Vinca is seeking a book she read a long time ago, and it's not quite a romance, but holy smokey is it one hell of a plot summary.
So a bit of backstory about this one. I picked the book up from an
Irish nurse who I met while on a stopover/vacation in New Zealand
after a semester abroad in Australia. While in Oz books were a
precious commodity for my classmates and I, especially during the last
couple months that were filled with camping and long, long bus rides.
We would trade them back and forth, often accompanied by long,
elaborate periods of bargaining (“Okay, so I'll give you the Beowulf
retelling in return for Even Cowgirls get the Blues and the really
cheesy scifi about time travel, aliens, and dinosaurs?” “Throw in
Memoirs of an Erotic Bookseller and you've got a deal.” etc.) I
continued this practice once I got to New Zealand, trading books with
other travelers I met along the way. The book I'm looking for I
traded a trio of Agatha Christie mysteries for while in Keri Keri with
aforementioned nurse. I ended up bringing it back stateside with me,
but forgot it at a friend's dorm I was crashing at, and they donated
it to goodwill when they moved out a couple weeks later, so I never
got to finish it.
Anyway, the book is perhaps less of a romance than a family drama,
though there was a fair amount of romantic elements going on in it.
It was set in Ireland and centered around a family with 3 daughters.
There were basically 4 plots going on in the book, one for each of the
women in the family, and each of their lives was filled with their own
The Eldest Sister worked in some sort of business (advertising? law?),
and met with a coworker's client cause the coworker was sick or
something. Anyway, the client is a hot guy (of course), and they end
up hitting it off. The Drama in this story arc is that Hot Guy is
somewhat recently divorced and has two daughters, and the ex-wife is
not over him at all and gets all jealous of Eldest Sister, and tries
to turn the daughters against her. The scene I most remember for this
plot is Eldest Sister and Hot Guy's first date – she suggests the
restaurant in a fit of Taking Charge of the Relationship, but didn't
actually know anything about it other than a half-remembered review.
When they get there they're the only ones in the whole place, and the
owner is desperately happy they're there. Turns out the review Eldest
Sister remembered as “food to die for” was actually “food to die
from,” as the reviewer got food poisoning. I think they end up having
a nice evening anyway.
The Middle Sister is recently married, and I think is a writer of some
sort? Perhaps for a soap opera? Her Drama comes from her new
husband's family hating her (acting all cold and distant), and from
said new hubby turning into an alcoholic. They go on a ski trip with
some friends and the hubby just goes out drinking every night instead
of spending time with her, and they have a big fight about it, and he
goes off and drinks more.
Youngest Sister is a shop girl at a rather upscale store. She lives
in an apartment building with a cast of Quirky Neighbors (including
obligatory Gay Best Friend) who she's closer with than her real
family. She was picked on a lot in school, and still has self esteem
issues because of it, despite now apparently being smoking hot.
There's some issues with her going to her high school reunion and
lying about her life (including a made-up boyfriend with lips like
couch cushions or something like that), but her main Drama concerns
the new Hunky Neighbor that's moved in upstairs, who she has the major
hots for. Hunky Neighbor seems to be digging her too, and everything
would be peachy except he has a girlfriend already.
The last plot concerns the Mother of the family. The girls' Father
has been cheating on their mother, who has known about it for a while.
There's a big party planned for their 50th wedding anniversary, and
while at it the Mother get a call from the Other Woman (I can't
remember why she called, jealousy or something). The Mother decides
she's had enough, makes a big scene at the party, and leaves the
Father. There's also some Drama with the Father's sister, who lives
with the Mother and Father, and absolutely hates the Mother and
idolizes the Father, thinking the Mother's not good enough for her
precious, perfect brother.
To be honest I'm not sure I even want to finish reading it (it wasn't
really all that great, what with the overdone Drama and rather flat
bad guys), I mostly just wanna know how the various stories ended.
The book got lost just about the time the Mother leaves, which is
mebbe halfway-ish? So while the title and author would be nice, what
I'm really looking for in this HABO is basically spoilers for the last
half of the book, if that's okay.
GOOD GOD THE DRAMA. So, does anyone remember this book, or at the least perhaps recall how it ended?