Love, Lies and Linguine (Hester and Harriet #2) by Hilary Spiers
Published February 1st 2017 by Allen & Unwin
RRP AUD $29.99
The delightfully irascible sisters are on the move . . . which just goes to show you’re never too old to start again.
Having found, in Hester & Harriet, that sometimes opening your door to the unexpected has a great result, the intrepid sisters decide to further expand their horizons and book tickets, pack bags and venture forth to Italy for their annual holidays. With a huge secret hanging between them, an unlikely new love on the landscape for Hester and new beginnings also beckoning for Harriet, Italy is certainly providing more of those pesky open doors. But which ones will Hester & Harriet walk through? Meanwhile, back home in England, Daria and Milo are celebrating—they’ve received official refugee status with papers to confirm they can make England their home. And Ben is hurtling towards a different sort of celebration—one he’s trying to backpedal out of as fast as he possibly can.
I had heard of Hester and Harriet before, but I hadn’t read the first book. For some reason I didn’t think they were connected and that I would be able to understand everything that happened beforehand (clever, right?), so I just threw myself into this one. No one would be surprised to hear that I didn’t understand most of the backstories or know the characters, so please keep that in mind when you’re reading this review J
The writing was a little odd to me, like it was set in present-tense. I found that I got tired of the book several times and I had to force myself to finish it, purely because I don’t like DNFing books. Some of the plot twists seemed to come from absolutely nowhere, and instead of being surprising, they were just bewildering and the sole purpose seemed to push the story along.
I was very confused about which sister we were focusing on for the most part, since they both speak with very similar voices, and I had to go back a few times and re-read to make sure I knew which sister we were talking about. At one point I was so confused that I needed to go back and write a little personality trait chart just to help differentiate. It didn’t really help though, purely because they had so many mood swings and it thoroughly confused me. Perhaps if I had read the first book I would understand better though? This may be my fault.
Ben and his friends were disappointing to me. As a teenager myself, I couldn’t believe how dumb they acted at times, from the very beginning I knew that things would turn out horribly. The character development was kind of odd, like it wasn’t a subtle change, it was more of a ‘yeah this is the new me now!!’ kind of change.
I really liked Nats though, she was a breath of fresh air. She was lively and a very strong female, I thoroughly enjoyed everything about her. It was kind of obvious how things would’ve ended, but at the same time I’m happy with that, since I think she’ll be good for everyone.
After reading this book, I probably won’t read the first one. To be quite honest, if I hadn’t been sent this book, I don’t think I would’ve picked it up, purely because the genre isn’t something I typically read, but it was interesting to go out of my comfort zone a little, even if it didn’t turn out exactly as expected.
I received a review copy from the publisher
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hilary Spiers writes plays, novels and short stories. She enjoys giving a voice to ordinary women in sometimes extraordinary circumstances. Hilary’s first novel, Hester & Harriet, published in 2015, is a delightful introduction to these two remarkable sisters.