My Review of Laura McNeill’s Sister Dear

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Nothing would fit, she reminded herself. Not much in her past life would. And that was all right.

Laura McNeill’s second novel, Sister Dear, is a raw, gritty, and suspenseful story about unresolved pain, long held grief and resentment, guilt, shame, and… forgiveness.

Set against the backdrop of the Atlantic coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia it tells the story of recently released convict Allie Marshall who has spent ten years in prison convicted of the murder of the high school football coach as she attempts to re-enter life and reestablish contact with her now teenage daughter Caroline who has been raised by her sister Emma. But it is not easy and Allie has to walk carefully to keep from returning to prison and serve her remaining time as she begins to try and prove her innocence. As she does so, she begins to find out the truth about what happened that night as the novel climaxes in a truth-revealing life and death scene.

Sister Dear (Thomas Nelson, 2016) is a well written and gripping novel with many twists and turns in the plot that will keep the reader guess up to the end.  McNeill’s characters are credible and she does a wonderful job of exploring their inner fears and drives, especially Emma’s as the story unfolds. And she brought out the richness of the Georgia coastal landscape in ways which make me want to visit Brunswick someday! The emotional intensity ratchets up as you read and McNeill, I believe, is able to maintain that emotional intensity until the climatic conclusion of the novel.

I enjoyed Sister Dear very much and once I started to really read it, read it through in one sitting wanting to see how the story turns out. I gave it a 5 star rating on Goodreads.

Note: I received a galley copy of this book from the publisher via Net Galley in exchange for a review. I was not required to write a positive review.

 

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