Sisterly love is a great thing. You may spend most of your younger years arguing with and resenting your sister but eventually, you grow to be the best of friends. Through the years you are taught to always be there for your sister. But what happens when one day it becomes too much?
Just the Two of Us by Michelle Scott begins with a drunk Starla fighting off the advances of her older sister Janice’s boyfriend. However, Janice doesn’t see it that way and ultimately tries to end her life. Janice’s suicide attempt leaves her brain damaged and it is up to a guilty Starla to look after her. When four years later hunky lawyer Nick rents the office above Starla’s vintage store, both sisters find themselves attracted to him. Starla, not wanting to hurt her sister again, tries to keep out of the picture but sometimes the draw of love is just too much.
Let’s start by saying that Just the Two of Us is not as dark as the blurb would have you imagine. Certainly, there are some deep parts and emotional scenes, but there are also some sweet moments and rather humorous elements too. Then there is Starla, a character I liked very much. Starla can often be perceived throughout the book as kooky, irresponsible and a bit out there but there is more to her than that. Although she is practically forced by her parents to look after Janice, the reader can see that she cares dearly for her sister and doesn’t see it as much of a burden her friends do. With each chapter, my heart warmed more and more towards Starla, when I thought it would have been Janice I liked best (more on her later).
Additionally, I liked that Starla was a modern and creative woman. I admired her determination toward her vintage business and it gave me encouragement in realising my own dreams. Starla utilizes a YouTube channel in order to draw more customers and I believe this will draw a younger readership to her.
It may be an awful thing to say but I didn’t like Janice. Her story is tragic but there is a sense of manipulation about her that is not attractive. However, I did like the theme that her character brought to the story, that of the repercussions of a suicide attempt. Although I stated earlier that this is not a dark book, the after-effects of a suicide attempt, especially how it affects the family, are not sugarcoated. This is not something I’ve ever read before.
Overall, I very much enjoyed Just the Two of Us and am interested to read the author’s other books.
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I’ve been writing since childhood but earned my bachelor’s degree in psychology and my master’s in English literature. When I’m not writing, I’m a straight-laced English teacher at a two-year college in Detroit. I’ve been married to Mr Right for over twenty-five years. I also have three teenage children: a boy and two girls, all of whom have threatened to never speak to me again if I turn them into characters and put them into my books.