Someone Like You is typical American happy endings book that would reinforce your faith in humanity and guarantee a peaceful sleep in the night. It did for me at least! This is a story about two grown up sisters at two corners of the world trying to come in terms with their crazy mother's accident and the surprising events thereafter that explains (not negate) much of the heartburn that they went through during their difficult childhood. Most of the content of the story is about the inability of their parents to raise their children though their love for each other was "magical". The two daughters suffered as a result and finally grew apart frm each other trying to fight their own battles.
What Works For The Book?
The story unfolds at a good pace and gives you some good emotional moments that stir a tear or two if you are sentimental like me. It has a decent amount of sarcasm as well that keeps the american humor alive. Also, if not for the almost alive characters, I would have given the book a rest for few weeks.
What Does Not Work?
The story came across as common and the ending quite predictable. In fact, I could almost visualise it as a major hollywood romantic flick with Kate Winslet and Drew Barrymore playing the lead sisters Catherine Doyle and Joely Doyle. (Why Drew Barrymore? I just like her! :))
There are few things that are worth mentioning here regarding the book. If there is one thing that stuck with me throughout the whole book then that is the characters. Her characters were so well fleshed out, I felt they are real. How did she do this?! I went back to check if she had mentioned anything about their facial features, their clothing, etc and I drew a blank. Not once did Barbara cared about giving those details. So, what did she do?
Simple - She wrote about their pain so well that you almost lap it up and start sympathizing with the characters. She managed to write their feelings, reactions to situations, their fears, their innermost insecurities in a language that you often use when you are battling with yourself. That is what, according to me, made them so real. This was a very important learning for me and core of any book anyone writes. Keep it real enough so that your readers can relate to it.
It was a well spent time and I adored it. Worth a try!