Shelley Wood’s novel, The Quintland Sisters, tells a unique story that is rare in the historical fiction world. Through the journal entries of a young woman, the reader dives into the 1930s and 1940s in Canada, to hear about the remarkable birth of five identical girls. Wood does an amazing job mixing her invented world with history, by incorporating real historical figures into the lives of the girls. Wood did such an amazing job with this, that I would have to repeatedly confirm that this is a work of fiction. She also tackles major world issues that are seen in today, such as using children to gain fame and fortune, as well as who is best suited to care for a child, the parents or the state?
Even though this book covers a wide range of serious topics, it also has plenty of those well-loved classic elements of typical suspense and love stories that kept me engaged. Wood also does an excellent job keeping the ending a secret, to prevent anyone from guessing the outcome.
The only downfall is the method that Wood wrote the book has its limitations. While the journal entries add a realistic element to the novel, it prevents the reader from engaging with more of the characters. Not being able to engage with the characters and build relationships with them made it hard to keep track of who is who in the story. Given how many people entered and exited Emma’s life, which is adds to the realism of the book, it is necessary to be able to keep track of all the characters.
Overall, The Quintland Sisters is a fascinating read that can be enjoyed by many and will cause you to debate many different, but important, issues.
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