21 June 2012

Meryl the Magnificent

The Meryl Streep Movie Club by Mia March (Gallery Books trade paperback, 19 June 2012).

One perfectly ordinary day, Isabel Nash McNeal finds a note slipped under her front door informing her that her husband of almost 10 years is having an affair.  The note even informs her where and when to find him.   Upon confirming that the note-writer is accurate, Isabel rushes to the place where she grew up after her parents were killed in an accident: The Three Captains' Inn in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. 

Meanwhile, her younger sister June, who works as the manager of Books Brothers Books in Portland, is informed by one of the owners that they are selling the  building where she works and lives is being sold and the bookstore closed.  Luckily, their store in Boothbay Harbor will remain open, and she's offered the job of manager there.  Unfortunately, her hometown does not hold good memories for her, but she doesn't know what else to do.

Their cousin Kat Weller, a few years younger than June, has been living at the Inn with her mother Lolly and helping her keep it going while running a bakery business on the side.  One morning her mother casually informs Kat that her cousins will be arriving that afternoon because Lolly has an announcement to make.  This is shocking to Kat:  the family gathers every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but Lolly has never requested this at any other time.

Lolly's reason for calling her nieces home is a complete surprise, even to her daughter.  The three young women are completely different and have different issues and talents.  None of them are particularly close to Lolly, and each has her own reasons for resenting their maternal figure. 

There's been a long-standing tradition of Friday night movies at The Three Captains', and Lolly decides that they will watch the oeuvre of her favorite actress, Meryl Streep over the next few weeks.
The three young women are not thrilled by this, but they go along with it.  Although at first they fall into their old ways of communicating, during the course of the next few months, with Meryl's help, they find themselves reinventing their relationship with each other, and learning more about themselves in the process. 

Unsure what to expect when I first opened the book, I was pleasantly surprised and found myself completely engrossed, and sorry when I turned the final page.  

FTC Full Disclosure:  Many thanks to the publisher for sending me an ARC of this book to review.

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