“The True And Outstanding Adventures Of The Hunt Sisters” by Elisabeth Robinson

The True And Outstanding Adventures Of The Hunt Sisters“The True And Outstanding Adventures Of The Hunt Sisters” has one of the best opening lines I’ve read in some time:

“I was sitting at home, working on the 4th draft of my suicide note, when I got the call.”

This set the tone for a novel that combines brittle wit with deep sadness and a refusal to give in.

It provides an arresting start to a novel which, in the form of letters from Olivia Hunt, a young Hollywood producer with theoretical suicidal tendencies, tells a story of family and sickness and love against a background of Hollywood and Cervantes.

Along the way there is a lot of laughter and, in my case, more than a little weeping.

Robinson breathes fresh life into the traditional but now slightly archaic form of a novel as a set of letters. At first I found the form unsatisfying: not as intimate as a first person account and inherently light-weight, perhaps because it reminded me of the Adrian Mole books. Before I reached the middle of the novel, I’ was completely hooked on the letters as a device for getting many intimate views of Olivia Hunt and her interactions with others.

This is not a great classic of American literature, nor is it a tongue-in-cheek telling of the adventures of two sisters but it is an addictive read about real-life challenges that I found myself eager to get back to.

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