Downtown, Jun 2004, 13.00
When family patriarch Ross Wright died in a plane crash, he left behind plenty of debts for his extended families to cope with. Still, the gathering of his female offspring from several marriages arrives at the Mediterranean island of Santerre to pay tribute to him in a special memorial.
Constance hopes that her boyfriend makes her look good with her family though she doubts she will attain the bar of Isabelle, her older sister. Isabelle is filled with resentment since her famous spouse dumped her for a younger model. Stepsister Lucy still competes with Isabelle for the role of departed dad's favorite by insisting that Ross was the greatest father and would never harm them. Isabelle only half fights to keep her throne because she is seeking a new stud, preferable the guy next door. He seems shockingly interested in Constance. Lucy's younger sister Jane hurts from the end of a relationship, but that and her dad's death do not color her reality as she sees that he left them to clean up his mess. Ross' four adult children pay their respects by arguing, fussing, and fighting with some comforting as only sisters can do.
Though the plot meanders, the strength of author Megan McAndrew lies in her ability to have the reader believe that all the male swaps, brawls, and hugs are normal family relationships. The sisters and key supporting players including dear departed dad seem so real that readers will believe that they are there to pay respect to Ross. This is a fabulous debut from a writer who has created a powerfully interesting character study of four ferocious females fighting at their father's funeral.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner