Sisters Olivia and Jazz have been blindsided by their mother’s death. Olivia refuses to believe it was a suicide, despite their mother’s history with emotional instability and the way she died, but practical Jazz knows she must face facts. Free-spirited Olivia decides to go on a journey in honor of their mother, to find the place she always talked about but never visited, and Jazz is dragged along for the ride.
At its core, The Moon Sisters is about that enduring and complex bond between sisters. Walsh writes her characters well, and readers who enjoy sisterly novels should absolutely consider this book.
The bond between sisters is a complicated one, and it’s something that Therese Walsh explores fully in her latest novel The Moon Sisters. Jazz and Olivia couldn’t be more different. Jazz wants nothing more than a steady job, even at a place as boring as the local funeral home. She craves stability after her haphazard upbringing, while Olivia wants adventure in her life. She has the same spirit as her mother, but also like her mother, she doesn’t really know how to take care of herself. This means that Jazz feels responsible for Olivia, but is Jazz helping or hindering her sister with her attempts? What Olivia just might need is freedom and room to grow.
Jazz and Olivia’s journey is unconventional, to say the least. Instead of simply driving to their destination, they stow away aboard trains and meet up with a questionable crowd. The sisters involve themselves in something bigger than themselves, but their issues with themselves, their mother, and each other are always at the core of the novel. Walsh does a great job balancing between the wider world and Jazz and Olivia’s personal journeys.
The Moon Sisters is character driven, more than anything else, and Jazz and Olivia really do leap off the page. They’re three-dimensional characters with their own stories, their hopes, dreams, and private failures. There’s a lot of interesting twists and turns in this novel, but in the end everything keeps returning to these two, to the bond they share. No matter how much either of them might want to turn their backs on it, as sisters, they have an enduring connection. Walsh does a great job exploring this complex relationship; if you enjoy novels about sisters, you should definitely consider picking up this literary novel.
Other books by Therese Walsh: