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‘Rise and Shine’ by Anna Quindlen

(Hutchinson, $36.99)Bridget Fitzmaurice is a social worker in New York’s low-rent area of the Bronx, while her older sister oeghan is a household name as glamorous host of Rise and Shine, America’s highest-rated morning TV show.

Despite operating in totally different worlds, the sisters are closer than most, due largely to being orphaned as kids. oeghan’s the grown up one, Bridget the dependent rebel. Then, one morning on her TV show, oeghan calls someone a bleeping bleephole and her world comes tumbling down. She goes from darling to damned in the flash of a cue card and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

Hey, I’m a sucker for books about sisters, so I knew I would like this one. But throw in a bleeping bleephole and I’m in heaven. Not only is this funny and well-written but you can’t imagine how it’s going to end. Plus, a third character is constantly hovering in the corner: New York City.

Author Anna Quindlen shows us the glitterati of oeghan’s world in the Big Apple and the women’s shelter brigade that populates Bridget’s. (The women’s shelter brigade is funnier – Bridget’s secretary Tequila should have her own show.)

If Anna Quindlen “does” good family it could be because she lost her own mother when she was just 19 and helped raise her four younger siblings, with whom she remains close. She has three mostly grown-up children of her own now and has dedicated Rise and Shine to the youngest. “For Maria Krovatin, the star,” the dedication reads. “Fearless, powerful, utterly amazing. I want to be you when I grow up.” You just gotta love that, don’t you?

By the way, Anna Quindlen and I are practically sisters ourselves. Her previous novel one True Thing was made into a film by LA screenwriter Karen Croner who is currently working on the film version of my new novel, The House of Peine. I’m convinced we have many other things in common but so far, erm, actually that’s it.

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