Author: Patricia Caliskan
Publisher: Endeavour Press
Published: 4 Aug. 2016
The Blurb: We’re all searching for love…
Jennifer Taylor is home for the holidays, but she’s in no mood to celebrate.
It’s a month before Christmas, and she has been made redundant from her job as a bookseller. And to make matters worse, she’s lost her apartment and broken up with her boyfriend. With no income and no savings, her only option is to move home with her parents. Things could be better, but Jennifer is used to living in the shadows.
That’s what happens when your sister is the beautiful New York-based model, Lara Taylor.
As fate would have it, Lara is also home for Christmas with the whirlwind news that she is getting married. But it turns out that Lara’s life isn’t as perfect as it seems.
At 32 she is washed up – her agent won’t return her calls, her second ex-husband bankrupted her, and now she’s marrying Silvano who is nothing more than a good friend.
And it turns out Silvano is keeping a pretty big secret of his own. After a huge family argument, Jennifer is the only member of the Taylor clan to travel to New York for the nuptials. But just when all hope is gone, the fairy-tale magic of Manhattan weaves its spell. Perhaps it’s not too late for Jennifer’s happily ever after after all?
Set against the magical backdrop of New York – the city of dreams – Awful by Comparison is a charming romance novel that will have you laughing and crying in equal measures.
The Review: This is a real redemption story, looking in from two sides of a family dynamic. Jennifer is the homebody, the every-man of the piece – whereas Lara is a model who on the surface has it all.
Jenn works as an assistant for a chain of bookshops, and Christmas is approaching. This, you would think, would be the busiest time of the year. The staff don’t think that there is anything to worry about when they are shuffled into a meeting room and each handed a large envelope. They were wrong, instead of setting up the displays Jenn is put on garden leave. Now the race is on to find a new job and start her life again. Now if she was only more like her big sister, the perfect model.
On the other side of the Atlantic Lara’s world is coming crashing down. As far as her family are aware, mainly because she doesn’t really keep in touch, Lara’s career is going from strength to strength. In fact she’s so close to bankruptcy that she can’t see a way out, that is apart from marrying a rich hotelier. Now she just has to tell her family that she’s getting married again, for the third time.
This brings the Taylor girls both back home for a family Christmas…
Patricia straddles the two world’s really well, it would have been easy to get confused between the separate voices. I quickly fell for Jennifer, she is that person that everyone knows, lovely, sweet, kind and a bit of a clutz. The job interview chapter had me laughing out loud, and reminded me of my driving test that I failed miserably as I turned up medicated to the eyeballs and sick as a dog, shivering and full of cold.
Seeing each sister slowly realise that they both felt the same way about each other. The revelation that each believed that the other was loved more by their parents, and had life easier than the other. I suppose this is really how families are. A batch of unsaid feelings that bubble just beneath the surface. So capitalising on this and sensationalising it makes perfect sense.
If you are heading to the beach anytime soon, or even if you have a spare couple of hours pick this book up and put it in your bag. You’ll get so stuck into the story that you’ll have a tan in no time!