Sisters Behaving Badly – Maddie Please

I do love Maddie Please books and I simply cannot think of a better way to spend a dank Sunday afternoon, than catching up on what is certain to be a gem of a book. I just love the acceptance that not every literary heroine has to be a gorgeous young ‘twirties’ (20’s/30’s) woman.The only thing I struggle with, is the idea of two Sisters having fallen out so badly over a carvery lunch, only because I am so blessed with my Sister! I am not naive enough to know that we are lucky with our relationship though – although is it luck, or that we are prepared to put in the work? I was also shocked that the Sisters hadn’t lived together for 40 years! That is a lifetime!

Regardless, at the start of the book it looked as though some kind of reparation was going to be made (or at least attempted), which I was pleased about. It is so true that blood is thicker than water, so I held out great hopes for Jenny and Kitty reconciling.

This a wonderful book; once I had started it, I knew that I wasn’t going to be happy until I had finished it. It is a book about family and the ties between Sisters that despite being frayed for a while, can always be healed, if all parties are prepared to put in the effort.

This book has its humorous moments, with the Sisters still thinking about wanting to make the other laugh, despite not having spoken for some time. This gave me hope for the revival of their relationship. Other humorous moments included Kitty falling into a disused swimming pool of sludge and then going for the nonchalant look in front of dishy Leo, the builder! As for tbe debacle with the donkey and Dom the pool man – you will need to read it yourself to believe it!

The book was crammed full of intelligent, clever writing; for example, the description of the packed lunch that Paul had made for Jenny for the ferry crossing ’a dull affair of colourless things and cardboard bread’. Interesting and whether intentional or not, oddly reflective of Kitty’s opinion of Paul.

I loved the descriptions in the book – of France, the French house, the food and of the scenery. The author shrewdly brought it all to life with her characterisations and narrative and I never tired of the sights and sounds the two Sisters experienced. Paul sounded increasingly hideous and domineering, every time he was mentioned, for example when Jenny explained that she rarely cooks after Paul saw her licking a spoon once while cooking! Wow, what’s not to loath!? When the Sisters were eating pastries in Quimper, I wanted one, they sounded so delectable. Bertrand and Hector – what a pair! I found their characterisation amusing and at times I would read a passage and forget which character was the man and which the donkey!

I liked the way that the author was not afraid to broach tricky subjects – like at what age a woman should give up trying to find a partner. Personally I think I would rather have the life of single but thrice married Kitty, rather then be married to controlling Paul! The subject of domestic abuse comes up – the realisation that what Paul subjects Jenny to, is actually domestic abuse and it is dealt with empathetically.

It felt to me that finishing the renovation of their inheritance together, would bring the two Sisters closer, although it struck me as so sad, that Jenny was so used to her Husband telling her what should be done, that she seemed to have lost all ability to choose or make decisions. One could but hope that the two Sisters would grow to love the house and each other’s company so much, that they would opt to stay. Indeed could the discovery of one of their late Aunt’s paintings for sale in a gallery, lead to them having the cash for Jenny to live without Paul?

I loved this start from start to finish; it was like a breath of fresh air. A joyous romp, it was funny, sad and entertaining all in just the right amounts and it made me feel so happy, reading it.

There were lots of questions that needed answering in this story.

  • Why did the Sisters fall out?
  • Why does Kitty dislike Jenny’s Husband Paul, or is it just that he’s always been a bit of a miserable git?
  • Why is Jenny so constantly haunted by Paul’s requirements and ’what Paul would think’?
  • Why is Ace’s relationship with Paul so bad?
  • Can the Sisters repair their relationship?
  • Is there a future for Kitty and Leo?

In order to find out the answers to these questions and more, you will need to read this compelling book for yourself. To purchase, please use this link:


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