Set against the backdrop of Southern California and the Hollywood spin, Reel Life: Two sisters on the verge escape to the movies spotlights two sisters unable to really communicate or connect with each other or other family members.

To illustrate what does bind them all, movie themes brought the story to the reader, from The Wizard of Oz to The Red Shoes.

Betty and Jamie’s individual points of view, their troubles and relationship woes, weave the story between the past and the present until, at the end, we come to enjoy a reconciliation between them as a life event forces them together.

Parts of the story were more captivating than others for me; I enjoyed the dialogue between the sisters, with the bursts of irony that seemed to be their signature style. But much of the story fell flat for me because I truly could not connect to either of them. I wanted to love this story…but it seemed repetitive in parts and bogged down with minutiae in other sections.

I kept reading, though, because I wanted to know what happened, and because the hint of some big reveal aroused my curiosity. In the end, the “big reveal” slid right by with hardly any notice. Perhaps I just didn’t “get” the characters; and I see that other reviewers loved this book. Therefore, potential readers should keep in mind that not everyone enjoys the same kind of story. For me: three stars.


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