Surfside Sisters follows Keely and Isabelle, best friends growing up on the island of Nantucket, uniquely connected by their shared love of writing. Told entirely in Keely’s voice, the story starts when they’re children and works it’s way through their adolescence and into adulthood. Their relationship is deeply complicated. They understand each other in ways that no one else ever has or will, but they’re deeply competitive with one another. Keely is envious of Isabelle’s wealth and seemingly easy life. Isabelle is in turn deeply resentful of Keely’s success with writing.
I actively despised Isabelle. I found her self-absorbed and incredibly selfish. I hated how she constantly let Keely down, and always acted like anything good that happened to Keely was Keely attacking her. And then I was frustrated with Keely for constantly putting up with that behavior. I found myself actively engaging in schadenfreude every time something unpleasant happened to Isabelle, I hated her that much.
In contrast, I loved Keely’s character. Despite everything Isabelle did or said to her, she still acted like the bigger person. She was also the best daughter, always putting her families needs before her own, coming back to the island whenever her mother needed her, taking on whatever job to help pay the bills. Her unique voice and authentic optimism carried the story.
While I did thoroughly enjoy this book, I had a hard time picking it up when I put it down. I read it in about 3 big spurts. Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down. The relationship between Keely and Isabelle fascinated me. It would definitely be an excellent beach read.
Thank you to @netgalley and @randomhouse for the copy!
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