The centerpiece of Luanne Riceís most recent novel is the concept of sisters Ė the closeness of the bond, the importance of the connection, and the inability to properly live without one another. The Geometry of Sisters is about three sets of sisters: Katharine and Maggie, Carrie and Beck, and Pell and Lucy.
Maggie and Katharine have been estranged for years. Though Maggie aches every day for a reconciliation with her older sister, she feels guilty about occurrences in their past that she canít change. When her husband unexpectedly dies in an accident, Maggie is forced to uproot her children and move them halfway across the country from Ohio to Newport in order to support the family. The only upside is that her sister, Katharine, lives in Newport as well.
Travis isnít thrilled about moving to New England and leaving his long-time girlfriend, Ally, but he puts on a brave face for his motherís sake. Beck, on the other hand, is devastated. She canít abide the idea of leaving her big sister, Carrie, behind; Carrie ran away from home shortly after their fatherís accident, leaving no word about where she was going or when they would see her again. The house where the family lived happily together is all they have left of Carrie. Beck feels that by moving, they are betraying and abandoning her beloved sister.
The Geometry of Sisters is a complicated book about betrayal, forgiveness, and unconditional love, reconciliation but also heartache. As she has many times before, Rice captures emotions very well. She evokes sentiments within the reader, vesting them in the story she is telling. As the reader becomes more and more connected with what is occurring in the novel, it becomes harder and harder to put down.
The characters in The Geometry of Sisters are well-written, but they arenít completely likeable. They are written as real people with flaws and issues of their own. Often, especially in the case of Carrie, they act somewhat selfishly without considering the feelings of others. Beck can be very frustrating and difficult to understand, but it is clear that she is still dealing with the trauma of the loss of both her father and sister. These characters are by no means perfect, and that enhances the depth of the novel.
The Geometry of Sisters is a good, solid novel but a bit too long for the story contained within its pages. As a result, it is not as good as Light of the Moon or What Matters Most, but itís still an enjoyable read.
Rice is at her best when she is dealing with loss, whether itís the loss of a parent, a child, or a sibling. She certainly knows how to toy with her readersí emotions and write a good story, an exceptional talent that she uses well.