THE SISTER SEASON
By: Jennifer Scott
Published: November 5, 2013
In the first pages of THE SISTER SEASON, we are confronted with scandal, drama and secrets. Your jaw will drop and you will want to keep reading to find out more about the Yancey family. Elise, the mother, has spent the last forty-seven years in an abusive marriage. Her three daughters are forced to come home for Christmas to attend their father’s funeral. In THE SISTER SEASON, we spend six days with Elise, her three daughters, and their families. But, in those six days, we experience a lifetime of secrets, betrayal, and love through their memories.
Julia is the oldest of the Yancey sisters. She is a college professor who is more of a parent to her students than to her teenage, suicidal son, Eli. Her second husband is too busy working on his research project to notice Eli’s warning signs and his real father, Dusty may fight Julia for custody to make sure he is taken care of.
Maya, the middle daughter, is married to Bradley, the constantly cheating husband. They have two children, Will and Molly. When the four of them arrive at the Yancey farm, their secrets and the past history with Maya’s sister Claire may be too much for all of them to handle.
Claire, is the youngest of the sisters. She left home at the age of eighteen, moved to California and never looked back. She hasn’t spoken to her sister, Maya at all and hasn’t been home since she left. Claire is worried the incident that made her leave and her long-time battle with Claire will make this Christmas the worst one yet.
On top of all the sisterly drama, there is still a Christmas to celebrate and a funeral to attend. Elise wants to make this Christmas one she has never been able to create for her family. Going over the top with decorations and making all her favorite foods, she is hoping she can create a sense of home and family. What she doesn’t realize is that what they all need is forgiveness and love.
As one of three sisters, I am always drawn to stories around sisters. The pages of this novel were full of raw, honest emotions. The vivid descriptions of the Missouri farm, the memories of the brutal abuse, and the emotions the sisters were reliving were riveting and powerful. Two of my favorite quotes from the book showcase the level of emotions in the story:
My book club felt equally positive about the book and we had a full discussion about the characters and their personal dilemmas. There are discussion questions at the end of the novel, but you won’t likely need them as there is plenty of story lines and drama to discuss. You will be sure to talk about your shock at Elise’s secret, your hatred of Bradley and his behavior, and your sadness over Eli’s suicide attempts. Even though the novel ends with an epilogue of the family a year later, you will still want to discuss and wonder how the sisters and their family turned out.