The Sunrise Sisterhood – Cathy Bramley

Published By: Orion
Pages: 448
Released On: 11/05/2023

The holidays are here, and in Salcombe, Liz longs for the arrival of her god-daughters, Skye and Clare and Clare’s daughter baby Ivy. After years on her own, she needs help to save the catering business she built with Clare’s late mother, Jen.

However, half-sisters Skye and Clare couldn’t be more different, struggling with family secrets and hidden jealousies. As the women navigate this unexpected summer together, truths are revealed and their relationships are put to the test.

The Sunrise Sisterhood is a summery slice of joyful escapism as well as an emotional drama about three women healed by the sparkling waves of Salcombe and the power of the sisterhood.


Thanks to NetGalley and Orion for the advanced copy of this title in return for an honest review.

It’s a good day when a new Cathy Bramley book comes out.

Somehow, I have only read 3 of her books before, which seems amazing really as she’s become such a staple author that I feel I’ve known her for longer. But what I have read is beautifully warming and cosy, and this is no different.

I love how she’s explored the relationships between the characters. Clare and Skye are half-sisters, and don’t particularly get on; their relationship is not perfect, for a number of reasons, but it feels so real and recognisable. What siblings do get on 24/7, full or half? It’s not all happy sunshine all the time, and she’s captured that wonderfully. I also loved the focus on their Godmother Liz. That’s a relationship that is rarely looked at, and yet it can be one of the most important.

Liz was my favourite character by miles. Not perfect by any means, but she means well, is caring, loving, and wants the best for everyone, but is struggling herself. But she’s the motherly figure the story needs. Out of Clare and Skye I’m not sure I had a favourite. Clare was hard to like at first, very prickly and standoffish, but for her own reasons. But once you’ve stripped those outer layers back, you do get a nicer character. Skye was very much in the dark at first, plodding along, not necessarily sure what her life should look like, jealous of Clare. But she grows throughout the story. The two half-sisters complement each other perfectly and they feel like this proper unit. I didn’t care for their Dad Mike at first, very up himself, trying to keep hold of his youth – even though he’s in his 60s – and he irked me for most of the book, but he did manage to eventually win me round, but I still think it is the female characters that excel.

Cathy has managed to take difficult subjects and handle them with such empathy and kindness. This time we’ve got death and grief, single parenting, relationship difficulties, alcohol dependency, loneliness, deception, identity questions, employment struggles, sexuality, unrequited love, and they’re just right. Never too much just for entertainment purposes, but they all have a purpose in the story.

I think the exploration of grief was first class. Grief isn’t necessarily all sitting and weeping. It can be feeling like you’re lost, you depend on other things such as alcohol or drugs, you’re angry, you snap at the people you love, etc. It’s nice to see grief explored like this, and explored through different people. We see how the loss of Jen affects her daughter, her step-daughter, her friends, and her clients. I also loved that Jen was ever present in the book, just as she is ever present in the characters’ lives.

Cathy has this amazing ability to write beautiful multigenerational stories. She’s as perfect at depicting someone in their 20s as she is someone in their 60s. There’s real love and skill and passion here.

I’ve bought her books for friends before as presents, and I definitely think the same will happen with this one. Very enjoyable, entertaining, thought provoking, joyful and hopeful.

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