Day 1273: The 1944 Club! They Were Sisters

Cover for They Were SistersI was going to save my review of They Were Sisters for our February Literary Wives club, but I saw it was also published in 1944, so applied to the 1944 Club! So, for Literary Wives, I will just have to refer back to this review and then make my further comments about the depiction of wives in fiction.

I previously read another book published in 1944. Here is its link:

Friday’s Child by Georgette Heyer

* * *

Lucy’s sisters, Vera and Charlotte, are much younger than she, so much so that she was largely responsible for raising them when their mother died. Lucy never thought she would marry, but she is, happily, to William, who is a bit eccentric. She has misgivings, though, about her sisters’ choices of husbands, especially Charlotte’s.

Vera’s husband, Brian, is solid and devoted. Lucy likes him, but Vera, who is a stunning beauty, seems to be bored with him. She has a constant entourage of male followers and loves to entertain. They have two daughters, Meriel and Sarah. Meriel is close to her father and paternal grandmother, who hates Vera and is always trying to make trouble. Sarah is closer to her mother, but she is the volatile one, who has trouble making friends.

Charlotte married Geoffrey. As a young man, he was constantly pulling pranks, and Lucy couldn’t see what Charlotte saw in him. As a husband, he is hypercritical and verbally abusive, teaching his daughters, Margaret and Judith, to disrespect their mother.

1944 club logoThe three women have been apart for years when they get together at the beginning of the book. After that visit, Vera and Lucy vow to keep in better contact with Charlotte because they are worried about her. Only Lucy pursues this, however, and through her efforts falls completely for Judith as a child. Although Charlotte avoids Lucy as she loses herself to alcoholism, Judith becomes a regular visitor to Lucy and William’s home, where she sees a more normal home life than the one she has. She also makes unlikely friends with her cousin, Sarah.

This novel is an insightful study of the bonds of sisters, despite their differences. It is a lovely book, also about how the act of caring on Lucy’s part has ramifications beyond her own sisters’ lives. Again, Whipple gets better and better. I will be sad when I will have read all of her books.

More about this book in February for Literary Wives!

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12 thoughts on “Day 1273: The 1944 Club! They Were Sisters

  1. Helen October 15, 2018 / 2:33 pm

    I’ve still only read Someone at a Distance, but I do want to read more Dorothy Whipple. This one sounds great – and the bookmark is beautiful. 🙂

    • whatmeread October 15, 2018 / 3:18 pm

      Yes, I liked this one very well.

  2. buriedinprint October 16, 2018 / 10:55 am

    Count me in as another admirer of the bookmark. It reminds me of another of their books, but I can’t remember which (a smaller print, but similar tones). The only Dorothy Whipple I’ve read is They Knew Mr. Knight, but it was lovely too. And sibling relationships are always good reading.

    • whatmeread October 16, 2018 / 1:44 pm

      I have liked all the Whipple I have read, and I think I’ve read five or six of her books now.

  3. Jane October 16, 2018 / 1:01 pm

    I’ve got this one on my tbr pile – I love a new Whipple to get stuck in to!

    • whatmeread October 16, 2018 / 1:46 pm

      Me too! I’m worried I am close to running out, at least of Persephone editions!

      • Jane October 17, 2018 / 2:49 am

        We’ll have to ration ourselves!

  4. Ruthiella October 21, 2018 / 3:17 pm

    Great review! I have loved the three Whipple titles that I have read so far and I know I will love They Were Sisters too when I get to it. I love Whipple’s writing and storytelling ability.

    I need to clear some space (ie read some books I already own) and then I hope to treat myself to a few of her books in 2019.

    • whatmeread October 21, 2018 / 5:13 pm

      Oh, good! I hope you like them!

  5. Naomi October 31, 2018 / 8:07 pm

    I’m looking forward to this book!

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