Nina scrambled back into the cabin, slammed the door after her and shouted out the window: ‘Jam your six P’s up your arse, brad! If I’ve broken the TV aerial, I’ll fix it. Like I’ve fixed everything else in the house for years!’
She wrenched the monster motorhome into drive and accelerated. She remembered to release the handbrake. Too late. She clipped the letterbox and hit the bluestone guttering at speed. In the passenger seat Meredith grabbed at the door handle to stop her head banging into the window. In the back Annie’s champagne bottle was flung from the table into the stairwell, its contents gurgling down the steps, under the door and out onto the roadway.Twenty years ago Nina, Meredith and Annie toured together as part of Sanctified Soul. Now they are back on the road – in a borrowed motorhome – driving from Melbourne to Byron bay for Meredith’s daughter’s wedding.
Meredith is the elegant, newly divorced, owner of a boutique homewares shop. Annie, the youngest of the three, but turning forty, is single and a successful real estate owner. Nina is married to a returned football legend and mother of three teenage sons. They seem to have little in common, but Nina has somehow convinced the other two to take this road trip and along the way they’ll either have fun or successfully ruin their friendship. Right to the end, it is not clear which will happen – but there are plenty of mishaps, soul sharing, romantic encounters and laughter.
Roadside Sisters is a funny but genuine look at female friendship and the search for identity and contentment. Each woman has her own set of problems, but also her own strengths and blessings, and as the trip progresses, each is forced both to confront those problems and count those blessings in equal measure.
Female readers are likely to see themselves in one – if not all – of the characters, and to nod, laugh and, perhaps, even cry. A heartwarming read from the wonderfully insightful Wendy Harmer.
Roadside Sisters, by Wendy Harmer
Allen & Unwin, 2009
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