The Better Sister
By Alafair Burke
Published 2019 by Harper
I must confess, I was drawn to this book because of the title. My older sister and I have been best friends our entire lives, but every once in a while we have a good-natured “Mom loved me best!” kind of moment. So the “better” angle of sisterhood made me smile. But that’s where the comparisons to my family end.
Where my sister and I are close, Chloe and Nicky Taylor butt heads. And as much as I love my brother-in-law, I would never end up married to him, or anyone my sister had been with. (Our mom always said, “Sisters don’t fight,” and I’m pretty sure she would have frowned on one of us getting cozy with the other’s love interest…even if he were an ex.)
And boy do these sisters carry a lot of baggage between them. Chloe, the younger sister is professionally successful in a huge way. As the editor of a women’s digital magazine, she’s a shining example of the having-it-all trifecta: marriage, child, career.
Nicky, enough years Chloe’s senior to have a different experience growing up, has a troubled past and seems to ebb and flow from Chloe’s life, depending on her needs of the moment (meaning what she needs from Chloe).
The two are brought together by a tragedy that reveals truths about their younger years and flings the family into turmoil. Burke does a good job weaving the behind-the-scenes story of Chloe’s life with Adam (Nicky’s ex), how they end up together, and how their seemingly perfect life starts to unravel. Finally we begin to see a shift in Chloe’s perspective of her older sister.
Aside from that, I enjoyed the angle of how the two sisters end up working together for the good of Nicky’s son (who is Chloe’s nephew AND step-son…weird, right?). That I can relate to. My sister thinks of my kids as her own, and I’m more than happy to share.
Burke is a new author to me, and I’ll definitely look for more of her work.