Book Review | We Are Family | By Nicola Gill





NetGalley e-ARC

We Are Family
Laura has a laid back attitude to life. Her home isn’t spotless, and after a hard day she likes to take to bed with a block of cheese. Jess, on the other hand, is your classic overachiever: The Big Sister, Chief of Chivvying, Queen of the family WhatsApp. Her life is picture-perfect. Laura and Jess lost their dad when they were kids, and now their mum is gone too. And one of the hardest times in life is made harder by the fact they can’t agree on a single thing, from where to scatter the ashes to whether “passed away” is even an acceptable term. But when Laura starts pushing her own boundaries and Jess agrees to let other people in to her (not so) perfect life, the two women realize they need each other more than ever. They might not be ready to admit it, but family is everything… ( Goodreads)





My thoughts





Narrative and Plot





We Are Family is told mainly from Laura’s perspective. Laura is the younger sister, who is more casual when it comes to her approach about life. Laura has a witty voice which comes through and brings a smile many a different times. And the story needed those chuckles now and then given the topics it dealt with. Laura made it palpable with her charming storytelling voice.

The plot is mainly family oriented. The one and main issue that I had with the book is it is uncharacteristically long. Normally, women’s fiction books are somewhere between 300-400 pages. This one is around 500 pages. I did notice that before starting the book. Honestly, it did feel like a long book after the first half.















Characters and Conflicts









Laura and Jess might be polar opposites on the outside but their heart is in the same place and that is love and care for their sibling. Sibling rivalry is often not so black and white. Particularly if they’re steered by parental influence. This is not an uncommon story. Laura and Jess are relatable sisters on that regard. The animosity is not something that explicitly estranged them. It is a gradually developed distance that grew with time. Those are the most dangerous ones because you never feel the need to mend it.

How Jess and Laura work to get over that invisible wall is the main conflict of the story. Laura herself has a remarkable character arc throughout the story. The book talks a lot about anxiety, mental health and getting over grief. I read a similar themed book a few weeks back and it is surprising to see how both these books tackled these issues. While the other one was a bit more serious, here you get to see the subtle hints from the beginning of the story itself. It is by the end of the second half that the book completely embraces the coping strategies for an individual. The final act of the book seemed unwanted and only served to make the book longer.

Laura and Jess’s mother has been a passive presence throughout the story. Billy is a breath of fresh air even at times when the situation looks grave.











In short, We Are Family is a one time read which explores familial relationships and how it shapes our own personalities. This is definitely not a quick read. So pick it, if you have plenty of time to read about family drama and dealing with trauma.













About the Author











Disclosure :  1) I received an e-ARC of the book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.            

 2)This website uses affiliate links. This is not a paid promotion but Bookbugworld will earn a small commission if you click on the link for purchase.















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1 Response

  1. October 10, 2020

    […] We Are Family follows two sisters – Laura and Jess. Laura is the younger sister with a laid back attitude in life while Jess is the type A elder sister. When they lose their mother, Laura and Jess need each other now more than ever. This book was surprisingly long for a contemporary women’s fiction novel. Not exactly the favorite of the month. But it talks about a lot of things like family relationships, mental health and becoming your own person. Overall, this was a one time read for me. ( Review) […]