by Lee Nichols

June 2005
ISBN: 0-373-89523-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Red Dress Ink
Trade Paperback

The three Olsen sisters - Charlotte, Anne, and Emily. Charlotte is the beautiful one. Emily is the smart one, and Anne is by her own admission, the one nobody notices. As the baby of the bunch, Anne is used to getting hand-me-downs, but that doesn’t mean that she’s not tired of having to settle for less. She’s worn the out of date previously worn dresses and played with the tattered toys, but there’s one thing that’s even beneath her. There is no way that Anne is going to fall in love with Ian Dunne, a man who once dated her sister. Some hand-me-downs are even too used for her.

Lee Nichols, the author of Tales of a Drama Queen is back in print with Hand – Me – Down, a story about a woman who can’t seem to recognize her own achievements because she is so busy feeling inferior to her siblings. Though Hand – Me – Down is based on an intriguing premise, after reading a few chapters, readers may begin to feel an unattractive dosage of VD (translated in the novel to mean Vague Dissatisfaction). After dealing with her irritating sisters for so long, it’s surprising that Anne still manages to be in the same room with either one of them for a long period of time. Her fantasies of assaulting one of them would have long become reality if she possessed a stronger personality.

Completely ignoring Anne’s obsessive behavior with anything new, including having to open a fresh carton of milk before drinking and being repulsed by a package of pre-opened cookies (doesn’t she know that there are thirsty, hungry people on this planet?), the idea of a relationship between her and Ian borders on the absurd. Even if one can ignore the years that it takes for them to finally connect, can one truly be expected to forget that he shagged her sister? No.

Unfortunately, this is one book that you won’t be handing around to your friends.

Reviewed in December 2005 by Natasha.

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