Based on its cover alone, you may expect Libby Hubscher‘s Meet Me In Paradise to have romance, humour and a tropical locale. And it does! But what impressed me the most was its focus on the bond of sisters and the different ways people handle grief.
There’s still a light romance on sunny beaches, but this book surprised me with its depth, interesting characters, and a story that made me shed more than a tear or two. Yes, this book gave me a rare, totally satisfying, and unexpected ugly cry. But it’s not all romance and tears – there’s also fantastic, dry humour from Sadie which lightens things up.
Initially the story took a bit for me to get into with its traditional romance feel, but as it progressed I was pulled further and further into the lives of Marin and Sadie – two sisters whose personalities are extreme opposites. Marin is uptight, hates taking risks, and needs to be in control, while Sadie is the carefree and sometimes dangerously spontaneous younger sister. Despite their differences these two sisters are extremely close, particularly after the loss of their mother many years prior whose death set the sisters on different paths as they coped with the devastating loss.
For me, this book was less about the romance and more about the emotional bond between the sisters – and all the bliss and challenges that relationship entails. As the oldest of three sisters, I give the highest of fives to the author for getting those intricacies right. The story also addresses other relationships – romantic, friendships, and past loves and I liked how Hubscher didn’t vilify one character in particular.
I can’t go into too much detail for fear of giving too much away, but I will say that this is a must-read book. Heartfelt, charming and authentically poignant, this is a look at sisterhood, family, and friendship. I also appreciated its focus on the different ways people handle (and change) after experiencing profound grief and the importance of pushing oneself outside one’s comfort zone to truly experience all that life has to offer. Put your hold on this increasingly popular book at WPL today!
– Laurie P.