After a tragic accident whilst on holiday at Marthas Vineyard the Tangle family become embroiled in a web of secrets and lies; no one is allowed to talk about what happened that summer or its effects on the family. They also do not talk about Cally, the youngest sister who goes away to school and then never comes home or has any contact with the family. Ginger and Mimi, the remaining sisters carry on as if they are only children of Glory, their mother.
Ginger lives in a state of apprehension as she is forever looking for accidents waiting to happen, which is driving a wedge between her and her daughter. Mimi keeps busy with her three sons and her husbands very large family; neither ever discussing the past. After the death of their mother, and the return of their younger sister Cally, Ginger decides to find out the truth about that summer in hope to understand her mother more and maybe herself as well.
This is a story of s family in an era when certain things were not talked about, and people did not ask questions, and how this effects those caught in the middle. It is a very different scenario to society today where feelings and traumatic incidents are discussed a lot more.
The book is divided into alternating chapters that tell the story of the current day lives of Ginger, Mimi and their mother Glory, and the summer at Marthas Vineyard when they were children. At first I did find this a bit confusing as there was nothing to distinguish between the split timeline, with many starting with the names of Ginger or Mimi, so it maybe took a page to realise which era I was reading about. Apart from that the plot was easy to follow, it was well paced and slowly reveals the story of that summer.
The characters are well developed, and show how a trauma can effect your life; Ginger is over cautious, always worried about what can go wrong, to the extent where it drives a wedge between her and her daughter. Mimi just keeps busy and envelopes herself in her husbands large family. Both are the way they are because of what happened. My favourite character was Glory, their mother. She may not have handled things very well but she did what she had to to survive. I loved her eccentricities and her mixing up of words, her embellishing her acting abilities and quirky sayings.
Sisters One, Two, Three is a lovely book that is well written and easy to read. It is emotional at times but there is also a lot of humour. It gives a real insight into a different era where certain subjects were not discussed and you were just expected to get on with your life no matter what happened. On the whole a very enjoyable read.