 year old (Bella) and a 7 year old (Poppy), and is a widower of almost 2 years. Bella keeps getting into trouble at school and finally gets suspended. Lucy keeps and eye on her and figures out that she’s getting bullied because she doesn’t have bras (her dad is clueless). Lucy steps in and helps Bella buy bras and broach the subject with Alex. She starts to have feelings towards the whole family and they her, but it’s complicated since she’s leaving soon. Her relationship is complicated with Juliet too. Juliet’s 11 years older than Lucy and their mother chose to have Lucy through a sperm donor (Juliet’s father was never in the picture). Juliet was never loved by her mother and always got the short end of the stick, so she’s resented Lucy for all of Lucy’s life and can’t seem to get past the resentment and bitterness. Slowly, as Lucy refuses to run away from the obvious problem between them, Juliet begins to break down and explain her feelings. Finally things start falling into place. Juliet and Lucy have a breakthrough and Juliet tells Lucy she doesn’t want her to leave. Lucy realizes that Hartley-by-the-Sea is her home. She has friends, love, and hope for a future. Lucy decides to stay and she and Alex get together, much to the delight of Bella and Poppy. She starts teaching an art class at the school, and her relationship really blossoms with Juliet. Then, Lucy’s mother calls and says she has cancer and needs Lucy to come home. Even though her mother is awful, Lucy feels she doesn’t have a choice. Promising to return to Hartley-by-the-Sea at some point, Lucy leaves only a week before Christmas. Everyone is glum and not convinced Lucy will come back, Alex even asks to put their relationship on hold. Lucy’s return to her mother puts everything in perspective. She realizes her mother is selfish and has no love for Juliet, she realizes that she misses Hartley-by-the-Sea and her life with Juliet, and she realizes that she’s meant to be with Alex and a hiatus is not ok. She’s stays with her mother through her surgery and then surprises everyone by flying home for Christmas where she declares her love for Alex, and tells Juliet she wants to stay with her. Everyone is thrilled and it’s such a happy ending. The final lose end that gets tied up is between Juliet and her mother. She finally gets answers that she’s wanted for years. Her mother doesn’t know Juliet’s father because one night she got drunk and raped, but she has no idea who did it. She tried to love Juliet, but found she couldn’t no matter how hard she tried. Juliet is angry and crushed, but is relieved for the closure. Through Lucy, she has also warmed enough to find love. She and her neighbor have been friends, but she’s been to icy to allow for anything to happen. Now that her guard is down, they are able to connect and fall in love. It was such a beautiful story filled with complications and pain, that broke through to love and hope. The characters grew and changed and that’s my favorite kind of story!
Summing it up: I highly recommend this perfect, sweet little read!
All the best, Abbey