Laurie Frankel’s new book, One Two Three examines love and loyalty, how to let go of the past and how to move toward a new future, all through the eyes and actions of three sisters (triplets) in this lovely, bittersweet story of one family and how they cope with disaster.
17 years ago, the tiny town of Bourne became briefly famous when its water turned green and was declared unfit for use. Belsum Chemical Plant was forced to close but was never held responsible. High concentrations of cancer, birth defects and neurological disorders wasn’t considered enough to convict the company in court. Belsum disappeared, leaving the town and it’s citizens broken, to cope with the lingering damage on their own.
Three sisters are born here as the disaster is unfolding. Mab, Monday and Mirabel are very different from each other but understand each other on an almost telepathic level. When Belsum Chemical makes plans to return to Bourne, promising jobs but no further regulations, the sisters and their mother fight back. But what can a girl in love with the son of the family who owns the chemical plant, a neuro-diverse girl with autism and a girl confined to a wheelchair who cannot speak do? Each are brilliant in their own way and together they create a fearsome opponent.
I really enjoyed this book. There is a lot of humor and heart in the story, from the way the townspeople support and accept each other to the way the girls’ mother loves and tends to each one. The sisters are amazing – it’s fun to watch them blossom and become their own person, yet stay connected to each other. Each girl has a voice in the book, with the multiple chapters rotating between them, One, Two and Three (their names for each other) which gives you different viewpoints of what is happening as they campaign for the chemical plant to do right by them and the town. Highly recommended.