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True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters

3.32  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,368 Ratings  ·  579 Reviews

An outpouring of cheers, tears, and applause propelled this tender and hilarious first novel onto national bestseller lists immediately upon publication. Telling the story of two sisters-Olivia, a hotshot Hollywood producer whose life is unraveling, and Maddie, an unflaggingly optimistic, seriously ill midwesterner whose idealism has always driven Olivia crazy-The True and

Paperback, 352 pages
Published January 28th 2005 by Little, Brown & Company (first published 2004)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I've just finished weeping my way through the last few pages of this wonderful book. It's a beautiful tale of sisters, of course, but much more so of relationships and relating.

This novel counterbalances the falseness and fecklessness of Hollywood with the intensely weighted reality of dealing with cancer in small town middle America. Even more, it blended them into the tapestry of one life, revealing that the frivolity of the one and the despair of the other are intrinsic in every life. Through
Jan 10, 2016 Emily rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was soooo ready for the book to end by the end that I just skimmed through the ending. I think what bothered me was how one sided the book was because you had to get the story through letters of one person (which is different, to me, than reading a book that's in first person. And there were no adventures...the title and cover gave me a different impression of what the book is about.
Book Concierge
The Hunt sisters couldn’t be more different. Olivia is a Hollywood producer, used to first-class amenities and fleeing from any relationship commitment. Maddie lives the life Olivia ran from – still living near their parents in the small town where they grew up, she is happily married to her high school sweetheart. Olivia rages against the obstacles in her path. Maddie approaches life with idealism and optimism. As the novel opens, Olivia has had one disappointment too many and she is crafting h ...more
Julie Laporte
Jul 28, 2011 Julie Laporte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was about a 3-star-er before I hit the midway point, then everything started clicking, and it became one of those books that doesn't leave your side...since it's in letter format, it's easy to grab a page or two here and there.

This book is so thought-provoking--a story of two sisters, both of them whose lives are falling apart, but in completely different ways. One loses her health, but has loving family intact. The other loses her love and her career, while health is intact. Both resent t
Oct 24, 2007 Meredith rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn’t finish this book (which hardly ever happens). The letters of a woman whose sister is battling cancer and is trying to get a Don Quixote film done (she is a director, I think). It was boring to me and I lost interest. It’s very simple writing, as if a woman really did just write a letter and I didn’t like her outlook on life.
Sep 19, 2008 Dottie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: trgbc, 2008, own, 2013
Back there when this was out and causing the stir however big or small that might have been, I'm sure it crossed the radar here because as anyone can see my radar is hyper-active -- just look at the numbers on my info here -- it's insane! STILL -- it never got picked up, taken home, or read in part or in total until now with Rory and the gang and may I say -- it was a pleasure?

I loved the letters and e-mails and by the backhanded delivery the conversations either in person or via the telephone -
Oct 30, 2015 7_MollyS rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book changed my perspective on the secrets and struggles of sisterhood. It restored my excitement to have two older sisters in my everyday life. This fictional novel centers around the lives of sisters Olivia and Maddie Hunt as they make their way through every-day life obstacles and as they struggle to uncover the meaning and importance of sisterhood. Throughout their whole lives, the sisters have never really been able to find that special connection. Olivia, a hotshot Hollywood producer ...more
The True and Outstanding Adventures is a book full of letters, e-mails, and even telegrams, written by Olivia Hunt to her friends and family. Olivia is a hollywood producer who is recovering from losing her job but also determined to make a movie she has put her heart and soul into.

Amidst the chaos of the Hollywood life, Olivia learns her younger sister Maddie has leukemia and now Olivia is split between Hollywood and the small midwestern town she comes from.

Through her correspondence we get a
Stephanie Kapllani
Jun 23, 2014 Stephanie Kapllani rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
When I first started this, I didn't want to continue and I didn't like the format. But I kept going, and what was at first an annoyed start turned into an overwhelmingly, satisfying finish. John Green said, “Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book. And then there are books like An Imperial Affliction, which you can't tell people ...more
Carrie Abigail
Jun 03, 2014 Carrie Abigail rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Last week I finished, The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters. Somehow this book made it from my sister's book shelf to mine because it had her name in it. I'd never heard of the book nor did I know what it was about.

Perhaps I'm being too critical because this is the first time in a while that I gave back to back books only three stars. This one was even tougher to get through then The Fault In Our Stars. I was disappointed to because it was written all in letters and I love that
Jan 11, 2009 Faith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2005
This book is obviously/probably one of the American best seller, since I noticed it on the bookstores in Canada and USA. It was off course the front cover that made me notice it. And it was definitely worth all the prize on the back cover. The book deals with Hollywood and terminal illness (cancer), and these subjects are obviously quite different from each other, but they are actually quite okay in the same book, in this book. Olivia Hunt is producing her first movie at the same time as her sis ...more
May 22, 2010 Toni rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
By the time I was 19 my grandmother had broken her neck and was told that she would never walk again, she did;I sat in an ICU unit while the doctor told us that my dad would not make it through the night, he did (only to bravely face a horrible disease for 30 years);I sat on my mom's lap hearing that my sister may not be coming home from Children's Hospital ICU , but she did (for 17 more years). There were many more times that I learned that illness is a part of life. It is something that you fi ...more
Oct 12, 2011 Lynne rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book, having received it as a gift from someone who knows the author personally and with whom I share the drama of much of the story's themes (sisterhood, close relative with cancer.) But I have to say overall I was disappointed. The writing itself is better than I expected from a book of its type (chick lit?) but sometimes even that is hard to believe coming from the voice of a Hollywood movie producer. But ok, i guess it's possible. But really, does it all have to ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 26, 2015 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
4+. A lot to love about this one. I love epistolary novels, Hollywood novels, sister stuff, and I'm always going to be drawn to sibling with cancer plot lines. It does stretch the limits of the format a little, in that she writes very very detailed letters. I like to just let this kind of novel do its thing, and can accept that you'll miss some details when it's all in letters. But I absolutely loved the main character, loved the choices she made in her relationships, loved her even with her fla ...more
Oct 06, 2014 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Letter format. women's fiction/realistic memoir style book about sister dying of cancer. It was okay. I learned a lot about producing a movie but in the state of mind i'm in I just wasn't effected by the sadness of the sister. Written well and I would recommend it. I hope the author has another book out, as it said she was writing an second novel but I haven't seen it yet.
Mary Richardson
I chose this as my companion on a tortuous international flight, and it was perfect for the confined uncomfortable space. Not making too demands on the reader, the novel is a collection of letters the protagonist pens to all the significant people in her life during a stressful period.

The writing was easy and entertaining in an intelligent way unlike many fun reads out there. There are all kinds of pokes at Hollywood and even an interesting connection to Don Quixote woven in.

The best part for m
Jan 21, 2016 Mitch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literary-fiction
This book throws you a little because it's not really focused on two sisters...Olivia does 99% of the writing from her viewpoint as she covers what's going on with her sister, what's going on in her own career, and what's going on in her love life.

In any book that takes a long look at someone suffering from leukemia, one difficulty is to avoid things becoming maudlin or too melancholy. Congratulations to Ms. Robinson for avoiding these pitfalls brilliantly. She threw in offsetting humor or just
Jul 10, 2015 Carolyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
read in 2005.

When an shockingly well-read man such as my father calls you up and says "I've got a book recommendation...but I never would have read it if I'd seen the cover!", you know you've got to sit up and take notice. Indeed.

The True and Outstanding Advenures of the Hunt Sisters, by Elisabeth Robinson is much more than the chick-lit light its cover suggests. Similar to The Wedding Season, by Darcy Cosper, which I recommended last year, people who avoid it due to its "labeling" are missing o
Ashley Elliott
This is the story of two sisters, told in epistolary form entirely from one of the sister's POV. It took me a while to get into it, and, at first, I couldn't figure out why there were (literally) pages upon pages of review blurbs in the beginning.

But then the story swept me away, and I got to know the main character, Olivia, by reading her letters to her sick sister, Maddie, her on-again, off-again boyfriend, Michael, and other people in her life. I learned how she'd risen to where she was in he
I don't know what made me pick up this book- maybe the sentimentality of sisterhood...but I really liked it and read it almost straight through in one evening. I couldn't put it down, which surprised me because I normally do not like stories written entirely in letters. It resonates deeply for those who have sisters, and I laughed and cried along with Olivia. I was surprised to learn that the story was based on the author's experiences with her own sister.
Aug 06, 2011 Alyssa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grabbed this book at a yard sale randomly. I brought it to read on the plane because the letter format seemed like good, easy plane reading. It was really pretty good and the letter writing format really worked. I would think it would be hard to engage a full story with the letters of a single person, but I got engrossed very quickly. I read the whole thing in two days and found myself embarrassed to be wiping away tears on an airplane.
Feb 25, 2016 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!
Kristen Mcclure
I just read this book. Loved it. The entire book is in letters, and they are only the letters the main character herself writes. She struggles with the death of her sister, her alcoholic family, and the choice between her career and a relationship. I read it in one sitting.
Rebecca Russell
I think I would have enjoyed this book more had it not been written as letters by the main character to all the various people in her life.
I didn't have a problem with the basic plot- contrasting the shallow life of Hollywood with the painful and confusing reality of facing her sister's cancer- but would have preferred it not to be so myopic, as seen only through the eyes and voice of one person.
After reading (and loving) Love, Rosie by Cecilia Ahern, which was written in the same format, I felt
Jan 31, 2014 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
I chose this book for my book club without knowing a whole lot about it beforehand. I wish I would have known that the language is very colorful because I think it may be too harsh for some of the book club members. The story line is a good one. One sister is in Hollywood trying to get a movie to be made about Don Quixote. She writes letters and emails to the people in her life and that is how the book is narrated. Her younger sister gets cancer and part of the storyline is focused on that. The ...more
Two sisters, Maddie seriously ill but optomistic and idealistic, and Olivia driven to succeed, observant, abrasive and attractive. Both of their lives are unraveling in different ways. Their respective stories are told via the letters, faxes and e-mails written by Olivia. Her correspondence is conversational in nature and allows the reader to vicariously experience every aspect of Olivia's life from her Hollywood adventures and misadventures, to her romantic life and above all her love for her s ...more
Apr 22, 2015 Ophelia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved that this book was written entirely in letters - I always enjoy an unusual literary device. It was nice that the protagonist (Olivia) was not always likeable but you still somehow wanted things to work out for her. Her relationship with her sister was a central theme, but not the only one. I felt we really didn't get to know Maddie properly, she always seemed a bit one dimensional, but as we were seeing her through Olivia's eyes, that was perhaps inevitable. All in all, it was a fun book ...more
Aug 27, 2015 Maria rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
Alright, I’ll admit that alongside Doerr, Kingsolver and Liz Gilbert’s latest, this little book may not be utterly worthy of that fifth glittering star, but I absolutely LOVED it at this particular moment on my reading journey. Sure, there are those in some circles who will tut-tut, look down their noses and haughtily admonish my rating with muttered curses resembling, “Eeeww, Chick-Lit? Rah-lly??”

I stand by it. Olivia Hunt and her various epistles simply glowed with a light of their own, brigh
Jun 10, 2015 Annie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed, novels
I honestly don't know what to think of this book! I loved it, I hated it, I was frustrated to no end, I was annoyed, I was weeping, I was holding back excited giggles - how do you rate a book like that?

It is not what I usually read. And, honestly, I only started because of the Hollywood part of the story - not the cancer part. Most certainly not for the language used (it wasn't that bad, but I prefer none at all). And I am glad that my mother had told me the end before I even started reading.

I a
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“When you hear the word dog you picture that animal in your mind, but what do you see when you say the word God? Most people I know deny they see Michelangelo's white-bearded, big-handed guy; now it's a concept, usually it's Love - God is Love, most nonbelievers say - but if God is Love, then we don't need the word God, do we? We could just say, I hope to Love you get better. I pray to Love you are healed. Love, please heal my sister, Madeline.” 1 likes
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