“The Starfish Sisters” by Barbara O’Neal is set on the coast of Oregon, where tidepools are a place to find treasures, and life moves at a slower pace. This novel was about the relationship and emotions between two best friends, Phoebe and Suze. The story goes back and forth between two timelines – the current day happenings and the long ago past events that have shaped the friendship. It worked really well to have some chapters told from Phoebe’s point of view and others from Suze’s.
I loved the well-developed main characters – I cheered for both of them to find peace and happiness. They didn’t have the same type of family life, but they did both share an intense love for Beryl (Phoebe’s grandmother). Suze grew up with a fanatical father who was a preacher. He was an abuser, but no one but Beryl ever stood up against him. Phoebe had a loving father and grandmother, but never felt like she fit in with other kids. The two girls are now in their 60’s and still ‘friends’ . . . but there have been lies, secrets, disappointments and losses in the decades since their teens.
I really enjoyed the story of “The Starfish Sisters” and the wisdom that came as the women aged. The secondary characters were wonderful and added so much to the novel. If you love strong female characters and a story full of hope, this novel will fit the bill!!