Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Julie's Review: Sister Dear

Author: Laura McNeill
Series: None
Publication Date: April 19, 2016
Publisher: Thomas Nelson Books
Pages: 400
Obtained: publisher via NetGalley
Genre:  Mystery, Thriller
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: One twisted sibling realtionship
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab!
Summary: All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start.  But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever? Convicted of a crime she didn’t commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish – time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows. But Allie’s return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie’s claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already-fragile bond with family.As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret—one that holds the key to Allie’s freedom.

 Review: Sister Dear kept me turning the pages and wondering how it was all going to come together. Were the deeply buried secrets going to surface? Would Allie finally prove her innocence without sacrificing her freedom? Allie is set free from prison for serving time for a crime she didn't commit. It isn't one of those novels where you wonder if she's innocent or not because it's pretty clear from the get go she is. Although it isn't reveled quickly exactly what she was in prison for but you know you don't get locked up for 10 years for something minor.

Her dedicated younger sister, Emma, comes to get her as she's released and all Allie wants to do is see her 15 year old daughter. Unfortunately, Caroline isn't quite ready to deal with the fact that her mom is back. She's been raised for the last 10 year by her Aunt and has built up a good life for her including a busy social life. All of that comes crumbling down quickly when word spreads that Allie is out. The local Sheriff isn't too pleased with the release of Allie Marshall either. He thoroughly believes she's guilty because he couldn't see another way out because of the blood on her hands. He refused to entertain anything other possibility. He even pays a visit to Allie's parole office to make sure that she's not allowed to investigate to prove her innocence.

The book literally unravels, in the best way, with each page you turn. While the book is about Allie and her innocence it is much more about Emma's story and her issues with her sister. Emma is probably the most interesting character in the novel. She isn't what she seems to anyone, least of all herself. It is quite interesting the amount of rage she has carried around since she was 10 years old. Always feeling 2nd best to her sister, she was out to prove everyone wrong.

Caroline is confused, hurt and scared. She didn't visit her mom in prison but tried to carry on a normal life with her aunt, friends and grandparents. She doesn't want her mom messing up the delicate balance she's created for herself. Caroline starts to isolate herself from her aunt, her grandparent, her friends and she refuses to reconnect with her mom. She doesn't trust her. She was too young to remember how much her mom loved her. The only thing she remembers is feeling abandoned and lost. It's not that she doesn't love her Aunt and appreciate all that she's done for her but she doesn't know what normal is or what it feels like.

Ms. McNeill does a fantastic job of pulling you in and making you turn the pages. She writes characters that are flawed and intriguing. She tells a story that will keep you up and thinking about it long after you've closed the covers. This is my 2nd novel by Ms. McNeill and let me tell you, I can't wait to see what she writes next.

 Do yourself a favor and pick up Sister Dear. 



Laura McNeill May 22, 2016 at 10:27 PM  

Thank you SO very much for the lovely review! I am thrilled that you enjoyed the novel so much!

xo, Laura

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