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A novel after a loong time.

Finished reading a complete book after months. The last I read was Preeti Shenoy's "Life is what you make it". I completed that one in a record time of two days. This time it is Jane Fallon's The Ugly Sister. Best catalogued under chick-lit, fiction, I picked this up on a fancy to read up on my Kindle. The Kindle was languishing without getting its rightful due and I thought it is high time I shrugged off the tardiness and randomly downloaded a couple of novels.

I had never read any of the previous books by this author and to be honest, had not heard of the author's name too. Though, of course, I am not a voracious reader and me not having heard of some author cannot and does not mean anything. All am trying to say is I had no preconceived ideas or expectations from the novel.

The story is about two sisters, Cleo and Abi, who have inherited entirely different set of genes albeit from the same set of parents which makes them stand apart not only in the physical quotient but also emotional. Cleo, is the elder of the two and is the superior one in the looks department, while Abi is the plain Jane but one who is endowed with brains. Life for the two sisters take a major diversion after Cleo, at the age of sixteen, is suddenly discovered by a modelling agent and is frisked away into the glamourous and mysterious world of fashion and beauty. Cleo reaches the pinnacle of success and has all that a person would dream of- a dream career, a lovely house in uptown London, two kids and a loving husband. Abi, on the other hand, has struggled her way through life and is just about making ends meet, dealing with being a single mother to a teenage daughter, Phoebe. Although, the two sisters share a strained relationship, Abi is hopeful of setting things straight if and when the opportunity so presents.The opportunity comes in the form of an unexpected invitation from Cleo asking Abi to spend the summer with her family in London. The story then unfolds about how things go from there on. Will the relation between the sisters improve or will there be more misunderstandings?

The pace of the plot is swift and keeps you engaged up to three-quarters of the book. The characters are well-developed and you can relate to them. But, after all the detailed planning of the characters, the end seems very rushed and abrupt. Somewhere, I felt the plot ran out of steam and the story was suddenly brought to its end. Just as you would have liked a more detailed and logical conclusion, the book ends leaving you feeling cheated.

So, although it makes a good read overall, the end leaves you a little frustrated.


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