Monday 21 November 2016

Review: Battle of Wills by Anne Fine

Battle of Wills
Fair’s fair. Or is it…?

Megan and Tory have never seen eye to eye.

They may be born of the same mother, but that’s where the common ground ends.

Goal-orientated Megan runs a successful business with her husband, oversees every detail of their daughters’ education and keeps her house in pristine condition.

Tory is easy-come, easy-go, and neither she nor her husband have ever bothered to hold a real job for long. Tory’s slack attitude extends to her children’s upbringing, and yoga will always take priority over housework.

Whilst Megan is deeply resentful of her stepfather Gordon, who stepped into her life far too soon after the girls’ beloved father died, Tory found Gordon easy to accept, enjoying a relaxed and happy childhood with her ‘new dad’.

Then the Grim Reaper steps closer and the sisters need to put their differences aside to deal with doctors, the hospice, a funeral … and THE WILL.

Megan, obsessed from childhood with the notion of ‘fair shares’, deems the terms of the will inequitable. And when she finally learns just how much money Gordon has handed out to her sister over the years, nothing can stop the sisterly juggernaut from rolling...

Battle of Wills puts a spotlight on family dynamics in a realistic and humorous way, and will resonate with anyone who has a less-than-perfect relationship with their siblings.

Shona's review 4 of 5 stars

I remember reading children's books written by Anne Fine when I was much younger than I am now, and I remember them fondly, so I jumped at the chance to read this one, it is the first time i have read any of Fine's adult books. Battle of Wills, like Fines previous books, was easy to read. In fact I read almost half the book before I even realised, not bad for wanting to read just a chapter or two before bed.

Unfortunately I cant say I was overly keen on any of the characters. In the beginning I struggled to keep the family relations straight in my head, mixing up Megan and Tory, having to re-read passages to figure out which husband and children belonged with which sister.... but after a few chapters the sisters (and their husbands) really come to life. And it was at this point I realised I didn't like either couple. Even the mother Elinor was awful. They really are a family that deserves each other.

Tory really grew on me. After a life of growing up where her older sister was forever insisting that things be fair, and Tory completely oblivious to the fact that things might not be fair. She did something not a lot of people would do, she spoke to her mother and urged her to make it fair for her sisters sake. Regardless of the cost to her.

The relationship between the sisters is something many people can relate to, you either were one of the quarrelling siblings or you have quarrelling children. And Fine has portrayed this perfectly. All in this was well written and easy to read. I certainly will be looking for Fine's other adult books for future reads.

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