Erin's Reviews > The Almost Archer Sisters

The Almost Archer Sisters by Lisa Gabriele
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's review
Jan 03, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: chick-lit, literary
Read in January, 2009

Clever and painfully honest--that's how I'd describe Gabriele's narrator Peachy, and also the book itself. I thought this would be kind of chick lit-ish read, which is what i was looking for, but it was much darker and wittier than I realized. Frankly, it took me a few chapters to get into it, because Gabriele's style is unusual--she jumps around in the timeline, adds details that don't make sense until a little later, and then pops you in the face with a wild plot point like this one: "But that was 4 hours before I walked in my sister ****ing my husband in the pantry." Do what now?

But that plot point fuels the rest of the story. Archer sisters Beth and Peachy are as opposite as two girls can be, but they love each other dearly (well--despite some of Beth's flaws). Peachy lives in Canada with her husband that she married after an unexpected pregnancy at 18 (and oddly enough Beth's high school boyfriend), their 2 boys and her widowed father. Big sister Beth, wild and restless after their mother's suicide when she was a child, flees to New York City to be famous and successful. She's living the big life, but can't settle down, contain her drinking, or avoid getting mentioned in the NYC tabloids. Her sister's house was a sanctuary of sorts until the unfortunate incident in the pantry.

The girls' complicated but loving relationship is what fuels the heart of the story, as well as Peachy's fierce love for her family, despite (perhaps because of) her humble but limited surroundings. Having Peachy narrate the story is effective--Beth might be flashy, but she's a tornado that destroys everything in its wake. Peachy is solid, unobtrusive, and forgiving--but will she always be after this betrayal? Really engaging, and when it started to pick up steam, I couldn't put it down!
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