Monday, May 25, 2020

Secret Sister Novel Pleasant, Enjoyable

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Although they're as different as three women can be, Liza, Maggie, and Tricia have always formed a tight trio.  The Sweeney Sisters—daughters of the universally-beloved literary lion, Bill Sweeney—were a familiar sight around the small, seaside town of Southport, Connecticut, where they grew up.  Now that they're adults, the women have spread their wings, with Tricia working as a hotshot lawyer in Manhattan, Maggie attempting to make ends meet as an artist-in-residence in western Connecticut, and Liza trying to balance marriage, motherhood, and ownership of a successful Southport art gallery.  Tension and distance have strained relationships between the sisters.  When their father dies unexpectedly, the threesome is reunited in their hometown for a raucous goodbye party and the reading of Bill's will. 

The presence of a mystery woman at Bill's wake causes some confusion, then utter shock.  Unbeknownst to Liza, Maggie, and Tricia, their father had an affair with a neighbor that resulted in another Sweeney Sister.  Serena Tucker, a 38-year-old investigative journalist, grew up next door to her half-sisters without any of the girls knowing they were related.  Until a DNA test Serena took six months ago revealed the truth.  Suspicious of Serena's timing, the original Sweeney Sisters aren't sure what to think of the new addition.  What does the woman want from them?  Is she after an inheritance?  Or does she want the memoir Bill was reportedly writing, the juicy tell-all that could expose all the family secrets and make its finder a very wealthy woman?  As the four women hunt for the manuscript together, they will make some surprising discoveries about each other, their father, and what family and sisterhood really mean.  

I love books involving family secrets, family history, and DNA discoveries, so I was excited to give The Sweeney Sisters by Lian Dolan a go.  While I didn't end up absolutely loving the novel, I did enjoy it.  This is a character-driven story, with four interesting women at its heart.  Each is well-crafted, empathetic, and admirable in her own way.  I enjoyed reading about all of them.  There's not a lot of action in The Sweeney Sisters, but there was enough to keep me turning pages.  In the end, I found this tale to be a pleasant, funny, and entertaining read, even if I didn't fall head-over-heels in love with it.


Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for language (a handful of F-bombs, plus milder expletives) and mild sexual content

To the FTC, with love:  I received an ARC of The Sweeney Sisters from the generous folks at William Morrow (an imprint of HarperCollins).  Thank you!

7 comments:

  1. Sounds like a good summer read. :)

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  2. I had my eye on this one. I love stories featuring sisters, and the mystery was gravy for me. Sorry you didn't like it more.

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  3. I've got this one on my TBR. Sounds like it'll make a good read for this summer!

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  4. Nice review Susan. This one ticks a lot of the boxes for me. It is one I am not familiar with, but I think I will be remedying that soon.

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  5. I like the sound of this one a lot, Susan. Sounds like the characters are well-developed and it would be interesting to see how they reconcile their father's real past to the life they thought they were living with him before they learned about their new sister. Many of my favorite books are short on action...character studies can be great fun. And thrillers are generally way too similar to every other thriller out there these days.

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  6. I enjoyed this one quite a bit - I think more then you did - though it wasn't a five star read for me.

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  7. This book sounds like it has a number of your interests, but too bad it wasn't expertly executed.

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