Names My Sisters Call Me: Not so bad being an only child?

I’m an only child who has always longed desperately for siblings.  However, after reading Megan Crane’s Names My Sisers Call Me, maybe I should abandon the sibling fantasy and enjoy being an only child. Lessee…Courtney, the youngest of three sisters, decides that her engagement and wedding will be the event that heals rifts in the family.  Rifts caused when free-spirited middle sister Raine ruined controlling, Type-?A oldest sister Norah’s wedding and then departed with her best friend Matt who was also Courtney’s first boyfriend.  Years have gone by since those events, and against Norah’s wishes, Courtney decides to visit Raine…and Matt.  Soon, artistic, cellist Courtney is questioning everything in her life, and Raine and Norah are fighting as bitterly as always.  Matt seems to be everywhere, and Raine seems to be determined to make Courtney doubt everything. 

I had read Crane’s earlier book English as a Second Language and hadn’t been all that impressed, so I was surprised to like Names My Sisters Call Me as much as I did.  Courtney seemed rather naive yet real, and the entire family is dealing with some heavy issues as their father left the family to live in CA and died before Courtney was born.  I can understand the allure of wanting your entire family around you or just wanting your family whole and healed.  All the characters were well-developed with the exception of Raine who remained a touch undeveloped, which in a way contributed to her role as catalyst.  Through her, Courtney grows up and accepts and appreciates the life she has worked so hard for.  Norah’s control freak tendencies are put into perspective and she is softened somewhat.  You end up feeling slightly sorry for Raine, which is ok.  It’s a book that has more depth than I expected although throughout I had that “it’s going to end up badly feeling”.

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