The tale itself upends any expectations of rural, Green Acres-esque silliness. Yet Dell’Antonia, the author of How to Be a Happier Parent , takes her characters seriously, albeit always with gentle humor ... In the end, 'Food Wars' proves to be a catastrophe for Barbara and her daughters, as old wounds, resentments, postponed dreams and layers of grief are peeled back and allowed to heal... It all works to make The Chicken Sisters a delight.
A diverting tale of a family coming to terms with the many ways in which they have grown apart and struggling to understand why. Although the reality TV premise offers plenty of opportunities for crazy shenanigans and other broadly humorous moments, the book also deals with issues of aging, physical and mental illness, grief, financial insecurity and other more serious topics. The large cast of characters and the increasingly complicated nature of their feuds and revenge plots create a lot of loose ends to tie up. At times, it can feel like the resolution is more drawn out than it needs to be, and readers may come away from the story wondering if each character’s moment of self-awareness and desire for dramatic change is really going to stick after their few days of filming. That said, readers will enjoy spending time with the residents of Merinac.
Dell’Antonia writes convincingly and sympathetically about complicated family relationships, giving Mae and Amanda each relatable flaws. The Food Wars scenes are a fun peek behind the curtain of the reality TV world, and the small-town warmth of Merinac is comfortingly quirky. A charming and satisfying story about family bonds that will make meat eaters everywhere crave fried chicken.