Monday, June 29, 2009

Henry's Sisters-Cathy Lamb

Henry's Sisters
Cathy Lamb
Kensington, Aug 2009, $15.00
ISBN 9780758229540

Globetrotting photographer Isabelle, kindergarten teacher Celia and author Janie find out their mom River is going to have open heart surgery through the usual pink slip notes she has sent each of them everyday even when they lived in the same house with her. Reluctantly the Bommarito sisters come home to Trillium River, Oregon though they would prefer to ignore their mother. The trio is close in spite of their geography and vocations, and all are looking forward to spending time with their mentally disabled brother Henry who seems to love everyone.

As they take care of their healing mom and watch over their demented grandmother so she does not fly away and Henry, the sisters who fled their hometown all find some unexpected solace here in trying to save the family bakery where their brother works. Isabelle beings to understand why she preferred short term relationships; Janie begins to understand she suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder; and widow Cecilia is finally overcoming her grief over her husband’s death that sent her into doing dangerous stupid things.

This is an interesting family drama filled with pathos and humor as HENRY’S SISTERS realize they are unhappy while their mentally disturbed brother is very contented. Initially writing his happiness off as ignorance of not knowing better; each soon learns he understands much more than they realized. Each of the sisters begins to look inside as they start to come to grips on the personal demons that disturb them. Well written, readers will relish Cathy Lamb’s enjoyable poignant character study that affirms contentment and despondency are personal though it takes loved ones to help someone maintain a degree of happiness and satisfaction in life.

Harriet Klausner

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