by Julie HaleJanuary, 2005
The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters
Presented as a series of letters written by Olivia Hunt during the year that she discovers her younger sister Maddie has cancer, this unique debut novel was a national bestseller. Olivia is a 34-year-old Hollywood film producer who is trying to launch a movie version of Don Quixote with the help of an obstinate director. She divides her time between California and Ohio, where Maddie, newly diagnosed with leukemia, lives with her husband. When the Quixote project is taken on by the studio Olivia used to work for, with Robin Williams and John Cleese set to star in the production, things look bright for her career-wise. She also has a chance to reunite with her beloved ex-boyfriend Michael, a painter who lives in New Mexico. But when Maddie's condition worsens and the movie stalls, Olivia finds herself struggling to keep her spirits, and those of her family, from flagging. Her fast-paced correspondence includes chatty notes written to her best friend, Tina; gruff messages dashed off to Michael; concerned letters addressed to her parents; and of course, pages and pages composed to Maddie. The notes are full of charming digressions and vivid details, seasoned with Olivia's sharp observations and free of sentimentality. Robinson, who is a producer and screenwriter, presents a unique portrait of two sisters and the special bond they share. A reading group guide is included in the book.