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The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters: A Novel
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The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters: A Novel

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  4,556 Ratings  ·  600 Reviews
Olivia Hunt is unemployed, living alone, and working on the fourth draft of her suicide note when she gets a phone call that lets her know what real trouble is. Madeleine Hunt is her younger sister, the annoyingly happy one who married the hometown guy while Olivia set out to conquer Hollywood, ha, ha.And Maddie is in trouble.Pulled home for the first time in years, Olivia ...more
Hardcover, 327 pages
Published January 7th 2004 by Little, Brown and Company (first published 2004)
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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 25, 2008 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.
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
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
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.
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
Oct 27, 2007 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 -
Stephanie Kapllani
Jun 01, 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
Sep 11, 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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
Sep 26, 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
Jan 21, 2016 Mitch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: just-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
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 22, 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
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.
Sep 30, 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.
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.
Mindy Tysinger
Both amusing and heartbreaking. Get your tissues
Feb 13, 2016 Suzanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!
Aug 16, 2016 Kathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent voice! Told through letters. Witty and clever.
Nicole Smith
Jan 24, 2017 Nicole Smith rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan Kellis
Jan 13, 2017 Jan Kellis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would have given this 5 stars if it weren't an epistolary novel. In the beginning, the letters are lots of fun to read, but by the middle of the book, I was tired of letters and wanted good old-fashioned narrative prose.

The story, though, is a good one. Older sister Olivia's Hollywood producer career is hanging by a thread, or less. She's sometimes homeless and penniless, but always hopeful about the movie she wants to make (Don Quixote). Younger sister Madeline is diagnosed with leukemia, wh
Anne Klingborg
Oct 24, 2016 Anne Klingborg rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is probably a good summer beach read.
Rebecca Eisenberg
I loved this book very, very much.
Bina Gallagher
Sep 30, 2016 Bina Gallagher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters is a beautifully crafted book filled with friendship, humor, and heartbreak. The story is in the point of view of the spunky and headstrong Olivia Hunt. We get the plot through various letters and emails written by her to the many people in her life. Olivia finds out that her younger sister Maddie has leukemia. “It’s leukemia. You say: No” (8) This part of the story really shows that Olivia can’t believe what is happening. It really hits he ...more
Jan 16, 2017 K rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The end was a bit of a tear-jerker, but the "stuck in the very limited pov of someone I don't like very much" narration did not work for me.
Cyndy Aleo
May 20, 2011 Cyndy Aleo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Browsing through the used and clearance section of Barnes and Noble, I came upon a book with the interesting title of The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters. The short book blurb and author bio on the cover did nothing for me, but I was drawn in by a comment by Jay Mcinerney on the book jacket and decided to give it a whirl.

::: The Plot :::

The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters is a fictionalized version of Elisabeth Robinson, a former producer and screenwriter.
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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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