The Olsen sisters are aptly named after the Bronte sisters. There is Charlotte, the oldest and sexy former supermodel; Emily, the middle sister who as an author cut her teeth on pornography; and Anne, named after the "forgotten" Bronte sister, who at 29, has held a series of dead end jobs. Her entire childhood was spent obtaining hand me down clothes and toys. She's especially despondent over the naked, hairless, one-armed Malibu Barbie she inherited oh so long ago, that continues to be the bane of her existence. In adulthood, she has an aversion to anything not new. She won't even eat a bag of chips at dad's house if it's already open. Unsatisfied with her current relationship with Rip, but willing to stick it out so she's not alone, she runs into Charlotte's high school beau, Ian. She had a secret crush on Ian, and even invited him to her 7th grade dance.
Ian, now engaged, and owner of a business Anne cannot condone or accept (an antique shop), forms a friendship with Anne, and the two start a Thursday night ritual of cocktails. After meeting his fiancé Helene, Anne finds herself jealous, and Rip realizes that his "polliwog" may have eyes for another. As Ian and Anne spend more and more time together, and he's supportive of her quest to develop a parcel of land for open space, she discovers that she does indeed have feelings for him, but is unsure if she can settle for a hand-me-down boyfriend, especially one that worked his way through the Olsen sisters.
Nichol's latest is an engaging and very amusing story of one woman's quest to find herself and carve out her own path, as she compares herself to the many accomplishments of her older sisters. At time's Anne is a bit over the top (for instance, the whole chip thing). The poignant, humorous, and well-written story will resonate with anyone with an older sibling.