Saturday, September 14, 2019

Review: The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets by Molly Fader

The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets
by Molly Fader
Release Date: July 16th 2019
2019 Graydon House
Kindle Edition; 368 Pages
ISBN: 978-1525834240
Genre: Fiction / Contemporary
Source: Review copy from publisher

3.5 / 5 Stars

It's been seventeen years since the tragic summer the McAvoy sisters fell apart. Lindy, the wild one, left home, carved out a new life in the city and never looked back. Delia, the sister who stayed, became a mother herself, raising her daughters and running the family shop in their small Pennsylvania hometown on the shores of Lake Erie.

But now, with their mother's ailing health and a rebellious teenager to rein in, Delia has no choice but to welcome Lindy home. As the two sisters try to put their family back in order, they finally have the chance to reclaim what's been lost over the years: for Delia, professional dreams and a happy marriage, and for Lindy, a sense of home and an old flame--and best of all, each other. 

My Thoughts
The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets was a book that I enjoyed quite a bit and thought the author did a fantastic job with the setting and the descriptions.  I liked the characters and how they interacted with each other and while the ending was okay, I just thought it seemed off from the rest of the novel.  A good novel about family and working through issues though.

First of all, I really loved Lindy as a character; she was my favourite. I would have been quite happy had the whole book been about her, her life, and dealing with her own issues.  Because the story was split four ways, I really feel like I didn't get Lindy's full story nor was her personality allowed to shine quite as much as it could have.  Frankly, she was the interesting one in this story.  It's not that I didn't like the other characters, but Delia, despite her issues, was kind of...I'm not really what she was, but I didn't really find her character all that interesting.  And I think it's just the way she was portrayed by the author as there was so much going on in Delia's life that it should have been fascinating.  Plus, she was dealing with post-partum depression, something I don't think was developed as much as it could have been.  Don't get me wrong though, I liked the characters, I just felt there was more that could have been told.

I did think the author did a great job with the story though, unveiling the story line slowly and letting the reader figure out what happened all those years ago.  I do feel however, that the reasons for Lindy leaving for so long were rather weak.  I was expecting this big build up and when I discovered the why, I was a bit disappointed. I get that families can have huge issues over the smallest things, but for Lindy to avoid Delia all these years seems a bit out of place for what actually happened. I also get that people cope with trauma in many different ways, but you'd think a strong support system would have been much better than just running away.  For whatever reason, I just felt like the reasons were flimsy at best and didn't really seem to fit the personalities of the characters that were developed for the first two-thirds of the book.  Plus, I really liked the way the characters interacted with one another, so the big reveal was a bit of a letdown.  I just really enjoyed their relationships in this book.

The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets definitely had the potential to be a fantastic book as the relationships between the characters was interesting and fun.  I liked how the author dealt with Lindy and Delia's mother's failing health as their care and sympathy was so nice to see.  The little habits that sisters tend to develop over the years don't really disappear so it was nice to see the author reflect that in this book and I really enjoyed those 'trip down the memory lane' scenes.  Although I wish the reasons for the difficulties between the sisters had been somewhat different, the book was still good and I do recommend it to anyone who is interested in contemporary fiction featuring sisters and relationships. I am looking forward to reading her next novel, The Bitter And Sweet of Cherry Season, when it is released in June.