This week has been a week where I have been able to do a lot of reading. What has suffered since I have spent a lot of time with my nose in a book, is my blogging and my exercising. It is hard to get up when my alarm goes off at 4:15 AM when I have stayed up until 11 the night before finishing a great book. Hopefully since summer is near I can get on some sort of schedule which involves sleeping a little later, but still getting in a morning workout.
Losing Charlotte by Heather Clay was published earlier this spring. It is the story of two sisters, Charlotte and Knox who grew up in Kentucky on their parents horse farm. The story really takes place in their adult years, yet parts of their childhood are touched on in the book, as their relationship and its troubles began when the two were just children. Knox is the daughter who has chosen to remain in Kentucky, living in a home on her parents' farm and teaching school. She continues to date Ned, her father's ranch hand, not able to commit to anything more serious than what they have now. Charlotte has always been the more adventurous of the two sisters, moving to New York and away from the ties of home. There she meets Bruce who she marries and has twin sons with. When Charlotte dies due to complications of childbirth, Knox and Bruce are left to care for her children, Ben and Ethan.
Narrated by Knox and Bruce, Losing Charlotte explores the ties of family and the unique bond between sisters, that despite their differences, still share a connection that nothing can sever.
I liked this book. While I could relate more with Knox, Charlotte is still likeable. Knox's connection and feeling of responsibility toward her sister's children is entirely believable, yet I didn't entirely understand how little Charlotte's mother wanted to do with her grandchildren. Despite the fact that Knox and Bruce knew little about each other when they were forced to be together to care for the twins, they are able to find a way to work together and share their love of Charlotte. If nothing else, Charlotte's death forced Knox to examine her relationship (and whether or not there was a future in it) with Ned and what she wanted for her life.
I haven't read Summer Sisters by Judy Blume in at least a decade, but for whatever reason, Charlotte and Knox remind me of the friends in this book. This is Clay's debut novel, and I will be looking for more work from her in the future.