Posted in Reviews, The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Sisters Reads

Call Your Daughter Home by Deb Spera @DebSpera @parkrowbooks @HarlequinBooks @HarperCollinsCa #travelingsistersread

Lindsay’s review

This book has earned top spot on my 2019 Favourites List – I loved every single thing about it!

Gertrude, Retta and Annie are three women from very different backgrounds. Their lives’ intertwine and connect throughout this mesmerizing story set on a plantation in South Carolina in 1924. Each woman has a background filled with family tradition, expectations and secrets. Told in alternating perspectives, the novel shifts seamlessly between each character adding layers of detail and intrigue. Racism, poverty, hunger, sexual assault are just a few of the heavy topics covered within this unforgettable tale. It packs a heavy punch and is executed with the force of exceptional, spellbinding writing.

The characters were so well developed and undeniably endearing that I actually miss them now that I have finished the novel. They stole my heart. They were charming, determined, vulnerable, strong and flawed females who each faced their own struggles and challenges. During a time when women were not respected as worthy or independent, these three face their challenges head on.

As I read this story, I continually felt a sense of astonishment that this is a debut novel. The writing is stunning and exquisite. The words flowed off the page effortlessly and landed snuggly inside my heart. The author, Deb Spera, has set the bar high for a spectacular debut novel.

I feel I should give warning that there are some highly disturbing topics covered throughout this book that deal with child abuse. Though these scenes are uncomfortable to read, they are handled in a very mature and respectful manner without getting into extreme detail which I appreciated.

Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for sending me a physical ARC to read and review! 

Brenda’s Review

I almost missed reading Call Your Daughter Home in my book chaos and if it wasn’t for Lindsay I just might have. Set in 1924 South Carolina after infamous boll weevil infestation that devastated the land and the economy Debra Spera brings us an unforgettable story that is not to be missed by historical fiction lovers. I sure am glad I didn’t.

Call Your Daughter Home is an impressive, compelling and engaging story that explores the lives of three equally unforgettable, strong southern women who come together through place in desperate times.   The story is told through each of their distinctive voices and we see each of their own conflicts surrounding their relationships with their daughters and husbands.   

Deb Spera does such an amazing job here creating such well-developed characters that caught my heart and I was immediately drawn into their lives by the emotional depth to each.  I was captivated by the sense of place and could feel the danger lurking for each woman like I could feel the danger from the creatures of the swamp. I loved how Deb Spera weaved the lives of these women together and formed a bond between them allowing each woman to become stronger as they faced their own conflicts and in the end came together to stand up for justice.  I highly recommend!

I received a complimentary copy from Edelweiss.


Posted in Reviews, The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Sisters Reads

Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle @HarperCollinsCa @KimberlySBelle @parkrowbooks @HarlequinBooks #travelingsistersread

Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle is available today! After reading this one there were a few excited and happy Traveling Sisters expressing just how much we loved it! We all highly recommend!

Norma’s Review ~ Favourite Thriller 2019

Holy Shooty Balls!!! Thrilling, highly compulsive, & mind-blowing stuff!

Oh my goodness what did I just read? An absolutely fabulous thriller that’s what! This book was incredible and I am so thrilled to say that this book is my new favourite!!! 

DEAR WIFE by KIMBERLY BELLE is a gripping, suspenseful, dark, brisk, and twisty thriller that was absolutely unputdownable. I was immediately sucked in and devoured every single page of this spellbinding entertaining book. Once I started reading it I was hooked and so absorbed in the storyline that I was flipping those pages as fast as I possibly could. 

KIMBERLY BELLE delivers quite the impressive, clever, intriguing, tension-filled and well-written read here that was extremely well-plotted and flowed effortlessly. I was feeling every emotion possible while I was reading this book. These characters were brilliantly written and those subtle clues were perfectly interspersed to make this such a satisfying and fulfilling read

Thank you so much to HarperCollins Canada / Park Row Books and Kimberly Belle for my complimentary copy. It was an absolute pleasure reading this novel!!


Brenda’s Review

Kimberly Belle nails it here with this intense thriller. Dear Wife is one exciting thriller that is not to be missed. The most exciting thing here is how Kimberly Belle takes a story that really isn’t a new story line and turns into an exciting, entertaining and compelling thriller. She introduces us to the characters through their different POV and kept us guessing on how they are connected by layering clues along the way, with those multiple plot twists. She reveals what we need to know right at the perfect time and skillfully keeps it feeling new without it ever feeling predictable making it entertaining yet plausible.

The link between our characters is the biggest surprise here with just how Kimberly Belle is able to create that high suspense and tension keeping that excitement going right up to that explosive ending that had me on the edge of my seat. I highly recommend!

I received my copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Love this simplistic and classy cover. It is such a fabulous and fitting representation to storyline. 
Title: Appealing, clever, suspenseful, intriguing and absolutely loved how the title played so brilliantly into storyline. I might have squealed a little bit when the meaning behind the title was revealed to us. 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, engaging, enthralling, fluid, efficient and effortless. 
Plot: Clever, intriguing, dark, twisty, intense, suspenseful, riveting, fast-paced, absorbing, enjoyable and entertaining. An absolutely fabulous storyline!!!! 
Ending: An explosive ending that left me feeling totally fulfilled and satisfied! Fabulous!!
Overall: It was such an irresistible, enjoyable, fun and thrilling book to read. I thoroughly enjoyed the reading experience!!! Would definitely recommend


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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