Sister Dear by Laura McNeill
About this book: (from the publisher) Convicted of a crime she didn’t commit, Allie Marshall 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.
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About the author: Laura McNeill is a writer, web geek, travel enthusiast, and coffee drinker. In her former life, she was a television news anchor for CBS News affiliates in New York and Alabama. Laura holds a master’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and is completing a graduate program in interactive technology at the University of Alabama. When she’s not writing and doing homework, she enjoys running, yoga, and spending time at the beach. She lives in Mobile, AL with her family.
Genre: Fiction/Women’s Fiction/Suspense
If this book were a movie, I would rate it: PG
[Tweet “A decade of Allie’s life vanished in jail. Can she clear her name of a crime she didn’t commit? http://bit.ly/24hu1vx @LauraMcNeillBks @Litfuse”]
Reflection: I’ve always had a hard time saying no a psychological suspense novel, especially when it ventures into the realm of women’s fiction as well. Women’s fiction is my thing, after all, and it seems I can never get enough of creative explorations of relational themes that we women hold dear. In this case, that includes sister-sister relationships, as well as mother-daughter (and oh yes, a splash of romance).
While the plot of Sister Dear is interesting enough, its execution left me wanting more. While there were twists, they didn’t surprise me. I never caught myself saying, Wow, I didn’t expect that.
The writer’s style may also be responsible for my emotional detachment. Stylistically, I found McNeill to lean more toward telling than showing, which caused me to struggle to feel the characters’ conflict from inside their own skins. Of course, my subjective take will vary from yours or anyone else’s. For good or bad, in books (as in life), I’m a feeler, and this guides my reaction as much (if not more) than my intellectual response.
Overall, Sister Dear is a wholesome read, and well-constructed, and I liked the varying points of view for the way they carried the plot forward. But I was hoping for a suspense that grabbed my heart as well as my mind.
Thanks to Litfuse Publicity and Thomas Nelson for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
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After words: When it comes to evaluating books, do you consider yourself more of a feeler or an analyzer?