19 June 2009

Book Review: The Kinsella Sisters by Kate Thompson

kinsellasistersIrish sisters Rio and Dervla haven't spoken for many years, and neither is particularly bothered by this as they live very separate and different lives. However, the death of their father Frank reunites the pair, and they both regret the time spent apart.

Rio lives in picturesque Lissamore with her grown up son Finn and takes any job she can get her hands on. Dervla is a successful estate agent and loves the single high-life. They befriend their new neighbour Adair and his snobby daughter Izzy, but soon Rio and Dervla unearth a shocking secret that will change everything.

Can the sisters survive this next hurdle?

After a little look on www.fantasticfiction.co.uk, I was surprised to see that Kate Thompson has been writing since 1998 and has released 10 other novels. Avon have given Kate's books a new lease of life with their funky and fresh looking covers, and they are certainly more appealing to younger readers. The review of her other works have been positive on Amazon so I was sure that I would like this one. The little endorsement from Marian Keyes on the cover also didn't do it any harm and will probably make even more people pick this up for a read!

The book begins a few years before the main story, a good 8 years or so in fact, which allows us to get a glimpse into the life and times of Lissamore and Rio. I enjoyed the prologue as it sets the scene with new neighbour Adair, and brings up the problems between Rio and Dervla. The transistion back to present day was seamless, and the author dove straight in with the main storyline of the reuniting of the sisters and the subsequent shock for the pair of them. For quite a while, we see only Rio and so I was unsure whether Dervla was going to feature heavily or not, but she soon makes an appearance and stays put as the other main character. I liked Rio more than Dervla, maybe because I saw more of her but I just felt I could relate more to Rio and she seemed more real to me.

As well as the two Kinsella sisters, the other characters in the book are extremely well written too. I particularly liked the way Thompson has written the close relationship between mother and son Rio and Finn. They are incredibly close, Finn is a lovely man and its nice to see a positive relationship being written rather than a destructive one as we too often see these days. I wasn't keen on the character of Izzy but that was the point of her really, and Adair wasn't around enough for me to care either way. Clearly Thompson enjoys exploring different relationships and their changes in her books, and they were all so well written that they were a joy to read.

As well as the relationships in the book, there is an element of travel within as well. The characters of Finn and Izzy are keen scuba-divers, and this is a theme well-explored in the book. Thompson has clearly done her research as she writes about it with good authority, and in an understandable way. Because of their hobby, the book travels from Ireland to Thailand with the pair and the writing of Koh Samui is so good, you can really imagine yourself there in the blistering heat with them! Thompson's writing is very descriptive, but reads smoothly. She writes in the third person, my favourite way of reading a book, and it was a delightful book to sit and lose yourself in.

If you love a really well-written and enjoyable tale, then I highly recommend you look for a copy of the Kinsella Sisters. It would be an ideal book to take with you on your hols, perfect for picking up and putting down as you please. You can lose yourself in the relationships of these believable characters, and imagine the gorgeous scenery and sea-views of Lissamore, and the blue sea of Thailand as you read! I am tempted to look for more of Kate's work after reading this, and am thrilled to reveal that there is a sequel being written to be called The O'Hara Affair, although its not due for release until 2010... I wait in huge anticipation! Highly recommended by me.

Rating: 5/5

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