Real Life & Liars by Kristina Riggle
Mirabelle Zielinski is about to celebrate her thirty-fifth wedding anniversary with her husband Max. Her daughter Katya is planning it of course, Katya is a bit of a type-A personality, wanting everything to be just PERFECT. Not that Katya’s idea of perfect is the same as Mirabelle’s. Katya has a mess in her own life, though, as she’s fairly certain that her husband is cheating with his assistant; whatever’s going on her marriage is clearly not good. Mira’s other children, Ivan and Irina, will be there too. Ivan is alone again, as usual, and Irina’s showing up with a surprised marriage and pregnancy. None of these revelations can top Mira’s, however. Not two weeks before the party she was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer, and she has no intention to let the doctor take her breast, even if it means that she will die.
Can I just tell you how much I enjoyed this book? I was somewhat hesitant at first, thrown off by the imprint under which it was published, since I understood that imprint to be more romance-y. “Real Life and Liars” is about relationships, but about the relationships within a family. A real, messy family. Although Mira and all three of her children alternate as the focus of chapters, Mira is the real main character, the one without whom none of them would exist, the only one granted the right to tell her story in first person. By page one she had already shocked me a bit, but by page three I already adored her.
I loved seeing how this family came to terms with each other, finally realizing how to support and accept one another. I can’t wait for Kristina Riggle’s next book (and the two after that, since she was just signed for another 2 book deal).
This review is part of “Debutante Ball Week” on DevourerofBooks. All this week I’m featuring reviews from the 2009 class of The Debutante Ball and spotlighting the 2010 Debs.