Judith Lennox is the author of entertaining and well-written family sagas usually taking place in the 20th century (Lennox likes to set her backgrounds during the first and second world wars and the time in-between).

All my sisters spans over about ten years, before and during World War I. The Maclise sisters, like the Little Women, are four sisters, with very different tempers, dreams and ambitions. Iris is the eldest, and the most beautiful of the Maclise daughters, at least in her opinion. Although we will discover in the course of the novel that she is much less shallow than she thinks, her ultimate goal is to find a rich husband and enjoy a wealthy life. But fate has something else in store for her. Rejecting her suitors, never good enough, she ends up proposing her friend Ash, the only man who resists her, and meets his rejection. Out of spite, she becomes a hospital nurse, far from the easy life she had dreamt for herself…

Marianne is the romantic one: she reads novels all day long and dreams of true love. She finally meets the one, Arthur, a wealthy and gentle man, who loves her as she loves him. But unfortunately, the fairytale does not last, and soon Marianne will find herself in a dreadful situation, isolated and threatened, far from her beloved sisters…

Eva is the artistic one, she is also a feminist, who has friends amongst the suffragettes. Despite the initial reaction of her father, she finally attends and Art school in London but after meeting Gabriel, a married man with a passion for his female models, she loses her ambition and her faith in herself as an artist…

Clemency is the discreet one. The one without talent or beauty but the real pillar of the Maclise family. She tries to soften the rivalries between her three brothers, the tempestuous temper of her father, and the pains of her mother, a hypochondriac woman who tries to make her feel guilty about her own small aspirations. But even Clemency will end up finding happiness in life, after years of sacrificing herself for her family.

All my sisters is a novel that, despite its length, keeps the reader interested and entertained until the end. The narration focuses on each of the sisters in turn, and all their stories are equally enthralling. The historical background is accurate and always well integrated in the story: Judith Lennox never makes too much of a digression, as many authors inserting history in fiction do.

All my Sisters is good old-fashioned storytelling at its best…

Rating: 4/5