A beautiful story about sisterhood takes place in Brighton UK, in the story titled “The Southern Belles”. We read their story as Nanna reads it to her granddaughter Grace, who is in bed with a nasty flu. Her grandma is so kind to read to her on Christmas Eve, so she won’t have to spend it alone in bed, while everyone else is having a party.
The story in the book Nanna reads is a about three overly wealthy sisters, Evelyn, Georgia and Olivia, who have been named Southern Belles by the tabloids. When they lose their father in a tragic accident, they realize that something bad was going on in his company. So, along with their beloved father, they lose all the money and the wealth he provided, as well as their home. In the process they also lose their friends, who were not actual friends, as they only stayed around for as long as the girls where who is who in Brighton. When that was gone, so were they.
The now have to live in a bedsit their solicitor has managed to find for them and they all have to get a job, should they want to survive. Nothing like what they are used to, but they are determined to get over it and make their life work out for them. As it happens in these cases, people are lured by how miserable the girls that used to be millionaires must be now and they take their turn on making their lives a living hell, just to revenge for not being as wealthy as the girls used to be. But man is a twisted creature, so this is to be expected, more or less. What is not to be expected is that the three sisters make new friends, real friends, and find people they love. How they make this new life work for them and be happy!
The premise is not new, we have seen it in other books or movies. Some rich girl becomes poor or maybe a lad. But in this book it is three sisters that have a very strong bond among them, one that holds them as glue. They would do anything for each other. They would do anything for the other sisters to be happy, even if it meant for them to feel sad and miserable. That’s the bond only sisters or brothers can have and it is so amazing! It’s so much more amazing as these days, even siblings become strangers.
I liked the story-line very much and he premise as well. I’ve never been in Brighton but I loved how the author described all the different places and the beautiful setting by the sea. Not only this, but throwing in a bit of the not flourishing coffee shop that was slowly dying to the big coffee house chains made it a bit more realistic and close to what we have in our everyday life. The charity kitchen was also a very nice touch and a way to talk about the ugly part of our reality.
Katie Simpkins is a pseudonym of a male author, named Duncan Brockwell. After I was able to find this information, I understood what was the odd feeling I had while reading the book. In several occasions, my expectations of the characters reactions were not met. Having read so many romance novels by women authors, it was easy for me to know what to expect. That was not always the case with this book, which made it more enjoyable. To have some surprise to expect all of a sudden!