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Review: Saturdays at Sweeney’s by Ashley Farley

Members of the Sweeney family, young and old, chart their courses for the future in this final installment of the bestselling Sweeney Sisters Series.

When the seafood business Lovie Sweeney established sixty years ago is destroyed by fire, she finds herself at the center of an arson investigation. What really happened that night? Is Lovie responsible for starting the fire or is her family under attack from a sworn enemy?

The loss of their family business leaves the Sweeney clan in flux. Samantha faces the challenges of rebuilding the market while her son, Jamie, on track to graduate from college in six months, must decide whether to make his permanent home in Prospect or move to Charleston where a new special someone resides. At age forty-five, Faith, who has never fully recovered from an abusive marriage, is on a quest to find her true passion? Jackie is distraught when her son, Sean, flunks out of college and struggles to find direction in his life without his twin brother to guide him. A medical diagnosis brings the sisters closer together and threatens to change family dynamics forever.

The Sweeney women remind us that it’s never too late to begin a new endeavor and to never stop chasing your dreams until you draw your last breath.

 

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I have found that my love of the Sweeney Sisters novels hinders on my appreciation for the character of Sam.  As the middle sister, Sam is the backbone of her family and seemingly is the only one who has grown up over the past several years/books.  As the family’s business goes up in flames, Sam finds that she is completely alone in deciding if she should rebuild or move on.  Her sisters are not invested in rebuilding the family’s legacy and they spend much of the book too wrapped up in their own personal dramas to care that their sister has ultimately lost everything.  After all, the locals suspect and blame Lovie Sweeney of setting the business ablaze, especially since she was found at the scene of the crime and showed signs of complete confusion.

One of the reasons it’s difficult for Faith to be available to support or help Sam, is because she is busy trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up.  Another reason is that their mother, Lovie is clearly deteriorating and Faith takes it upon herself to take care of her.  But Faith hasn’t really grown as a character in this series.  When she discovers who may be the true culprit, she never thinks to seek out her sisters or confide in her husband.  Instead, she makes one bad decision after another that puts her, her daughter, her mother, and the rest of the family in harm’s way.

While I had a hard time sympathizing for Faith, I found Jackie to be utterly repulsive.  I have never really been a fan of the eldest Sweeney sister and her actions/story line have only further contributed to my lack of disinterest.

Now that I’ve gotten past my gripes, let me tell you what I truly love about this book and this series.  This series is about a family that is not perfect and they have a lot of ups and downs.  They make mistakes, keep secrets, and get into trouble.  But at the end of the day, this family saga gives me insight to the love and strength of a family.  This is something I am not fortunate enough to have in my real life, so it’s nice to live vicariously through the Sweeneys.  I also enjoy the way the family rallies around one another in a time of need (with the exception of my gripes above).  At the core of it all, it is the family aspect of this series that makes it a hit with me.  I love reading about how the family is growing and changing.  It’s even nice to see some of the younger perspectives being introduced and their storylines developed.  This book has its ups and downs, but the overall story is what makes this a must read in my book.

Reviewer’s note: I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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About Kristine

As an aspiring author, avid bookworm, fitness fanatic and dedicated mother, there just aren't enough hours in the day. I write or post about things I'm passionate about and spend my time trying to make the most of every day. Life may be a tough journey, but I have my ruby red slippers and am content on skipping along this yellow brick road until the end of the line.

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