Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Review: The Second Sister

The Second Sister by Marie Bostwick

Publication Date: 03/31/2015
Publisher: Kensingston Publishing
Imprint: Kinsington
Genre: Women's Fiction
Pages: 352

(Received for an honest review from Kensingston)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes

Marie Bostwick on the WEB: websitetwitter, facebook, goodreads

Excerpt from The Second Sister, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature


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. . .


Marie Bostwick is the well known author of the Cobbled Quilt series. Bostwick brings readers a new book about family, love and the ties that bind. The Second Sister is a novel that will leave readers feeling uplifted and inspired, as Lucy, the heroine embarks on her own discovery of what life means and how important those we share it with are. Readers looking for a book that will stay with them long after the final page will love this one. 

I have read some of Bostwick's Cobbled Quilts books and I knew this one would be a keeper. Bostwick is one of those writers that puts a smile on your face when you see their books on the shelves. She has a knack for bringing the reader characters that are engaging and realistic. Heroes and heroines that could be your next door neighbors or the girl in the next apartment. I just knew when I got this one for review that it would be a book that resonated with me and it really was. So glad I decided to review it. 

The Second Sister is about family, first and foremost. A lot of things go on in this book and there are friendships and loves and several other emotional goings on, but it is really the relationship of Lucy and her sister Alice that forms the crux of the book. When the story begins Lucy is a workaholic on a mission to get her boss to the White House. She is driven and her career means everything to her. Alice is still living in their Wisconsin hometown, where she has remained since an accident at eighteen her mentally challenged.

There is a lot of water under the bridge with these two sisters and when Alice accidentally overdoses, Lucy must come to terms with not only her death, but with her own feelings of guilt and unworthiness. I loved the fact that Alice's presence is still so strongly felt throughout the book, even though she passes away at nearly the beginning. I thought Bostwick did an amazing job of keeping Alice's character a part of the story. Alice was a character that will resonate with many different kinds of readers. I wish I knew someone who looked at life the way Alice did. It was simply a captivating read.

Lucy didn't really know Alice. She spent eighteen years in her shadow and when Alice was no longer able to be in the spotlight, Lucy didn't want it. She ran away and refused to face herself or her hometown. Watching her grow as a character throughout this story, was like going on a journey to discover herself and Alice. She learned so much about herself, through learning about the kind of woman Alice was. I thought Bostwick treated the subject of guilt with a deft hand. She knew how to approach it, how to deal with it and how to draw the reader into it. I loved it.

There is a bit of romance with someone Lucy went to school with and there is a lot to be said for Alice's amazing friends who become important in Lucy's life. The relationships between women are often either very good or very bad. Bostwick shows readers what having a good friend truly means here and I think readers will respond to it. It was nice to see Lucy start to open up to these women and share in their triumphs and struggles as they shared in her sister's life. I want close friends like these. They are hard to come by and it's amazing to read about them.

Bottom Line:

This is tearjerker, a heartwarmer and a inspirational journey. Bostwick writes with a lot of heart and emotion. She never fails to leave the reader feeling inspired and creative. Her prose flows off the page it is so well crafted and written. Every book by this author is about real life and The Second Sister is no exception to that rule. I loved Lucy and I loved Alice though we only see her in life for a short time. What a great story. You gotta read it!

The Second Sister is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 5 out of 5 apples from my book bag!

About the Author:

Marie Bostwick was born and raised in the Northwest. She and her family have moved a score of times, living in eight US states and two Mexican cities and collecting a vast and cherished array of friends and experiences. She has three handsome sons and now lives with her husband in Connecticut, where she writes, reads, quilts, and is active in her local church.


holdenj said...

Sounds very emotional, but very good too. Will keep an eye out for it.