Review: The Patterson Girls by Rachael Johns

 

Title: The Patterson Girls

Author: Rachael Johns

Published: Harlequin MIRA September 2015

Read an Excerpt

Status: Read from September 16 to 17, 2015 — I own a copy   {Courtesy the publisher}

My Thoughts:

The Patterson Girls is Rachael Johns first foray into general contemporary fiction, though she doesn’t stray far from her literary roots in rural romance.

The titular Patterson girls, obstetrician Madeleine, wife and teacher Lucy, professional violinist Abigail, and Charlotte, the self described under achiever, have come home to spend Christmas with their recently widowed father. Keenly feeling their mothers absence, none of them are surprised when he announces his plan to sell the family motel and willingly agree to help clear out their mothers things. As the sisters rummage through their mother’s keepsakes, reminiscing over old photos, fashion and jewelry, their curiosity is piqued when they discover a reference to a Patterson curse. Wheedling the details from the reluctant Aunt Mags, the particulars of the curse stuns all four sisters, and becomes a catalyst that turns the Patterson’s sisters lives upside down.

Told from the shifting third person perspectives of Madeleine, Lucy, Abigail and Charlotte, The Patterson Girls is a story of sisters, secrets, loss and love.

Vivid characterisation brings the personalities of the sisters to life. Each has distinct strengths and flaws, and are beset by their own personal challenges, from unrequited love to infertility. While I identified most closely with Charlotte, I also found Madeleine, Lucy and Abigail to be interesting and well rounded characters and I really enjoyed Johns skillful portrayal of their sisterly dynamic.

The plot blends domestic drama, romance and a hint of mystery. While it’s clear from the outset that all of the sisters are struggling in one way or another, the revelation about the Patterson curse piles on the pressure, and provokes much of the drama that follows, particularly for Madeleine, Lucy and Abigail. Charlie is finally finding her feet when a twist in the tale threatens to shatter the happiness she has forged for herself. Meanwhile, romance proves to be troublesome for all of them. While Charlie’s feelings grow for an old friend and Abigail meets the man of her dreams, Lucy’s marriage is floundering, and Madeleine’s love life grows increasingly complicated.

A well crafted, entertaining, contemporary novel with strong characters and an engaging story, The Patterson Girls should appeal to fans of Monica McIerney and Marian Keys.

Available to purchase from

Harlequin Iboomerang-books_long I Booktopia I Amazon AUvia Booko

and all good bookstores.

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