The Lapone Sisters is a work of fiction in the impersonal drama and nostalgia subgenres. It is best suited to the adult reading audience and was penned by Barry Wilker. In this charming and highly enjoyable drama set largely in the summer of 1976, Wilker showcases his talent as a debut novelist by bringing us the tale of three sisters learning to find their place in the world. Schmellda, Sorina, and Esmerelda each have a very different approach to life and what they want from it, but the twisting course of events that brought them together would teach them everything they need about love, loss, and life as they journey on their adventures together.
Barry Wilker writes like a dream, and the smooth flow of this confident narrative makes it easy to fall into the setting and atmosphere of the work from the first minute. I was highly impressed that the dialogue never feels forced despite moving the plot along smoothly, and the three sisters each have distinct and original parlance without any of them becoming a caricature or falling into stereotypes. Schmellda, Sorina, and Esmerelda become as real as our friends, mothers, sisters, wives, and girlfriends, and their emotional journey takes precedence with a delicately balanced narrative quality that showcases their sorrow and joy without sensationalizing or making light of it. With plenty of laughs and heartaches along the way, I’d recommend The Lapone Sisters as a highly accomplished debut novel for drama enthusiasts everywhere.