Satellite Sisters, Author . Riverhead $24.95 (304p) ISBN 978-1-57322-208-2

The Dolans are known to listeners of PRI as the engaging Satellite Sisters, living in four cities on two continents, who have a weekly on-air conversation about topics that people really talk about, from clearing up bad credit to finding a breast lump. Having grown up in a family of 10, they believe their experiences have given them a unique perspective on how to get along in life. In their tenuously connected reminiscences, lists of dos and don'ts and even a few recipes, the women advise readers to develop their five "uncommon senses"—those senses being connection, self, humor, adventure and devotion. Each sister's life story emerges from her brief essays. Julie, the oldest, lives in Bangkok and has dealt with a dozen household moves during her married life. Liz, usually the sensible one, left a powerful corporate job to "get a life" by pursuing the nonprofit road. Sheila and Monica, closest in age, have been best friends and rivals since childhood, and Lian, the youngest sister, relates the perks and trials of being the baby girl. The authors extol the advantages of a large family, but readers may wonder about the unmentioned, inevitable disadvantages, such as the amount of attentive nurturing their parents could give them, or the resentment older children may have felt when forced into a parenting role. While the appeal and popularity of the Satellite Sisters' radio program is undeniable, on the printed page their collective wisdom is limited. There is nothing wildly entertaining or groundbreaking here, but there are many readers (and radio listeners) out there who won't care, and this book will make them laugh. (Nov. 5)

Forecast:With first serial rights sold to O, the Oprah Magazine, second serial to Good Housekeeping, its status as a featured alternate of the Literary Guild and its inclusion in other major clubs' selection lists, as well as a 30-city author tour, the Satellite Sisters are gearing up for a true media blitz. A simultaneous audio edition from Putnam Berkley Audio will round out the effort, and this book will definitely profit.

Reviewed on: 10/08/2001
Release date: 10/01/2001
Genre: Nonfiction
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