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The Alphabet Sisters

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  4,518 ratings  ·  428 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 haven't spoken in years - ever since Bett's fiance deserted her to marry the younger Carrie. Now Lola is tu ...more
Paperback, 437 pages
Published May 17th 2005 by Ballantine Books (first published October 4th 2004)
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Linda I actually read "Lola's Secret" first.. I enjoyed it. Would I have enjoyed it more if I had read "The Alphabet Sisters" first?, I don't think so. Havi…moreI actually read "Lola's Secret" first.. I enjoyed it. Would I have enjoyed it more if I had read "The Alphabet Sisters" first?, I don't think so. Having said that, there is a huge spoiler in "Lola's Secret", (regarding one of the sisters) which some readers would prefer not to know before reading the "Alphabet Sisters".(less)

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Average rating 3.74  · 
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 ·  4,518 ratings  ·  428 reviews

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A gentle, warm, often funny Australian family saga playing out in the Clare Valley, with an Irish connection by means of Lola, the grandmother's backstory. Sisters Anna, Bett and Carrie Quinlan, The Alphabet Sisters, (inspired by the American singing group the Andrew Sisters.)

A feel-good read. Somewhere between Liane Moriarity(Australian), and Maeve Binchy, Kate Morton, and Ann O'Loughlin(Irish authors), with a much much much much lighter ambiance. Australian chick-lit, with romps in the hay gu
"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
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
‘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
Jun 16, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Jan 31, 2012 rated it did not like it
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
Jennifer Johnson
Feb 11, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Irene Sauman
Aug 17, 2016 rated it liked it
This isn't my favourite Monica McInerney title. That one is Hello from the Gillespies, which was the first one I read and loved. I think because I really liked the characters. The problem I had with The Alphabet Sisters is that I wanted to shake those three girls quite a few times and tell them to stop being so stupid. Thank goodness they had grandmother Lola to do that.
The other reason was that while the author made it clear what had happened to cause the rift between the girls, she then saw f
Feb 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2009, novel
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.
Sasha Dayo
Jul 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 :-)
Melisa Peterson Lewis
Jul 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this book on the beach several years ago and cries right there on the sand, hiding behind my sunglasses. I recommended it to someone recently and thought I'd come give it a review. The story follows three sisters trying to peice their lives together. They are each so different and I find myself cheering for all of them for different reasons. The book is funny, sad, and very enjoyable for a easy beach read. It's funny how much o connect to this book, maybe because I also have 3 sisters and ...more
Sep 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 31, 2008 rated it liked it
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.
Nov 18, 2008 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Danielle McGregor
Dec 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
I tossed up between 3 and 4 stars with this book. It is a lovely story, although there are a few mundane parts. I ended up loving all of the characters, except the parents of the girls - they were a bit unlovable! But in the last 100 pages or so there was a twist I wasn't expecting and whilst I ended the book in tears, those last pages cemented in my mind it was a 4. Thanks to a wonderful friend who gifted me this book :)
Bernadine Charles
Feb 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book I kept picking up and putting down. On holidays in New Zealand I read this book. The pace was slow at the beginning however once I got into the second half it was great. I could not stop crying for the last couple of chapters, unfortunately I was with Anne, Rod and David so they saw the tears on more than one occasion. It was great story about forgivenesses should not be delayed and how petit but sad the wrong words can cause grief.
Jun 01, 2009 rated it liked it
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.
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Lori Skjong-Nilsen
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an adorable story that reveals the sweet, annoying and baffling relationship among sisters. A light sweet story about relationships, grudges and forgiveness.
Sep 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great book! Happiness, sadness and laughter in all pages.
Sharon A.
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Lovely story of an Australian family and what makes them strong and what comes between.
Paula Sealey
A warm and pleasant read exploring the complicated relationships between three sisters.

When their eccentric grandmother Lola demands that Bett, Anna and Carrie attend her 80th birthday party, each has their misgivings. The sisters haven't spoken to each other for three years following a large family row and are worried how they will cope upon seeing each other again. With Lola's help however, they start to work through their issues in a bid to become friends again.

There is a bit of everything in
Jennifer K
Having never before examined a Monica McInerney novel thought would give one a go. On the grounds she's an Aussie and that the proposed consumption as an audiobook would:

- enable multi tasking of the unpaid employment that sadly precludes an ability to sit about reading a physical book all day; and
- seem like less of an overinvestment if I didn't like it.

Happily the second was not the case. A not totally predictable plot was enhanced by the expression of the narrator who managed to pop in rea
Joe Sampson
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Monica McInerney is a good storyteller. Her characters are lifelike. Parts of this story were moving.
Jun 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction, 2010
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
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
Bronwyn Rykiert
Nov 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
Hilarie Stone
Aug 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I read so much that I often don't remember all the details of a book. However certain really good books just leave a feeling with you. An almost remembrance of a time and a place that you once experienced. I realized a couple chapters in that this was such a book, and that I had read it before! :) I loved it just as much the second time, and couldn't really remember the details as it had been such a long time (Pre-ereader days). I highly recommend. It's just a really sweet sto ...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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