The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson – Audio
It turns out the caped crusader has left her with more than just a nice, fuzzy memory. She’s having a baby boy – an unexpected but not unhappy development in the thirty-eight year-old’s life. But before Leia can break the news of her impending single-motherhood (including the fact that her baby is biracial) to her conventional, Southern family, her step-sister Rachel’s marriage implodes. Worse, she learns her beloved ninety-year-old grandmother, Birchie, is losing her mind, and she’s been hiding her dementia with the help of Wattie, her best friend since girlhood.
Leia returns to Alabama to put her grandmother’s affairs in order, clean out the big Victorian that has been in the Birch family for generations, and tell her family that she’s pregnant. Yet just when Leia thinks she’s got it all under control, she learns that illness is not the only thing Birchie’s been hiding. Tucked in the attic is a dangerous secret with roots that reach all the way back to the Civil War. Its exposure threatens the family’s freedom and future, and it will change everything about how Leia sees herself and her sister, her son and his missing father, and the world she thinks she knows.
My Review: 4 stars
The Almost Sisters was much more than I expected based on the cover art. I know, I know…don’t judge a book by its cover is a golden rule for all book lovers. I suppose I was expecting a cheeky does of chick lit and was instead welcomed to a southern family drama that had heart and humor. I listened to the audio version, narrated by the author, and it was extremely well done.
The plot is previewed quite well in the book blurb, almost giving too much away in my opinion. I hadn’t read the blurb when I started so I was in for some big surprises. The main protagonist, a self-proclaimed nerd girl, is a character the reader cheers for. She’s bright with a successful career, but proves that anyone can get pregnant after just one unprotected time. Her character has a lot of depth as the reader sees her grow throughout the book.
The graphic novel she wrote has so much symbolism in it. Much of it she hardly notices until others point it out to her. I’d love to read more about Violence and Violet as it wonderfully wove itself into the real life story. Hitting on many serious topics such as racism, religion, pregnancy, family secrets and Lewy body dementia offered a deeper and more well rounded reading experience.
Who are The Almost Sisters? Violence and Violet? Leia and Rachel? Birchie and Wattie? This question sneaks in throughout the novel and the author did a fabulous job at keeping us guessing. I cared about all of the above-mentioned characters as well as Batman, Frank and Lavender. I’d love a sequel!
Quotes I liked:
Oh, honey. I’m not sick. I’m only dying.”
-“Things feel hard now, but it will pass. Everything passes, and something new comes along to fill the space.”
-“You don’t see it, but next happens anyway and always. With or without you.”
-“When things went to shit, girls called their mothers”