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The Almost Archer Sisters [Paperback]

Lisa Gabriele
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 30 2008
Georgia “Peachy” Archer Laliberte has almost gotten her life under control. Peachy, her husband Beau, and their two rambunctious sons live on the family farm in a small town in Canada, just across the border from the U.S.. Their closest neighbor is Peachy’s draft-dodging hairdresser father, Lou, who lives in a trailer on their land. Although her son Sam has epilepsy, Peachy, Beau, and Lou have worked out a successful system to care for him and maintain as normal a family life as possible, and Peachy’s status as a superhuman caregiver has its own rewards.

When her life on the farm isn’t quite enough, Peachy can always live vicariously through her glamorous, New York City–dwelling sister, Beth. Thin, successful, and passionate Beth has clawed her way to the top, stepping on anyone it takes to get there — including, every so often, her younger sister. Still, Peachy and Beth are close, and they support each other through crises of all kinds.

They support each other, that is, until Beth decides to sleep with Peachy’s husband Beau — who just happens to be Beth’s ex-boyfriend. Furious, Peachy decides to go to New York City — alone — and leaves Beth home to care for her family. As she spends a terrified, exciting weekend alone in the middle of Beth’s life, Peachy must confront questions of love, loyalty, and family to find her way back home.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

There were never such devoted sisters, or ones so hilariously and heartbreakingly conflicted about loyalty and love as the ones in Gabriele's brisk second novel (Tempting Faith DiNapoli). Thoughtful, married-mom Georgie Peachy Archer and big-city-girl Beth, her older sister, grow up on a Canadian farm with their hairdressing, Vietnam draft–dodging dad, Lou, and share the pain of their mom's suicide. But that's where the similarities end—until the sisters swap lives for a weekend. Walking in Beth's shoes around New York City, Peachy meets Beth's discreet doorman, snarky friends and disapproving ex-boyfriend, and gets a crash course in understanding what her brash sister's really about. Here is a charming, smart and honest story of two sisters who learn to embrace the lives they have. Gabriele's writing is sharp and her heart is pure gold. This honest tale of passionate, mixed-up and forgiving families is hard to put down. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Quill & Quire

Accidentally pregnant, married, and settled on the family farm before she reached her mid-twenties, Peachy Archer has all the spontaneity of a coffee table. Now 28, she has two loveable boys, a long-abandoned partial degree in social work, and a marriage that’s dull but predictable. There are fissures in her life, but for the most part, Peachy leaves the family drama to her half-sister, Beth. That is, until the glamorous Beth brings her New York wildness home to the Southern Ontario farm. In a single moment – in which Peachy catches Beth having drunken sex with her husband – Peachy’s cultivated adoration for her half-sister unravels. Lisa Gabriele’s second novel pops with wit and humour, and even the book’s darkest corners are lit with the author’s bright wordplay. The bitter ruminations of the slighted Peachy, as she reminisces about her marriage and half-sisterhood, are as bold and hilarious as they are tragically confessional. Beneath the novel’s cheerful tone is the steady hum of more serious topics: the suicide of the Archer girls’ mother, the epilepsy that Peachy’s eight-year-old son, Sam, struggles with, and the constant spectres of alcoholism and domestic abuse. Through it all, Peachy’s father, a completely endearing draft dodger turned hairdresser who raised both girls, pursues a doomed mission to keep everyone in the family beautiful, sober, and congenial. At the edge of Gabriele’s briskly paced story is an aching nostalgia for innocence lost, opportunities missed, and friendship broken. Even the family farm, gradually being sold off to pay for Sam’s medical treatments, is vanishing. Much as The Almost Archer Sisters is a story of silly mistakes and squabbling siblings, it’s also about how all of us face the big, unfathomable future.

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Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read from a Canadian author.... Dec 29 2008
By Luanne Ollivier #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I knew I had a doctor's appointment after work the other day, so I quickly stuck The Almost Archer Sisters in my bag to take with me. My doctor is invariably behind, so an hour and a half later, it was my turn. But honestly, I was so engrossed in this book, I really didn't notice how much time had passed. (I was in a much better place than those stuck reading outdated Sports Illustrated)

Releasing tomorrow from Random House Canada, this second novel from Lisa Gabriele is one of those books that is a found gem - one you have to let your friends know about.

It tells the story of two sisters who were raised on a farm in Ontario. Beth is a wild child who pushed the boundaries of everything growing up and continues to do so as an adult. She fled the farm and moved to New York to pursue a successful career. The other sister Georgia, but known to all as Peachy, stayed at home. She got pregnant and married before she finished her social work degree. Her husband, Beau, was Beth's first lover. Their father, Lou, a draft dodging hairdresser, also lives on the farm in a trailer.

Beth's life seems be unravelling and she is coming home to the farm for more frequent visits. Peachy's life is stressful as well. Her son Sam has severe epilepsy. Her focus lately has been on his health, not on her other son and husband.

Things come to a head during one Beth's visits. Peachy gets up in the night and walks in on her sister and Beau - and they're not playing cards.

What could have precipitated such a betrayal? Can any relationship - the siblings, the husband and wife, the father and daughters - ever recover or be rebuilt after such perfidy?

Gabriele's writing is at turns funny and poignant but above all else it is real.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down...a great read! March 21 2011
Format:Paperback
The Almost Archer Sisters is a definite page turner...the story has unique characters, that demonstrate human traits in their reality. The complexity of relationships is truly explored in this book. Excellent character development. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved it! Nov. 4 2008
By Jay Gee - Published on Amazon.com
I loved this book! The characters each got under my skin and I couldnt stop thinking about them long after I closed the last page (in tears). Their stories, desires, struggles, heartaches and triumphs. What a family this is. This is one beautiful and broken home I would love to be a part of.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing! Nov. 5 2008
By Izzy - Published on Amazon.com
I couldn't put this book down!! From beginning to end, I was interested and curious about each character, and I couldn't wait to find out what happened to them. The relationship between the sisters was so real, and written with such compassion that I felt like I knew them. All of the characters could easily resemble a real family, with real pain, and real love. I enjoyed this book so much and I can't wait to see what else Lisa Gabriele has in store. I am truly a fan!!
4.0 out of 5 stars An emotional rollercoaster that is worth the read! Jan. 4 2013
By Bella McGuire - Published on Amazon.com
The Almost Archer Sisters is the story of two sisters, the stable and normal Georgia "Peachy" and the erratic and flighty Beth, who are forced to re-evaluate their lives after Beth does an unthinkable act and sleeps with Peachy's husband. The story follows Peachy as she tries to piece together her life after her sister's betrayal and figure out just who she really is.

The storyline appears simple enough - one sister living the Sex & the City lifestyle, the other a stay-at-home mom, and the different lives they live. However Lisa Gabrielle has a beautiful writing style that turns this simple story into one that you won't forget.

When I was asked to review "The Almost Archer Sisters" I gladly accepted, thinking I was going to be reviewing a "chick lit" novel. But this book is so much more. Lisa Gabrielle takes the reader on an emotional rollercoaster as we follow Beth and Peachy's turbulent childhood, and touch on real issues such as depression, abortion, suicide, epilepsy and much more.

Whether you are a single woman, a mother, or just married you will treasure this book with all your heart as you follow Peachy along her quest to find out who she really is and what life she belongs in, whether its her seemingly idyllic life on the farm with her husband and two children, or the Sex & The City life that Beth leads.

The emotion that pours out of every page left me hanging on right until the end, and wishing that there was more.

There is also a great Q&A at the end, where author, Lisa Gabrielle, talks about the characters, the story and why she wrote it.

For the fans of Cathy Kelly, Marian Keyes and Nicholas Sparks this is one not to be missed.
3.0 out of 5 stars A quick read Feb. 27 2010
By Lyndsey Bristow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This book was entertaining; however not very realistic and very predictable... a good fluff read but there are definitely better books out there!
4.0 out of 5 stars Honest, funny, real - the sister dynamic explored Nov. 5 2008
By Meredith Oke - Published on Amazon.com
So many authors attempt to look at 'female relationships', few manage to capture them. Gabriele does, she doesn't flinch from the intimate cruelty we can inflict on each other, humorously and perfectly capturing the the subtle ways we punish people we love. Though the sisters in this book feel an intense, perhaps unhealthy, loyalty toward each other, it is tested by their differences, shared pain and hidden anger. As a rural housewife and her glamorous big city sister work through their conflicts, Gabriele avoids any cliched idealizations of motherhood and "Sex & the City" type success and delivers a novel that is real - and really good.
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