I will start off by saying that I have always enjoyed reading anything by Anna Quindlen - opinion pieces, nonfiction, fiction, etc. Quindlen does not churn out a novel every single year so it is a treat to actually get my hands on one I haven't read. The plot of Rise and Shine involves two sisters, a highly successful morning show host, Meghan Fitzmaurice (think Katie Couric) and her younger sister, Bridget, a social worker. Meghan's world, and that of those closest to her, unravels when she inadvertently (or not?) curses the subject of her interview while on the air. Meghan retreats to the Caribbean to heal her wounds from both the fallout of the interview and the demise of her marriage. Bridget is then left behind to try and keep the family together.
This novel disappointed me from the beginning. I was led to believe that Meghan had committed some kind of irredeemable mistake, but what Meghan actually muttered on air was not that shocking by today's standards. I had a hard time believing that the network wouldn't stand behind her and that her career was in shambles because of it. As I continued to read I realized that I really didn't care for Meghan and therefore, had no reason to care whether or not she would prevail. As for Bridget, I liked her slightly more than Meghan, but not by much!
Although Quindlen's writing still surpasses that of many of her peers, it does not make up for weak characters and an even weaker plot.