About the book: (from the publisher) Superheroes have always been Leia Birch Briggs’ weakness. One tequila-soaked night at a comics convention, the usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman.
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.
About the author: Joshilyn Jackson is the New York Times bestselling author of seven novels, including gods in Alabama and A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages. A former actor, Jackson is also an award-winning audiobook narrator. She lives in Decatur, Georgia, with her husband and their two children.
Genre: Fiction/Contemporary/Women’s Fiction/Southern Lit/Book ClubIt could be her best one yet: THE ALMOST SISTERS @JoshilynJackson @SheReadsBookCLB… Click To Tweet
My take: To say that I enjoy Joshilyn Jackson’s novels doesn’t begin to describe it. Her stories fascinate me. I marvel at the layers, the significance, the sheer energy that makes the words nearly burst from the page. Her characters and themes stick with me even when I not immersed in reading about them, lingering long after I’ve turned the last page. Her latest novel, The Almost Sisters, did all of that and more.
I found this novel a bit mellower than some of her others, a little less edgy, but still brimming with imperfect characters making imperfect choices. On top of that, it is filled with twists and nuance that wholly astonished me. Just when I thought we were done with surprises they kept on coming. The cleverness of misdirection, the layered brilliance and shimmering hope did not fully hit me until the last pages. In the end, The Almost Sisters turned out to be a different story than I expected — deeper, richer, more redemptive, and completely satisfying.
Just so you know: Some profanity and mature themes
Thanks to She Reads and William Morrow for providing me this book free of charge. All opinions are mine.
After words: Which novels by Joshilyn Jackson have you read?