Friday, February 9, 2018

Mini-Reviews: Sister, Sister

The Wildling Sisters by Eve Chase (2017)

A dual timeline story: In summer 1959, four sisters visit Applecote Manor, the home where their beloved cousin Audrey disappeared from 5 years prior.  In the present day, a woman seeks a fresh start at the manor with her husband, daughter, and stepdaughter.

I love stories about families, secrets, and especially old English manors, and I was not disappointed by The Wildling Sisters.  In 1959, the four Wilde sisters visit their aunt and uncle, and it is a summer of upheaval for them all.  The relationships between the sisters are pulled apart and back together again.  In the present-day timeline, Jessie has a hard time connecting with her stepdaugher.

Chase did a tremendous job creating these delicate relationships, and each story feels a bit haunted.  The story is very atmospheric, and I thoroughly enjoyed the descriptions of the house and surrounding lands; it almost felt as if the manor were another character in the story.  While I was a bit more drawn to the 1959 story, I thought both parts of the book were strong.  4 stars

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson (2017)

Leia, a graphic novel artist, finds out she is pregnant after a one-night stand at the same time she discovers her grandmother is suffering from dementia.

This book had a lot going on, almost too much at times: Leia's pregnancy, her grandmother's health issues, small-town politics, discussions about racism in the South, Leia's sister's marital issues, even a body found in the attic of Leia's grandmother's house.  It seemed like there was a lot of talking, but nothing got resolved; for example, Leia is constantly thinking about how her child will be biracial, yet we don't get to see how this plays out.  Normally, I don't mind open-ended stories, but here everything just felt... unfinished.

I never felt connected to the characters, and I couldn't get a handle on the tone of the story - sometimes it seemed light, while other times it tried to be serious and impart some deep thoughts.  The secondary characters were cliché, especially (unfortunately) Leia's elderly Southern grandmother, with her cutesy nickname and overly prominent standing in the community.    2.5 stars

20 comments:

  1. Oooh! The The Wildling Sisters sounds great!

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    1. I really enjoyed that one! It's a very "me" book!

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  2. I completely forgot that I wanted to read The Wildling Sisters! I'm super glad to see your review for it here and that you liked it! I've noticed in dual time novels that I tend to prefer the older of the two, haha.. it must be preference for historical fiction showing. The Almost Sisters really does sound a bit over-packed with ideas--sorry to hear it wasn't so great!

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    1. Maybe that's why I usually like the older timeline, as well! Usually the present-day timeline is just trying to figure out what happened in the other one, so there's more action in the older one.

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  3. It does sound very atmospheric, and an old manor plus a disappearance would seem to have promise. Sorry the 2nd one wasn't a little better.

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    1. I'm just glad one of them was great for me!

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  4. Hmm... sounds pretty meh and like you said in the review too much going on in the story. Too bad!

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  5. I'm sorry Almost Sisters didn't work out for you! The blurb actually sounds like it could have a been really good read. Wildling Sisters, whew. What a ride these dual timelines sound like!

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    1. Yeah, The Almost Sisters has such great reviews on Goodreads, so it was probably just me! The Wildling Sisters was really good!

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  6. The Wilding Sisters sounds really good, the manor and the mysterious disappearance especially. Too bad about Almost Sisters though.

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    1. The Wildling Sisters was so atmospheric, really good!

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  7. With the dual timeline and the focus on family, The Wildling Sisters sounds like my kind of book. It's a shame the other book didn't work better though. I think the inconsistent tone would have driven me crazy.

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    1. I think you will enjoy The Wildling Sisters!

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  8. I was instantly drawn to The Almost Sisters by the cover, after reading your review I'm not so interested though. On the other hand The Wilding Sisters sounds really good.

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    1. The Wildling Sisters was really good. The Almost Sisters, that may just be a "it's not you, it's me" thing. It has a lot of good reviews on Goodreads.

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  9. I also love books on families and secrets. The first sounds good but I am sorry about the second one.

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    1. Yes, I'm always drawn to stories about families!

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  10. Sorry to hear that Almost Sisters didn't work better for you! I found the characters very convincing and liked the ending, which I thought was hopeful without being resolved too neatly. Just one of those things where every book won't work for everyone :)

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    1. Exactly! I think this was more a me thing, since it does have really great reviews on Goodreads.

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I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!