Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Reads

The Good Sister by Gillian McAllister @GillianMAuthor @PutnamBooks

The Good Sister by Gillian McAllister is now available!

Brenda’s review

This was my first book by Gillian McAllister and I really wasn’t sure what to expect here with the premise to the story. I was pleasantly surprised with just how real, raw, brave, insightful and compelling this story was. Gillian McAllister is definitely an author I will be looking at to read more from. 

The Good Sister is a gripping, riveting story that digs deep into the dynamics of two very different sisters, their relationships with their husbands and their conflicts with motherhood as the courtroom drama plays out after one sister is accused of murdering her niece. 

Gillian McAllister does a great job here weaving a suspenseful courtroom drama with some very interesting family dynamics here in this story. I am not a big fan of courtroom drama and at times I found it a bit repetitive however it is very effectively done here as we see the different perspectives of the events in real life for the characters and then in the courtroom. It’s incredibly tense and tough to read at times as we find out what happens to eight week old Layla. 

I loved just how real the characters are with their emotions and the dynamics here with the characters. I felt it was a unique take for a thriller as there were so many different thriller ways this could of went or added drama that could have been added that wasn’t. The unique insight to this one kept it compelling and I was turning the pages as fast as I could to get to find out if Becky really was the Good Sister. 

The ending came together so well making this one such a gripping and riveting story with so much to think about and discuss making this one a great one for a group discussion. I highly recommend. 

I received a copy from Edelweiss

From DeAnn’s review

I was so anxious reading this book, I wanted to find out what had really happened and part of me did not want to know! The pacing was excellent, the characters really came to life and were realistically flawed. The really interesting part was the parents of the sisters. How do you sit in the courtroom while one daughter is on trial and one is mourning the loss of her child? Can you support both of them? Somehow the family seemed to stay strong.

I found the writing to be very well done and the story flowed for me while I worried about these characters. How can anyone deal with this situation? Grief and anger mingled together and family ties were definitely strained.

From Stephanie’s review

The story told is very powerful and addictive. You really won’t be able to put this one down as the chapters switch back and forth between Martha and Becky, along with chapters told through POVs of various witnesses right before they testify in court, which makes for an intriguing read since that upped the emotional intensity of the book.

More than just being about how Layla died, the novel is about the relationship between these two sisters and how they must deal with this tragic death, the accusation, the trial, it’s aftermath and the impact it’s made on them as sisters and as individuals. It’s also about a family torn apart, mother, father, brother, sister, husband, and how they must overcome such horrific tragedy even when their family is divided. From Stephanie’s Novel Fiction

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Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Reads

Those People by Louise Candlish @louise_candlish @BerkleyPub #ThosePeople

Can you relate to that loud neighbor living beside you? Do you ever wonder “Could you hate your neighbor enough to plot to kill them?” Well Those People by Louise Candlish is now available and we highly recommend picking up this one and see what Those People have to hide.

Norma and I read Those People with a few members of the Traveling Sisters Goodreads Group and it lead to quite the entertaining discussion and we talked about these people and shared stories about our neighborhoods from different parts of the world and I think we all can relate to Those People in some way.

Norma’s review

Menacing, topsy-turvy, & brassy!

THOSE PEOPLE by LOUISE CANDLISH is an outlandish, eccentric, and wacky tale that definitely amused and entertained this reader. The fun here is deciphering who “Those People” are and seeing what lengths they will go to in order to protect their cushy neighborhood from those not so likable new neighbors. Hmmm or maybe it’s the not so new residents?

LOUISE CANDLISH delivers a vivid, entertaining, and steady-paced read here with lots of unlikeable characters to either be entertained by or maybe a little disgusted with. I chose to be entertained by them and couldn’t get enough of their idiosyncrasies.

The mystery unfolds slowly from alternating perspectives as we meet the neighbors.  There is quite a huge cast of characters to keep track of which I did find a little bit confusing in keeping them all straight and who belonged to whom.

I didn’t really think there were any real surprises here but I did really enjoy the way this story was formatted.  Which definitely set a menacing and sinister tone here for a fun and entertaining read.

Brenda’s review

What a great premise for a twisty, domestic thriller that explores the darker side of human social interaction in such an entertaining way. Things start off a bit slow here as we get to know both sides of “those people” and soon tempers are flaring and hostilities escalate and the characters are driven to their breaking points. At times my head was spinning with those twisty turns the story took and how I felt about the characters shifted as we started to see them conflicted and reacting to each other’s behaviour.

The end came together so well in such a satisfying way for me. I highly recommend for a fun and entertaining read.

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing for our complimentary copies.

From Stephanie’s review

I love the title as it’s a play on the words “those people” because really, who does that mean—the Booths or the more “civilized” characters? Candlish is also shrewd with her insights into human behavior, and I enjoyed how she portrayed the effects the Booths had on not just a neighborhood but the individuals since flaws were revealed.

Just like with Our House, These People had an ending that was quite a twist! Just when you think everything is all figured out, Candlish throws in an ending that leaves you astonished. I’m still thinking about it. Definitely a captivating, slow-burning read! I can’t wait to read more by Candlish! For Stephanie’s full review

From Heidi’s review

What drives respectable people to take the plunge into the world of crime and corruption? Murder, even? If you have ever wondered this, then you are in for a treat. The slow and steady unravelling of a whole neighbourhood because of two unlikeable misfits is like watching a forest-fire take hold – you know it is not going to end well. I loved the way Candlish exposes the deepest darkest corners of our characters’ minds, right down to the unexpected finale.

Those People is a book for readers who enjoy slow burning, character driven books that slowly and deliciously unravel – sit by with a glass of wine in hand and watch it all go to sh**. If you are a reader who wants action, then you may find this one a bit slow to take off. However, Candlish draws her characters well and with great skill, which made this a joy to read for me. I soon found myself utterly consumed by the situation, and I couldn’t wait to find out how it would all play out. Another original and entertaining read from the author – what a great movie this one would make! I really look forward to see what she comes up with next.

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Posted in The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Sisters Reads

The Favorite Daughter by Patti Callahan Henry @pcalhenry @BerkleyPub #thefavoritedaughter #travelingsistersread

The Favorite Daughter by Patti Callahan Henry is now available!

Brenda’s review

The Favorite Daughter is a moving, heartfelt story that delves into the power of memories, learning to forgive when betrayal rips you apart and discovering what home means to you. The story explores a family separated by betrayal and brought together by their father’s illness. We see the effect of betrayal, secrets and heartache had on this family that left me with so much to think about. 

From the first pages, I was completely immersed in this family drama and fascinated by how betrayal affected this family and how the power of memories shaped them. The family explores the past by creating a memory book of their father’s past and secrets start to come out. Through the layers in the story, Patti Callahan Henry shows us the meaning of forgiveness and had me thinking about how that can shape us and how memories can define what home means to us. It had me thinking about the memories we might want to forget, the importance of family secrets being revealed or not, and about time lost within a family. 

The ending came together so well for me and pulled on a few of my heartstrings. I was left thinking about forgiveness and memories in a different way than I have before. I highly recommend this well-done story! 

Thank you to Elisha at Berkley Publishing for my complimentary copy.

Have you read this one? Want to read this one? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Traveling Sisters Reads

The Friends We Keep by Jane Green @JaneGreen @BerkleyPub #thefriendswekeep #travelingsistersread

Happy Book Birthday to The Friends We Keep by Jane Green that is just perfect for a summer read.

Norma’s Review

Engaging, insightful, & heartwarming!

This is my first experience with this author and I must say that I am really surprised that I haven’t picked up one of her books before as these are the types of stories that I love to read in between those dark, twisted, and thrilling suspenseful thrillers. I will definitely be adding this author to my ever-growing TBR shelf in the future.

THE FRIENDS WE KEEP by JANE GREEN is an entertaining, moving, and unforgettable read that’s a quick, light and easy summer reading story that is definitely worthy enough to read leisurely at the beach. Although it’s a story with some substance that definitely made me hyper-aware of my own personal friendships and life experiences as well as some of those unhappy memories. This book felt so genuine to read and some aspects to the character’s individual storylines totally resonated with me.

The book centers around the friendship between Evvie, Maggie, and Topher that begins when they were roommates at University and then fast forward to thirty years later when these three friends reconnect. In between, we get some insight into how each of these characters lived their lives and what events occur that ultimately brings them back together again. Of course, there are some secrets and juicy stories here to make this a fun and amusing read.

JANE GREEN delivers a compelling, intriguing, thought-provoking, and well-written read here that totally captivated and immersed me into the storyline. The characters were likable and relatable to a point where I thought that I alone was the intended audience. I love it when I connect so well to an author’s writing style.

Brenda’s review

Friendships that lasts forever, the years that separate them, second chances and the secret that keeps them apart. 

The Friends We Keep is my first book by Jane Green and I am really glad I got the opportunity to read this story. 

The Friends We Keep is an easy entertaining, engaging story that explores friendship over time. It’s a bit of a love story between friends as we follow them as they search for what they want from life. We see them through love, grief and forgiveness from University friends and then later into adulthood. 

Jane Green does a great job smoothly switching POVs of the characters while showing us their secrets, the darkness that haunts them, their pain and exploring their personal conflicts that sets them down their own paths. She touches lightly on some serious themes here, however giving them some substance and never making light of them. 

I was a bit conflicted with the way it came together in the end and this left me thinking and talking about how I felt about how some of the storylines came together. Some wrapped up quite nicely for me and others I just didn’t buy into and left me questioning a few things. Overall, in the end, this story gave me a lot to think about not only with each character but also with how some things were brilliantly written and the things that missed the mark for me. 

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Welcoming, summery, calming, relaxing and a fitting representation to storyline.
Title: Appealing, intriguing and absolutely loved how it played so meaningfully and fittingly into the storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, readable, genuine, appealing, moving, engaging, and captivating.
Plot: Fun, amusing, insightful, memorable, fascinating, secrets, lies, hope, love, steadily-paced, absorbing, enjoyable and entertaining.
Ending: I had no issues with the way this story wrapped up and left me feeling quite happy and contently satisfied.
Overall: It was a light, quick and easy read that totally captured my attention as well as my heart. Would recommend!

Thank you to Elisha at Berkley Publishing for our complimentary copies!

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Posted in Reviews, The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews, Traveling Sisters Reads

Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea @CharlieDonlea @KensingtonBooks #somechoosedarkness #travelingsistersread

Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea is available now!

It’s no secret to just how much The Traveling Sister’s love Charlie Donlea and we have been reading his books in our groups since reading The Girl Who Was Taken. It was one of our first Traveling Sister group reads even before starting our Goodreads Group two years ago. Since then we have been introducing him to our members and everyone has become a fan for sure!

We read Some Choose Darkness with a few of our Traveling Sisters and with a few friends on Instagram and of course we all loved it. I highly recommend if you haven’t read any of his books to give this one a go. Now we all have our different favourite books and mine is Don’t Believe It. I do suggest reading The Girl Who Was Taken first because Don’t Believe It has a recurring character from The Girl Who Was Taken and it added a little more interest to the story.

Brenda’s review

Deadly secrets hiding in plain sight, a forensic reconstructionist, a cold case and the search to reconstruct the crime.

Some Choose Darkness is a gripping, suspenseful fascinating character study and compelling thriller with interesting strong characters. I loved the fierce, intelligent and determined characters of Rory and Angela. I love the dynamics created here between them that was done so differently with one from the past story line and the other character in the present.

Charlie Donlea boldly writes another entertaining, well layered story with those red herrings and carefully laid clues that only he can write and he has become a master at. We were drawn into uncovering the dark truth that connects the past to the present with some of us making those connections before others. Of course I didn’t make too many and that heart pounding ending left me once again tongue-tied after reading it and then shouting I can’t believe you did that to us again Charlie Donlea. I should of seen that coming. There are some unanswered questions that left me thinking and needing to discuss them in the group and in the end we all agree we really didn’t care. I highly recommend!

Norma’s review

Gripping, suspenseful, & fabulous characterizations!

Well the absolute perfect hook for enticing me to read this book was being invited to read her story from none other than our protagonist herself, Rory Moore in a very clever letter. It was just enough to pique my interest and get me excited to dive into this story!

SOME CHOOSE DARKNESS by CHARLIE DONLEA is an entertaining, dark, disturbing, suspenseful, and engaging psychological suspense novel that I must admit didn’t immediately grab my attention. I did have a little bit of problem with the repetitive nature of the story in the beginning, although I quickly learned its purpose though. Once I ignored that little niggling voice in my head I was able to sit back and enjoy this story and fly through those pages. 

CHARLIE DONLEA delivers a compelling, intriguing, and well-written read here with absolutely fantastic characters that totally captivated and fascinated me. The strength of this novel handsdown is the author’s fabulous characterizations. CHARLIE DONLEA definitely shines when it comes to how interesting and fleshed out his characters are. 

The story is told in alternate timelines and perspectives which I absolutely loved. There is a pivotal point in the story that happens around the halfway mark which I thought was quite the brilliant way to add tension and suspense to the storyline.

So I played at being an armchair detective and I’m not playing that game anymore as I pretty much had the whole ending figured out and it definitely ruined it for me. I really need to learn to just read the story and try not to piece things together so much. I felt the ending was a play by play of what I already had figured out. I definitely felt a little letdown and was not all that impressed with myself. LOL Although I will say I absolutely loved one aspect to the ending and so look forward to reading more about Rory Moore in the future. Hint…hint! 

Lindsay’s review

Another outstanding fast-paced, gripping thriller by Charlie Donela! I loved everything about this book!

Rory Moore is a quirky forensic reconstructionist who investigates cold murder cases. She insists on working alone and has an unexplained ability to pick up hidden details that have been overlooked by the police force, making her a valuable asset to local detectives. Rory’s father passes away, leaving her to close down his law practice. Through this process, Rory is introduced to a case that she can’t shake. A convicted murderer who has been in prison for the last forty years is set to be released on parole and her father was his attorney. While she dreads having to face the courtroom and public eye on such an infamous case, she is deeply drawn into the clients’ history and solving the many unanswered questions.

I have read and loved all of Charlie Donlea’s books and this is no exception! He has the magical writing formula that makes his novels undeniably captivating, addictively suspenseful and heart-poundingly unforgettable. He creates vivid and fascinating characters that engross and wrap you up in the story from page one. He consistently provides an absolutely fantastic read leaving me itching to read his next work!

I absolutely adored the main characters in this book! They were strong, flawed, unique females who I was fully invested in from start to finish. Donlea included characters on the autism spectrum within the story, leaving an impactful impression. I truly felt for these characters, immersed in their world, getting a serious glimpse into their minds and struggles. It was eye-opening, engrossing and heart wrenching.

Warning: the crimes involved within the plot are very dark, creepy and disturbing. Though they made me uncomfortable while reading them, it heightened the suspense and fueled my fascination to find out how things would come together in the end.

From Debra’s review

Donlea is quickly becoming my go-to writer. There are Authors who I anxiously await new books from and he is right there at the top of the list. I enjoy that his plots are plausible. There are twists, turns and reveals but all of them seem plausible. Nothing comes to far out of left field. He does his research and writes very good mystery/crime/psychological fiction. His book contains interesting characters who I feel for, root for and some I boo and hiss at. I also appreciate that his books are intelligent. He does not spoon feed his readers. True, some will figure out things around the half way mark. I figured out one thing fairly early but still didn’t now everything until around the 55% mark. Even if you figure things out or don’t, this is still a riveting tale about “the Thief” his “rush” and the women who he encountered and had in his life.

Again, I was captivated from page one. I found this story to be engrossing, well thought out, perfectly paced, exciting and intelligent. There were some suspenseful moments, but more importantly, Donlea knows how to write interesting and fully developed characters which we care about. I cared about what happened to the female characters in this book. I admired their strength and the way their minds worked. The strength in this book was not only the way in which the story was told via multiple POVs but in the characters themselves.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: I’m kind of neutral when it comes to this cover design. 
Title: Appealing, suspenseful, intriguing and absolutely loved how it played so fittingly into the storyline. 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, readable, fluent, appealing, straightforward, engaging, and captivating. 
Plot: Disturbing, dark, chilling, edgy, memorable, fascinating, suspenseful, fast-paced, absorbing, enjoyable and entertaining. 
Ending: I was a little bummed in the end as I didn’t find it all that surprising or twisty. 
Overall: Rory was such a fabulous, refreshing & quirky character! I absolutely loved her and kind of wanted to join her in drinking a Dark Lord stout with her! Would recommend

Thank you so much to Kensington Books for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley

Have you read any of Charlie Donlea’s book? Have a favourite? Want to read any of his book? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Reads

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane @Mary_Beth_Keane @SimonSchusterCA

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane is now available and I highly recommend for group reads. This was one of the best books I have read for a group read.

Brenda’s review

Ask, Again, Yes is a moving, quiet beautifully written family drama that explores love, forgiveness, friendship, tragedy and trauma that takes place over four decades.  We see neighbors whose lives are intertwined when tragedy strikes and a violent act tears them apart.

Mary Beth Keane writes with compassion and I could feel the tenderness, generosity and grace she has given her characters.  I was completely drawn into the lives of Peter and Kate who are both flawed by their childhood. I was fully invested in them over the years as they piece together their lives.

There are many things quietly written in the sentences here and secrets in the layers to the story.  At times I felt like I was observing the story and left to find those secrets for myself instead of being shown the story and allowing me to feel what the characters are feeling.  It left me so many questions as I was reading the story to pondered and so much I wanted to talk about.

The ending left me with too many questions with not enough closure with the many variables left opened for me to delve deep into the story with my own thoughts.  However that is what makes this story an excellent choice for group reads to discuss the many variables to this story and I really enjoyed discussing this one with Kim Its All About the Thrill and a few of our Traveling Sisters.  I highly recommend.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for my complimentary copy.

From Kim’s review

I can’t express how much I loved this book! It was a book that drew me in from the very first page. There has been quite a bit of hype surrounding this book and it fully deserves it. The story itself is just fascinating and unique. I have never read this author before and I absolutely loved her writing style. It flows so effortlessly that you really don’t want it to come to an end. For Kims’s full review