Family Drama, Southern Style.
There’s a stranger in town. And it’s no coincidence when she shows up uninvited at a Sweeney family wedding. All eyes are drawn to this urchin who seems to have washed in with the tide. Before the night is over, the doe-eyed waif charms young and old with her street smarts and spunky personality. For better or worse, Annie Dawn is here to stay.
The memorable Sweeney sisters from Her Sister’s Shoes have returned with more suspense and family drama to hold you spellbound until the dramatic conclusion. As she approaches the next stage of her life as an empty nester, Jackie is torn between expanding her fledgling design business and spending these last precious months with her boys before they fly the coop. Her own worst enemy, Sam is terrified of making a commitment to Eli Marshall, handsome police officer, true love of her life. Her resolve is tested when a ghost from her past shows up after nearly two decades. Faith nurtures her seven-year-old daughter who is recovering from the trauma of her abusive father. Is the threat in the past, or is there more danger on the horizon? The sisters seek guidance from their mother, Lovie, a true Southern matriarch who shows them how to respond to adversity with grace and dignity.
A year has passed since the ending of Her Sister’s Shoes and it seems the Sweeney sisters are finally finding some happiness. I’ll admit, I was a bit surprised by how quickly so many of the couple’s relationships had progressed and how some hadn’t yet gotten there. For Faith and little Bitsy, there’s an opportunity to start a new family, a bright spot after the terrible things they suffered at the hand of Bitsy’s father. I was actually okay with this aspect of the story and I actually like the coupling of Mike and Faith. Especially since I respect how protective she is over her daughter and admire how patient Mike is with both of them. As for Jackie and Bill, I was kind of proud for Jackie taking things slow and kind of annoyed by it. I know that is an odd way to put it, but Bill did cheat on her and I don’t blame her for making him wait and jump through hoops to earn his way back into her heart.
As for Sam… Sam, Sam, Sam.
Sam was the self-proclaimed rock of her family, prior to the events of the last book. But even as she comes close to finding true happiness, she’s proven exactly how broken she truly is. Her fear of marriage is actually understandable and honestly, I didn’t have a problem with the fact she was struggling to admit that maybe she is good enough for Eli. After all, we’re all susceptible to self doubt. But I felt she was using her son as an excuse far too often. For example, allowing Eli to sleepover was considered a huge no-no, because she felt it would give her son, who is in college, the wrong idea. She also claims that Jamie won’t be enough for Eli, should he want kids, since Jamie is an adult. These excuses annoyed me and I was definitely on the same page as every character in the book: Sam was being an idiot.
As for the young girl who suddenly shows up at the wedding, I’ll admit that I am still not sold on her. I partially guessed what her back story was from the beginning. But I also felt she proved far too many times that she couldn’t be trusted. So when Jackie purchases her a ton of new clothes and an expensive cell phone, or Faith is so willing to allow her to babysit Bitsy, I couldn’t help but shake my head. I get it. The characters felt something in their gut that they could trust her, but between the lies and everything else, I still don’t trust the girl. I suppose it’s just a case where she rubbed me wrong one too many times. But I don’t like her.
For the sake of not spoiling anything, I’m not going to discuss anything specific. However, I can promise this book is an enjoyable summer read. It’s packed with drama (maybe a smidge too much for such a small town and in such a short period of time), but at the core of it, it’s the sisters that draw you in. Even when I get frustrated with one or more of the characters, it’s impossible to stop reading. It’s almost like when you get mad a family member… you still love them. But they aren’t your favorite person right at this second. I suppose that’s what makes these books work so well. You are invested in the Sweeney family. Can’t wait to see what kind of drama they find themselves mixed up in next!
I highly recommend this book and I hope you’ll let me know what you think!
Reviewer’s note: I received this book in exchange for an honest review.