Author: Lisa Jewell
Published: May 12, 2011
Genre: chick lit
Paperback: 416 pages
Source: borrowed from the library
My Rating: 3 stars
Synopsis (from GoodReads): Lydia, Dean and Robyn don’t know one another. Yet. Each is facing difficult challenges. Lydia is still wearing the scars from her traumatic childhood. Wealthy and successful, she leads a lonely and disjointed existence. Dean is a young, unemployed, single dad whose life is going nowhere. Robyn is eighteen. Gorgeous, popular and intelligent, she entered her first year of college confident of her dream to become a pediatrician. Now she’s failing her classes. Now she’s falling in love for the first time.
Lydia, Dean and Robyn live very different lives, but each of them, independently, has always felt that something was missing. What they don’t know is that a letter is about to arrive that will turn their lives upside down. It is a letter containing a secret—one that will bind them together and show them what love and family and friendship really mean.
My Thoughts: I've heard some great reviews of Lisa Jewell's books, so when I stumbled across this one in the library, I figured it was time to give her a try. Examining how a sperm donor father can bring three complete strangers together, Jewell examines how family defines us while we struggle to define ourselves, regardless of age. Following Lydia (late twenties), Dean (early twenties), and Robyn (late teens), Jewell tells the story of three people, all at different stages in their lives who are brought together by the Donor Sibling Registry. Each has different reasons for joining the site, but they all seek out people who are like them in some way.
The plot and story of this novel are compelling, but for me, it just took forever to read. I felt like Jewell was always one paragraph away from having an amazing story, but she didn't let it go there. Instead, she just let the story simmer away and never build up to that great moment that should have happened. For example, when the three siblings are about to meet for the first time, it seemed like she just threw the moment away. She told it from the point of view of Robyn (each chapter is told from a different character's perspective), who isn't emotionally mature enough to appreciate such a moment.
As I said, this was a great premise, but never reached fruition. After finishing the book, I went to GoodReads and read some of the reviews on there, and many people said that this was a departure from her other books and wasn't nearly as good. So, I will have to try out one of her older novels to see how it is. Have you read any of Jewell's work? Let me know what you think of her!