The Quintland Sisters by Shelley Wood is a historical fiction novel based on the real-life Dionne Quintuplets, born in 1934 in a small farmhouse in rural Canada. The novel is written as a bunch of fictional journal entries by one of the quints’ nurses, Emma, with actual news articles interwoven throughout the novel. I thought it was an interesting and well-done way to present a real life story to modern readers.
This book started off REALLY strong. I loved the way that the author included actual news articles into the story. I really felt the stress of keeping FIVE infants alive (all the feedings, cleaning, washing, etc. etc). It made me so upset to see a mother torn apart from her children, and how these innocent children were exploited from birth by almost everyone around them. It was really heartbreaking. I loved learning about the quints, and essentially watching them grow up. I did a lot of googling to learn more about them, and their story is really tragic. Here‘s an article about the last remaining sisters.
Unfortunately, the ending was abrupt and didn’t really fit well with the tone of the rest of the book. I was not thrilled with the dull ‘romance’ that the author tried to pull together and I certainly didn’t like the way that the author rushed to tie-up loose ends by smushing all of the correspondence together at the end. The ending incident was not fair because it essentially accused a real person of a fictitious crime.
The ending ruined the book for me. I was ready to give it a 5 star rating until the last 50 pages or so. While it is worth reading to learn about this historical tragedy, I think the author needed to change the ending to make sure it fit into the story much more seamlessly. In the end, I gave this 2.5/5 stars.