Book Review | We Are Family | By Nicola Gill
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.
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.