The Pleasure of Your Company
Author: Carolyn Steele Agosta
Reviewed By: Anne Holmes for the NABBW
It’s late in 2008, the economy stinks and Baby Boomer sisters Valerie, Miranda, and Helen are not only faced with the financial challenges of day-to-day life, but must deal with the death of their father and the division of his estate.
As we meet the sisters, Valerie, a cellist with the New York City Ballet, is facing job upheaval. Miranda, a free-spirited art gallery owner, is frustrated with shop ownership and considering reviving an old love affair. And Helen, “the organized one,” is busy dealing with her collegiate triplets, her husband’s unwillingness to discuss their challenging finances, and the fact that she has just become executor for her late father’s estate.
The three women, come together at Thanksgiving – something they haven’t had time to do for years – in order to start discussing how to divide up their father’s estate.
It seems he’s left his wonderful old lake house, a house that ‘s been in their family for generations, to the whole family – all nine of them. Figuring out how to divvy things up will not be easy: The place is packed full of antiques, their father’s unusual, handcrafted furniture, and his huge collection of what might best be called ‘found’ objects. These include a huge collection of paperweights, rocks, an eclectic antique camera collection and a couple of mysterious chests full of odd photographs.
More challenging than that, the sisters must also come to grips with their memories. These include old rivalries, childhood secrets, and their secret thought s on what really caused their mother’s death. Along with the memories, author Agosta throws in a fir of excitement via the reappearance of Valerie’s ex-husband Jack, a crazy ride in an out of control RV, a malicious intruder, and so much more.
The three sisters aren’t the only players in this story. You’ll also meet their Aunt Reenie, a former Hollywood star whose septuagenarian age doesn’t hold her down, Helen’s husband Phil, and their triplets, Dee, Erica and Devon. And of course, all the people they interact with. There’s a large cast to this story.
Agosta artfully uses actual headlines from newspapers of the time period to begin each chapter. Her writing is believable. I bought into the whole amazing story and kept turning pages as fast as I could. You’ll do the same, as you join the sisters in a series of events that involve more twists and turns than a rollercoaster. Don’t worry though, you’ll enjoy the ride.