Release Date: Feb 26, 2019
Heat Level: Warm
Genre: Women’s Fiction
California Girls by Susan Mallery follows the intertwined stories of three sisters living in Los Angeles. The story begins with each of the sisters getting dumped on the same day in unique ways. Finola, the oldest, is a popular morning show host who finds out that her husband has been cheating on her with her next television guest minutes before she goes on air.
Zennie is the middle child who would rather be surfing or running than on a date with another man. When her latest date ends it with her due to Zennie’s lack of interest and her best friend asks her to be a surrogate for her, Zennie agrees. She has no attachments to think about and no real reason to say no – until everyone begins to question her decision and she begins to experience the bodily changes that come with pregnancy.
Ali is the youngest child of the group, she knows that she was an “oops” child and that neither of her parents really wanted her. She is used to being cast aside, however, she reaches a new low when her fiancé sends his brother to call off their wedding just days after they sent out the invitations.
I really enjoyed this book. I felt like I followed all of the women on a journey of self-discovery and healing. Each of them were pretty selfish in their own ways at the start of the book and all really grew up through their difficult circumstances and learned how to trust in others again. I was happy that this book felt very realistic. As I read, I really did believe in each of the stories, all of the emotions the girls experienced were ones that I think I would have also experienced were I in their shoes. There was no glossing over of the negative details nor was there an attempt to try to make any of these girls come off as “perfect”. It was very real and raw, and I appreciated how Susan Mallery trusted her readers to not give up on the characters and offered realistic endings and not a typical cookie cutter one.
This book reminded me stories by Elin Hilderbrand, where there is such depth to each story and female characters are the backbone of the novel. I highly recommend this book for those who enjoy stories with strong female leads.