Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Sisters By Choice: My Review

Sisters by Choice

About the Book:

From the New York Times bestselling author of California Girls comes an all new original Blackberry Island novel told with Susan Mallery’s trademark humor and charm. Sisters by Choice is a heartfelt tale of love, family and the friendships that see us through.

Cousins by chance, sisters by choice…

After her cat toy empire goes up in flames, Sophie Lane returns to Blackberry Island, determined to rebuild. Until small-town life reveals a big problem: she can’t grow unless she learns to let go. If Sophie relaxes her grip even a little, she might lose everything. Or she might finally be free to reach for the happiness and love that have eluded her for so long.

Kristine has become defined by her relationship to others. She’s a wife, a mom. As much as she adores her husband and sons, she wants something for herself—a sweet little bakery just off the waterfront. She knew changing the rules wouldn’t be easy, but she never imagined she might have to choose between her marriage and her dreams.

Like the mainland on the horizon, Heather’s goals seem beyond her grasp. Every time she manages to save for college, her mother has another crisis. Can she break free, or will she be trapped in this tiny life forever?

My Comments:

They say you pick your friends but you are born with (and stuck with) family, but I don't think that's necessarily true.  Yes, you are born with family but you get to pick how you interact with them and this book shows how both family and friends (defining "friends" as people you choose to have in your life) can move you ahead or hold you back.  

Sophie lost her parents when she was in high school but has built a successful business named after the most important being in her adult life--her cat.  The book is about her learning to properly relate to others--to the man in her life, to her employees and to her family and friends.

Kristine wonders whether finding herself and moving on in life means leaving her husband behind.  Will he learn to let her have what she need?  What should be the balance between what is good for a person and what is good for their marriage?  Should one overwhelm the other, or without one, does the other not exist? 

Amber is Sohie and Krisitine's aunt, and a professional victim.  Nothing ever goes right, and she seems determined to make sure her daughter follows in her footsteps.  What constitutes helping Amber?  Enabling?  Does it matter?

Heather is Amber's daughter and the person who has been taking care of Amber for the last five years.  Of course that doesn't leave her much time to be a twenty year old.  How can she escape?  Should she? 

The strength of Susan Mallery's Blackberry Island books is her characters and these women are no exception.  While the book contains a romance subplot, it is secondary to the relationship between the women in the story.  At first I was very annoyed that Sophies relationship seemed to be about nothing but sex, until I realized that it fit her and where she was at that point in her life.  Luckily, she had a good guy who realized that was what was going on, and once he decided he wanted her, he put the brakes on that part of their relationship,which I found interesting for a modern book.  

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley. Grade:  B+

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