Chick lit

A New Life for Ariana Byrne (The Hiverton Sisters, #1) by Liz Hurley

Narrated by: Martha Mackintosh

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When I first started listening to this book, I was afraid I would not like it. The rating that I finally gave it is reflective of how rarely such a visceral first reaction changes.
In the first chapter, we see our protagonist, Ariana, having a fight with her husband. It is not exactly a fight because Ariana does not do any protesting. As background, we get information about the kind of man he is and how his wife has accepted him back multiple times after very obvious transgressions. This last part was so astounding given the kind of woman she is supposed to be and the things she stood for in the past.
That is just the first chapter, though. Once he slams the door on the way out and minor retrospection on Ariana’s part, things start to change. I liked the siblings’ relationship and the new growth arc for the family as a whole. Despite there being so many sisters, each stood out as an individual, and I did not need to keep going back to see which sister was speaking. I could make an informed guess (if required) based on their behaviour. The leading lady changes with time, and her confidence building happens slowly but surely.
The romance angle was also understated. It takes up a big chunk of the ending, and even though the misunderstandings happen once too often, the emotional state of Ariana’s heart and mind makes a good enough excuse to let it pass.
I had fun encountering this family and doubly fun on audio. I listened to it while cycling around some chores, and there were moments where I chuckled out loud on the street. The characters and their conversations are what endeared me to this book. If given a chance, I would pursue this series. I also recommend it to fans of the genre or someone thinking of picking up a reasonably light book with some intermittent heavier parts.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.

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