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The Alphabet Sisters

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3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  2,712 ratings  ·  292 reviews
As girls growing up in Clare Valley, Australia, Anna, Bett, and Carrie Quinlan were childhood singing stars known as The Alphabet Sisters. The unbridled enthusiasm of their flamboyant grandmother Lola was the glue that held them together. As adults, though, the women havenât spoken in yearsâever since Bettâs fiancà deserted her to marry the younger Carrie. Now Lola is turn ...more
Paperback, 437 pages
Published May 17th 2005 by Ballantine Books (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

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Suzanne
"What was the joke she'd overheard two schoolboys tell last week? 'Why do girls wear make up and perfume?' 'Because they're ugly and they stink.'"

What a lovely book to pick up off the shelf at my holiday house. How disappointing for me that I discovered Monica McInerney only now!

Anna, Bett and Carrie are three very different and lively sisters with a vast history of love and a past that has torn them apart. Bett, the middle sister has always struggled with feeling the least beautiful, things ne
...more
Sharon
Sisters Anna, Bett and Carrie haven't seen or spoken to one another for the past three years after having a falling out. Their grandmother, Lola is turning eighty and is having a party and has requested that all three granddaughter's attend the party. Although Anna, Bett and Carrie all dearly love their grandmother none of them are looking forward to be reunited with one another.

From the tension between her granddaughter's, Lola soon realises that her plans of trying to get them to sort their i
...more
Jennifer Johnson
Monica McInerney's The Alphabet Sisters caught my attention immediately in the book store, promising to be a touching tale of sisterhood and the bonds they share. Being a sap for any books about sisters, I swiped it off the shelf and made it my "vacation" reading.

The story begins with the three sisters, who have not spoken for three years united for a party for their beloved grandmother. None of the girls are interested in reconciling, after a rather scandalous event rocked their friendship to t
...more
Julie
I was looking for a quick, fun summer read when I picked up this book. Overall it was a fun, light read but I had a hard time getting into it. The story is about three sisters from Australia who have had a falling out. One of the sisters ends up marrying the other sister’s fiancé. Their grandmother brings them together for her 80th birthday in hopes to bring them back together. The story is pretty slow to begin and then tries to add too much in the last one hundred pages. It was a very simple re ...more
Marissa
This book is the kind of story that will have your emotions going on a rollercoaster. The Alphabet Sisters is one of the best realistic fiction books I have ever read. Anna, Bett, and Carrie are sisters but they are also best friends. When they were younger they used to sing together and be called the Alphabet Sisters. As anyone would guess they got older though, and soon the Alphabet Sisters started to disappear. Even though this happened, the Alphabet Sisters still stayed close. That is, unti ...more
ALPHAreader
‘The Alphabet Sisters’ is the 2005 fiction novel by Australian author, Monica McInerney.

It was the opening line that hooked me enough to purchase this ebook and give it a go;

‘Your sister is married to your ex-fiancé?’

Yep. I had to know more.

Sadly, the explosive premise promised in the opening chapter is never really delivered.

The book is told from various perspectives, but mainly that of Bett; the somewhat tubby middle child, who grew up watching boys fall for her sisters and felt the last straw
...more
Vanessa
This book spoke to me directly, if ever books had words to say. Monica’s creations are tangible; you can almost reach out and touch her characters through the pages, share their various emotions and feel the insecurities that burden them.

Bett is chubby yet lovable, and she’s never been as comfortable in her own skin as her sisters are. The centre of her sisters’ puns about weight, Bett grew up feeling like a failure in terms of her looks. Carrie, blonde and pretty, stole Bett’s fiancé, which di
...more
Sarah
Aug 09, 2008 Sarah rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Sarah by: Just picked it off the shelf at 1/2 priced books while kids were
Alphabet Sisters was what I consider to be a "nice" read. The characters were fun (for the most part). I really liked Lola's spunk; I hope I am a little like her when I am in my eighties! I found Bett's insecurity to be a tad bit annoying, however. The book's conclusion was not to my liking. (I hate spoilers so I will write no more on that subject.) I also found it hard to believe that these otherwise intelligent and empathetic sisters were so obtuse about each other's adolescent struggles.
Sasha Dayo
I almost cried when I read the book. It was funny, warm n touchy at the last part. Lola was ma best character. Funny old lady. Of all the sisters, i got a connection wit Bet. Easy goin...n i was hurt by Anne's death oh what a great book it is :-)
Kristen
I loved most of this book, but she had to add too much sex. Not that I don't like sex, but I prefer that with my husband. I wanted to just enjoy and laugh and cry with this book and I kept having to skip pages to finish the story.
Caitlin
Another McInerney story about sisters, family dynamics, secrets and an eccentric matriarch set amidst the Clare Valley in South Australia.

I like McInerney stories - at least, I know what I'm getting. They don't completely and utterly rock my world, however I usually read them at times when I need something snuggly and easy. And being a South Australian local with ties to the Irish community myself, recognising places and supporting a local author is a nice feeling.

So if there is one word that su
...more
Sara
I enjoyed this book and thought the author did a great job weaving the tale of three sisters who haven't spoken in three years, after one of them married another one's fiance. Now called back home by their grandma to help celebrate her 80th birthday, they're forced to interact with each other and begin to work through their issues together.

The sisters were all likable, although I definitely had a preference of which ones I liked best and least, and the grandmother was great. The author didn't g
...more
Sue
Monica McInerney was recommended to me as an author by my sister. I immediately purchased ‘A Taste for It’ and ‘The Alphabet Sisters’ for my Kindle. After reading ‘A Taste for It’ I admit to being underwhelmed by the writing style and predictable storyline therefore ‘The Alphabet Sisters’ has been left unread for over a year, gathering electronic dust in a corner of my Kindle. Until now.

Blessed with a sunny winter’s day I picked up my Kindle and sat on a bench seat in my garden to get acquainted
...more
Bronwyn Rykiert
Bett has been living in the UK, Anna is married to Glen and lives in Sydney and Carrie stayed home to work with their parents in the Valley View Motel, Clare, South Australia. Carrie, the youngest of the Alphabet Sisters is married to Matthew - who was at the centre of the sister's 3 year rift when Carrie and Matt became an item, while Matt was engaged to Bett.

Their grandmother Lola has kept in touch with each of her grand daughters and has been working out a way to get them back together, so wh
...more
Bettina
A hilarious and heart breaking book all at the same time. Reminded me just how beautiful the Clare Valley is. Can't wait to go back again :) Monica is a great story teller.
Desiree
Terrific story, character development and writing. Veered a little bit romancey and away from literary chick novel now and again, but a very enjoyable read.
Valerie
Australian born Dublin, Ireland based author, Monica McInerney, has written several best-selling novels. I found her book "The Alphabet Sisters" when my local library was selling off some books. The story revolves around three sisters Anna, Bett, and Carrie Quinlan. They were childhood singing stars known as The Alphabet Sisters. Their flamboyant grandmother Lola was the glue that held them together. As adults, though, the women have not spoken in years – ever since Bett’s fiancé deserted her to ...more
Asha
The alphabet sisters is about three sisters, once very close till a major rift draws them apart, after one of the sisters marries the other's boyfriend. However, the girls' grandmother has kept in touch with them over the years and insists on having them come over for her 80th party. Well, so much for hidden agendas to get them together once again but it is the ease with which the story flows that makes it a crackling read.

The novel particularly delights in some witty conversations, the reparte
...more
Lauren

Anna, Bett, and Carrie are estranged sisters living very different lives. Anna, the eldest, has pursued her dreams of acting in Sydney with a rich husband and perfect daughter; Bett, the middle, has fled to London to pursue a career writing after her engagement was broken by her cheating ex-fiance. Carrie, the youngest, has decided to stay close to home and help run the family’s hotel with her new husband, Matthew… the ex-fiance she stole from Bett. None of the girls have been able to lead very
...more
Carol
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jillian
One of the best books I've read in a while! I LOVED it. The whole time I was reading it I was thinking that the author must have two sisters . . . come to find out, she has three! She did an amazing job of really using the stereotype of the order of siblings, but not making it too cheesy and obvious. The location (Australia) made it even more entertaining. Seriously made me want a pushy flashy grandma :)
Michelle
This was chick lit-predictable and fluffy, but I enjoyed it for what it was. It is the story of three sisters who were no longer speaking after a big blowout over various things . They are brought back together by a series by their grandmother and find ways to reconnect. The plot and the characters are believable, but it didn't require a huge brain commitment to read.
Camille H
The Alphabet Sisters is a beautiful tale, about these 3 sisters (Anna, Bett, and Carrie) they had a giant fight 3 years ago and they never talked since, rumors have spread that it's because of Bett's old fiancee, but they claim tat it's more than that. Lola their grandmother, is trying to get them to see that they don't need to hate each other, but none of the sisters have forgotten that day. Anna, and Bett have always ganged up on their little sister Carrie, because they think that she's all to ...more
Lauren Murphy
I posted a review of The Alphabet Sisters on my blog:

http://australianbookshelf.wordpress....
Bridget Conroy
This was the first book I have read from this author. It is your usual chick lit book but better. It is the story of three sisters who haven't talked in 3 years due to a huge fight between them. They are brought together by their grandmother and you watch them slowly become sisters again. It's a nice story with a few twists thrown in. Nothing suspenseful mind you this is typical chick lit but a few things happen that you are not expecting. It was a good read where you like all of the characters ...more
Kris
3 STARS

"As girls growing up in Clare Valley, Australia, Anna, Bett, and Carrie Quinlan were childhood singing stars known as The Alphabet Sisters. The unbridled enthusiasm of their flamboyant grandmother Lola was the glue that held them together. As adults, though, the women haven't spoken in years ever since Bett's fiance deserted her to marry the younger Carrie. Now Lola is turning eighty and she is determined to reunite the girls for a blowout bash. And no one ever says no to Lola.

Bett, who f
...more
Megan
Well, I loved "Those Faraday Girls", with the teenage pregnancy, the quirky cast of sisters, the runaway neglected sister, adorable daughter in the next generation with her own problems and mad hatter father. It was a big chick-lit sandwich of awesome that I revisit regularly. So naturally, I added "The Alphabet Sisters" to my to-read list and hoped that I rewarded for my trouble.

I eagerly opened the first page and as I read it appeared I would be pleased. Quirky Cast of Sister (check), runaway
...more
Anne
Family and Other Catastrophes


Most of the time our life is a matter-of-choice affair. We are presented with two or more options and we choose the one that fits us the most or the one we believe to be right.
But today's book recommendation is about the one thing in life we have absolute no influence on – our FAMILY. We do not choose them, and we usually do not get rid of them ...
Monica McInerney has written a beautiful novel about this dilemma, which I would like to recommend to you now:The Alpha
...more
Anne
Family and Other Catastrophes


Most of the time our life is a matter-of-choice affair. We are presented with two or more options and we choose the one that fits us the most or the one we believe to be right.
But today's book recommendation is about the one thing in life we have absolute no influence on – our FAMILY. We do not choose them, and we usually do not get rid of them ...
Monica McInerney has written a beautiful novel about this dilemma, which I would like to recommend to you now:The Alpha
...more
Georgina Boardman
I bought this book knowing nothing about it, I literally just picked it up off the shelf and bought it without having read the back cover. I am so glad I did as it was such a nice surprise to find out it was about the reunion of three sisters who haven't spoken to eachother in three years due to "Big Fight". The book is well written, flowing easily and intelligently to each of the characters' points of view. I liked all of the characters and really felt myself routing for some of them although s ...more
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Monica McInerney is the internationally bestselling author of eleven novels including Hello from the Gillespies, The House of Memories, Lola's Secret, At Home with the Templetons, Family Baggage, The Alphabet Sisters and Those Faraday Girls (which was named the General Fiction Book of the Year in the 2008 Australian Book Industry Awards.
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More about Monica McInerney...
The Faraday Girls At Home With the Templetons Family Baggage Hello From the Gillespies Upside Down, Inside Out

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