Saturday, November 24, 2018

Review: "The Second Sister" by Marie Bostwick

The Second Sister has been adapted into tonight's Hallmark Hall of Fame movie Christmas Everlasting ... so of course I wanted to read it before watching the movie!

From New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick comes an emotionally rich, inspiring new novel about family, second chances--and the connections that bring women together in hope and healing. . .

Years of long workdays and little sleep as a political campaigner are about to pay off now that Lucy Toomey's boss is entering the White House. But when her estranged older sister, Alice, unexpectedly dies, Lucy is drawn back to Nilson's Bay, her small, close-knit, Wisconsin hometown. 

An accident in her teens left Alice mentally impaired, and she was content to stay in Nilson's Bay. Lucy, meanwhile, got out and never looked back. But now, to meet the terms of Alice's eccentric will, Lucy has taken up temporary residence in her sister's cottage--and begins to see the town, and Alice's life, anew. Alice's diverse group of friends appears to have little in common besides an interest in quilting. Yet deep affection for Alice united them and soon Lucy, too, is brought into the fold as they share problems and stories. And as she finds warmth and support in this new circle, Lucy begins to understand this will be her sister's enduring gift--a chance to move beyond her difficult past, and find what she has long been missing. . .

The Second Sister was not at all what I expected. I thought it would be heavy on the romance and light on everything else, and I could not have been more wrong. While there is romance, it's just a small portion of the plot.

Mainly, this book is about Lucy figuring out who she really is and what she really wants, and that's largely done as she reacquaints herself with Nilson's Bay, gets to know Alice's friends, and comes to terms with the accident that caused Alice's mental impairment.

The Second Sister is a fairly slow read, but that's not something I'm taking issue with. Rather, it felt like a book to savor as I went along. I especially enjoyed the plot line involving Maeve, a mysterious woman important to Alice but unknown by Lucy. I also loved Alice's friends and how they (eventually) rallied around Lucy and helped her see a side of Alice that she didn't know.

A few plot threads are left up in the air at the end of the book, but that just lent to the feeling of authenticity. This is the first Marie Bostwick book I've read, but I'm now certainly interested in reading more. 4 stars.

Content note: The book contains a few minor curse words. Sex is discussed, and one character tells another that he wouldn't mind being used for sex. Adapted as-is, it would probably be a mild PG-13 movie. But you know Hallmark Channel's going to tame it down 😉.

Buy the book.

Marie Bostwick is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of uplifting historical and contemporary fiction. She lives in the state of Oregon and travels frequently to sign books, speak to reading groups, and meet her readers.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I borrowed this book and chose to review it. The opinions expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase an item, I will receive an affiliate commission. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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