Friday, May 11, 2018

Book Review - Becoming the Talbot Sisters by Rachel Linden

Book Synopsis
Twin sisters Waverly and Charlie Talbot have drifted far apart as they pursue opposite dreams of stardom and service to the poor. On an astonishing journey across Central Europe, they must come together to face their fears, find their courage and fight for what they love.

Celebrity chef Waverly Ross has built a successful career with her home-entertaining show Simply Perfect. Yet she and her husband, Andrew, have never been able to realize the true desire of Waverly’s heart: to become a mother. Meanwhile Waverly’s twin sister, Charlie Talbot, buries her bitter disappointment and shattered idealism beneath a life spent serving others as an international aid worked in Budapest, Hungary.

When the beloved aunt who raised them passes away, Waverly and Charlie come together in their grief after living years on separate continents. Struck by a fierce desire to bridge the distance between them, Charlie offers Waverly and her husband the selfless gift of surrogacy.

But soon the sisters find they are each in danger of losing their jobs, seemingly putting their dreams on hold once again. When Waverly shows up unannounced in Budapest with a plan to rescue Simply Perfect, the sisters embark on an adventure across Central Europe that could save them both from occupational hazards. Though the twins haven’t had to rely on each other since childhood, an unforeseen dangerous turn in their journey across Europe forces them to stand together to save their careers, the baby, and each other.


Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

My Review
Becoming the Talbot Sisters is the story of twin sisters Waverly and Charlie.  Although they are twins, they could not be more different.  Waverly has a Food Network show, a handsome husband, and a perfect life - but she wants a baby.  Charlie is single, adventurous, and independent, working for a nonprofit in Budapest.  The sisters come together when their Aunt Mae, who raised them, passes away.  They reconnect after some time apart and Charlie surprisingly offers to be a surrogate mother so Waverly can have the baby she longs for.   This changes their lives immeasurably.

This is such a lovely novel!  The book focuses on both the sisters, their perspectives, and their stories.  I liked Charlie right away.  Waverly seemed a bit too perfect to me at first, but she grew on me as I saw her interacting with Charlie through the book.  I loved the scenes between the sisters.  They were exactly the way I would expect siblings reconnecting to act, and yet the book was also fresh and full of unexpected surprises.

Although Aunt Mae did not appear in the novel, except in the twins' memory, I loved the glimpses we had of her.  I especially loved her homespun wisdom, like "You girls stick close together, you hear?  Family's the only tie that don't break" (p. 44).

I found the scenes in Budapest and Europe fascinating.  The human trafficking storyline was heart wrenching, and I greatly admired Charlie's courage in taking a stand and trying to make a real difference.

Waverly's foodie storyline was also fun to read.  I enjoyed reading about her cooking show and the behind the scenes details.  The food descriptions were amazing, and I have been craving strudel since reading this book!  (I will admit I also am craving butterscotch pudding cups because of the frequent mentions of Waverly's pudding addiction.)

I loved the many twists and turns in this book.  I finished reading it at 2:30 A.M. because I could not put it down!  I had to know what happened.  These were characters I came to care about and I really wanted them to have a happy ending.

Becoming the Talbot Sisters was such a warm and satisfying read.  I really enjoyed it and recommend it highly to fans of women's fiction and anyone who enjoys novels about family relationships.

Author Bio
Rachel Linden is a novelist and international aid worker whose adventures living and traveling in fifty countries around the world provide excellent grist for her stories. She holds an MA in Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College, a BA in Literature from Huntington University, and studied creative writing at Oxford University during college. Currently, Rachel splits her time between Seattle, Washington and Budapest, Hungary where she lives with her husband and two children. Rachel enjoys creating stories about hope and courage with a hint of romance and a touch of whimsy.


Connect with Rachel

Website | Facebook

I received a copy of this book from TLC Book Tours.


Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour!

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for being a part of the tour!