During the holidays my book club, The Literary Sistas, held our final meeting for the year with a Holiday Gathering hosted by yours truly. The title discussed was Connie Briscoe’s “Sisters & Husbands”, a work that I found very disappointing.
It has been a number of years since I read Briscoe’s “Sisters & Lovers”, but as I recall I enjoyed it and had high expectations for this latest work. “Sisters and Husbands” chronicles a month in the life of the Jordan sisters – Evelyn, Charmaine, and Beverly. A month that just happens to be the four weeks preceding Beverly’s wedding. The elder Jordan sisters are married, Evelyn for more than 20 years and Charmaine is a newlywed – but not new to marriage, this is her fourth husband.
The story could be a very good one, I believe, but all I came away with was total irritation – particularly with the main character Beverly. Although there is an ensemble cast of sorts, the main character would be Beverly – this is her story. She is insecure and while this is her first marriage, Beverly is no stranger to being engaged – this is her third engagement.
Briscoe does a good job of interweaving the three stories, and I won’t go into detail so as not to spoil it for anyone, but the stitches she uses are more like a whip stitch, when a surged stitch would add more depth. Each of the sisters is struggling with relationship issues, some more than others and for varying reasons. The problem for gun shy Beverly is that she begins to live vicariously through her sisters which leads to more drama in her own relationship.
The problems they each face are common to many couples, but I believe the novel would have served the reader better if more depth had been built into the characters. This would have produced a longer book, but I think a more fulfilling read.
At 273 pages, “Sisters and Husbands” was a quick read and would definitely be classified as “Chick Lit”. If you’re looking for a story to distract you from the mundane day-to-day, this would be a good fit, but if you’re looking for an in-depth look at the relationships between sisters and husbands, you’ll be left unsatisfied.