Review: The Geometry of Sisters by Luanne Rice (Audio Book)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


TitleThe Geometry of Sisters
Author: Luanne Rice
First Published: 2001
Publisher: Bantam Books
Source: Library
10 hours, 44 minutes

  

In a nutshell
After years away, Maura Shaw has returned to Newport to teach English at the academy. Behind her lies her life as the perfect midwestern wife and mother, a life that seemed on the surface to be all she had ever wished for. Ahead lie long-buried truths cracked open by the unfathomable loss of her husband and eldest daughter.

For fourteen-year-old Beck, the move is a painful upheaval from everything she has ever loved—especially her sister, Carrie. Ever since her father disappeared into the storm-tossed waters off Mackinac Island, and her sister ran away, Beck has retreated into the world of mathematics, where principles are permanent, unlike so many other things in life. Without Carrie, Beck has lost half of herself—the half that would have fit in at the elite private school she and her brother, Travis, will now attend. Beck isn’t alone in her struggle to adjust. At sixteen, Travis is juggling a long-distance first love and an attraction to an expensive-looking girl with a wicked sparkle in her eye. And for Maura, ghosts linger here—an unresolved breach with her own beloved sister and a long-ago secret that may now have the power to set her free.

The Geometry of Sisters was actually good. It just wasn't for me.

I think...
The Geometry of Sisters starts with Maura Shaw moving away to Newport, with her two children, Beck and Travis. Maura's daughter, Carrie, is missing and the detective on the case has failed to find any trace of her. Maura is the only one looking forward to the change to Newport. Travis misses his girlfriend, Ally, while Beck is antagonistic to moving away from home, where Carrie could be.

As the story progresses, Maura's perfect outer facade cracks as she comes across elements of her past that she had hidden for years. At the same time, Beck resorts to stealing, as a way to battle her demons. She had been caught and accused of stealing back home, and was in therapy. Travis finds that he is developing feelings for Pell, a girl in his school, whose sister, Lucy, is Beck's close friend in Newport.

I thought this story was pretty good, but somehow I could not connect with any of the characters and their problems at any point, except one. That one moment was late in the book, when I actually felt a character do a sensible action - sensible according to her situation. There are a lot of characters introduced in Newport, who didn't kindle any sort of interest in me. There is J.D., who became paralyzed the day the woman he loved left him, Steven Campbell, the math teacher, who has made helping the Shaw family his responsibility, Pell and Lucy Davis, another pair of sisters, whose story is told in this book's sequel, The Deep Blue Sea for Beginners. Then there is Katherine, Maura's long-estranged, would-be-no-longer-estranged sister.

The many emotions captured in the book felt shallow for me. In addition, Beck often talks about sisters, her family, her problems, and her relationships in very mathematical terms. I didn't mind it initially, but after a while, it got tiring to see so many things expressed in math terms. The audio book narrators however did a very good job. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes reading books about families and sisters. Since neither theme is for me, I will stay away from this genre.

Title Demystified
I initially assumed this book was about just one pair of sisters. Instead, we have three. Some how that itself ruined the book for me. Not that I don't like reading about sisters. But three pairs was a bit too much. Mainly because I felt it took away the real beauty of the relationship between sisters, by having too many pairs to focus on. Beck's mathematical prowess is brought on very well in the title of the book.

Cover Art Demystified
I however think, the cover and the title go very well together, with the palms of the three pairs of sisters interlocked in a geometrical formation.

What did you think?
Have you read this book? I'd like to know what you thought about it. Please leave your review link in the comments, or a brief opinion, if you hadn't reviewed it.

8 comments:

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Oh bummer! It always breaks my heart when I don't connect with the characters.

bermudaonion said...

The book sounds like it had so much potential - too bad it didn't live up to it.

StephTheBookworm said...

That's too bad! I did think this book sounded really intriguing and the cover always catches my eye! I might give it a try though.

Aths said...

Juju, I agree. Character connection is what I mainly need from any book.

Kathy, that's what disappointed me as well. There was so much that could have worked out.

Steph, I liked the synopsis as well. I certainly hope you enjoy it better than I did!

Emidy said...

Too bad you didn't enjoy the book! To be honest, I'm not really into books about family issues. But, I'd still be willing to give this one a try.

Aths said...

Emidy, that's the same thought I had before reading this. I knew I may not get too impressed, but I still wanted to try it.

Diane said...

I stopped reading this author a few books ago as she had been disappointing me. I didn't read this one, but I'm sorry that is was not better for you.

Aths said...

Diane, I don't think I will be reading this author anymore either. These themes are just not for me.