Trenton Reads

Our literary adventures …

Review: The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters

When Olivia Hunt was a child, she used to make up bedtime stories for her little sister Maddie; she called them the True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters. In Elisabeth Robinson’s debut novel, Olivia is now a thirty-something movie producer living in Los Angeles. Maddie is in her mid-twenties, married just over a year, and fighting leukemia. Olivia jets between California and Ohio to be with Maddie and finds herself spinning new tales of the Hunt sisters as she sits by Maddie’s bedside.

During this time Olivia is also struggling to accept demise of a long-term relationship with her artist boyfriend and producing a movie based on the novel Don Quixote. Her take on Hollywood and the movie business is hilarious and likely quite accurate since Robinson herself was a movie producer prior to becoming a novelist.

When I realized that this entire novel is told in letters – from Olivia to her sister, her best friend, her newly ex-boyfriend, her parents and colleagues – I wondered how the author could possibly give enough background and depth to her story. I was pleasantly surprised when she succeeded in doing just that.

Her letters were more detailed than any I have ever written or received, but given Olivia’s character and the tone of the book, they were believable. Through her candid, introspective communication, I came to know Olivia as conflicted and lovable, a mix of hopeful naivety and world-worn cynicism, dedicated to her family and reservedly so to her career, a writer at heart, who could bare her soul most easily with pen and paper.

Related Reviews:
Book Reporter
New York Times
USA Today

Reading Group Guide

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