Monday, June 20, 2016

Brittany McEuen reviews: SISTER DEAR by Laura McNeill

Brittany McEuen reviews Sister Dear by Laura McNeill.

Short Version from Goodreads:

All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start. But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?

Convicted of a crime she didn’t commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish – time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows.

But Allie’s return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie’s claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already-fragile bond with family.

As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret—one that holds the key to Allie’s freedom.


Sister Dear was a real page turner for me! I was actually surprised that I liked it so much even though there is not really a romantic thread running through the story. I definitely gravitate toward novels that have at least a bit of romance tied in with the suspense. Sister Dear is really not that type of book!

I thought that this novel was set up very well. I loved the way the reader was able to view the story and flashbacks that occurred through the viewpoints of several characters. This allowed me to either relate to what the person was enduring, as was the case with Allie and Caroline, or alternatively get an inside look at the motives to keep the past hidden, as was the case with Sheriff Gaines and Emma.

Although some readers may figure out more quickly than I did who the real villain was, I fluctuated back and forth on my conclusion about exactly what happened until late into the book. The flashbacks provided great clues and I felt such anger toward those who allowed Allie to serve time for a crime she didn’t commit.

Although Sister Dear was published by a Christian publisher, I did not truly feel that there was a Christian thread running through this story. It was relatively clean and a good moral lesson about forgiveness and honesty ran through the book, however, there were some rather heated, intimate flashbacks that could be considered “edgy” to some readers. I personally felt that those scenes were useful to the direction of the story and painted a full picture of one of the characters, but it is worth mentioning for some readers to take into consideration.

I really enjoyed Sister Dear and the method by which the author unfolded this story. It captured my attention from start to finish and I truly felt anger and frustration for Allie and a desperation for the truth to be brought to light.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

About Reviewer Brittany McEuen:

I am a busy homeschooling mom to four children, ranging from kindergarten to high school. I’m happily married to my high school sweetheart and am an avid reader and book reviewer. I feature book reviews, giveaways, and occasional author interviews on my blog, Britt Reads Fiction. You can also connect with me on Pinterest and Goodreads.

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