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:

“…the knowledge that you weren’t safe from love even in an abusive relationship
 was almost the bleakest thing Maya could imagine.”   Page 150
“…it’s like there are two cancers eating me, you know? 
One on the inside and one on the outside and it’s a race to see which one swallows me first.” Page 160
So often stories of abuse focus on the wife or girlfriend of the abuser.  In this story, we learn not only the effect on the wife, but on their three daughters and how the years of abuse have affected them as adults in their careers, their marriages, and in their parenting.  The ripple effects of the father’s abuse were dynamic, but there is hope for healing and love in their future.

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. 

Jennifer Scott has been reading, writing, and loving books for pretty much as long as she can remember. In 2000, Jennifer decided to try to become a published author, and began writing women’s fiction novels. But the road to writing success is never quick, easy, or predictable, and Jennifer’s official writing career began in 2009 with her debut young adult novel, HATE LIST, written under the name Jennifer Brown. Jennifer now has four published young adult novels under the Jennifer Brown name. She never gave up on the women’s fiction genre, however, and is thrilled to introduce THE SISTER SEASON as her debut women’s fiction.
Jennifer has a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from William Jewell College, and lives in the Kansas City, Missouri area.  For more on Jennifer, visit her website,  You can also find Jennifer on Facebook, HERE and Twitter, HERE
To purchase a copy of THE SISTER SEASON, click the photo below. 

Thanks to Penguin Group for sending me a copy of this novel for review.  This review is my honest opinion.  I was not compensated in any other way for this review.  If you choose to purchase the book through the above link, I may receive a small compensation without you paying a cent more for your purchase.  Thanks for supporting reviews. 
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