Authors - A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

The Engagements (2013)

This follows five central characters and spans the course of several decades. The common theme uniting these characters is marriage and everything it entails. We are first introduced to Frances Gerety, a young women working as a copywriter at an advertising agency in 1947. Frances penned the timeless phrase, "A Diamond is Forever", and her job is to convince women that a marriage proposal should include a sparkly diamond ring. Evelyn, a wife and mother living in the 1970s, is shaken to the core upon hearing the news that her son is leaving his wife and two children for another woman. James is struggling to make ends meet as an ambulance driver in the 1980s and fears that he will never be good enough for his wife. Delphine is beginning to realise that karma will indeed come back to haunt you after she leaves her husband for a young musician only to find herself betrayed and miserable years later. Finally there is Kate, who has never bought into the idea of marriage, but must set her beliefs aside to help her cousin plan the wedding of his dreams. The Engagements is beautifully written and truly draws the reader in. Each story stands on its own, and while some characters are more lovable than others, they are all fully developed and captured my attention. I enjoyed the fact that Sullivan was inspired by history and incorporated factual elements into the book. She also shed a different light on the wedding industry and tackled serious issues such as blood diamonds. As a result, The Engagements is not only entertaining but also thought-provoking. (LB)

Commencement (2009)

In the unfamiliar halls of Smith College, an all-women's school, Bree, Sally, Celia and April form a unique, beautiful and often tested friendship. On the cusp of adulthood in the 1990s, these four young women are privilege to what many generations of young women before them were not - options. Sally, dealing with the grief of losing her mother, finds herself in an unexpected affair with an older man. April, a passionate feminist, teams up with a radical women's rights activist and finds herself in a dangerous situation. Bree struggles between the opportunities provided by Smith and her life and fiance she left behind at home. Celia, having attended Catholic school all her life, shows up with a Vodka bottle wrapped in a Snoopy blanket. She soon discovers that the halls of Smith are very different to what she expected and after one life-changing night, Celia will question everything she thought she knew. Sullivan gives insight to the girls' past before entering Smith and takes the reader on a well-written, tear-inducing, laugh-aloud, smart ride to adulthood where their friendship will be tested. As the girls struggle to find independence in a world where they are discovering what type of women they want to be, they learn to let themselves depend on one another. Through it all, the reader will learn, "there are so many ways to be 26". (JE)

Back to Authors S

Also by author: