ReeL Life: A Novel
Sisters are meant to always be there for each other, or are they? In the glare of reality, clashing views and acts of betrayal can work to form unbridgeable gaps, and the fabric of sisterly love must be delicately rewoven from whole cloth. Reel Life charts the story of redheaded sisters Betty and Jamie, who must call upon the past to forge a new and meaningful connection for the future. More
Reel Life, the debut work of fiction by Jackie Townsend, charts the story of two sisters who must call upon the past to forge a new and meaningful connection. With iconic moments of contemporary cinema as its driving narrative thread, this finely-wrought, absorbing work will cut straight to the heart, and reveal the intricate emotions which come together in family.
Separated by barely a year, the two redheaded sisters that share the stage of this novel couldn’t be more different. Betty blossoms into a gregarious and creative woman, whose maternal instinct knows no bounds. Rejecting their mother’s narcissism, she embraces each of her numerous pregnancies with an almost manic fervor. Her sister, Jamie, affects a profound indifference to family, striking out into the world with a fierce independence.
As each copes with the pervasive conflicts generated by their dramatic mother and heavy-hearted father, they must also deal with the deeply underlying question, “Are sisters always there for each other?”
Throughout, the novel filters their inner journeys through the prism of films that mark each stage of their lives; from the false hope of The Wizard of Oz to the dark tones of Blue Velvet to the child-like magic of Shrek. When resentments build and secrets are harbored, all that binds them together is the spell of the cinema. When a betrayal rips them apart, a movie and a drink are no longer enough to hold their tenuous union together.
Exploring themes of motherhood, body image, ambition, and love, Reel Life offers a poignant close-up of the most intimate of relationships that move, confuse, haunt, and heal. Surging with drama interlaced with subtle irony, Reel Life will shock, surprise and move anyone who understands that sometimes, escaping reality offers the clearest path to emotional truth.
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