ONE TWO THREE
By: Laurie Frankel
Published: June 8, 2021
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co
Bourne is the kind of town that anyone would want to live in. Or at least that is how it used to be. From the outside, Bourne looks like a normal town, but when you look a little closer, nearly all the stores or homes have ramps at their entrances and there is more handicapped parking than regular parking. There are people missing arms or legs. Children have been born with birth defects. Many of the businesses in the town are closed. The cemetery is overcrowded. What has happened in Bourne?
“And it’s sad, which makes sense for a graveyard, but ours is sadder than most because the years on either side of the hyphens are too close together. Bourne was not prepared for all our sudden dead. Maybe no town ever is, though.”Laurie Frankel, ONE TWO THREE
Mab, Monday, and Mirabel are triplet sisters born in the town of Bourne about sixteen years ago. The sisters have named each other One, Two, and Three when talking to each other. Mab, the firstborn, is intelligent and the leader of the three girls. Monday, the middle sister, is a bit quirky, likes only yellow things, unless it’s raining, and is the resident librarian in the town. She has run the library out of their home ever since the Bourne library closed its doors. Mirabel is the miracle of the three. Mirabel is confined to a wheelchair and can’t speak. These three and the loss of their father is the reason their mom, Nora, has been fighting Belsum Chemical for nearly seventeen years.
Belsum created a chemical that seeped into Bourne’s water system and tragically affected nearly every family in that community. Nora has taken it upon herself to fight for the entire city and its residents to make sure the company pays for their mistakes. Then, one day, moving trucks start appearing in Bourne. Something that hasn’t happened in a very long time. Why would someone be moving to Bourne? What lies ahead for Nora and the three girls will change Bourne forever.
“There are so many people who have sinned a little and a lot. There are so many people who deserve some of the blame. but that means there is never anyone whose responsibility it is to take responsibility. There is no one who must make it right, no one who must make amends. There is so much, therefore, that stays wrong and unmended.”Laurie Frankel, ONE TWO THREE
I absolutely adored the sisters. Their sisterly love and devotion to each other were heartwarming. But, they are still sisters and have their squabbles, their jealousies, and their opinions. Of course, those naturally can get in the way sometimes, but when the sisters needed to come together on a task, their teamwork and willingness to see it through only brought them closer.
Since the story is told from the perspective of three teenage girls, you get the story at their level. You get their quick reactions, their assumptions, and their heartache. But, these girls aren’t normal teenagers. They’ve seen a lot in their 16+ years of life and their tenacity to overcome all the obstacles in front of them endears them to the reader.
Frankel threw in some twists and a crazy ending that left me reading as fast as I could to make sure everything turned out all right. I won’t tell you if it did or not, but it was sure an exciting ride to the finish.
Laurie Frankel is the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of three previous novels. Frankel lives in Seattle with her husband, daughter, and border collie. She makes good soup.