The Sister Effect
by Susan Mallery
Publication Date March 7, 2023
Published by Harlequin
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Genres: Fiction / Family Life / Siblings, Fiction / Friendship, Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Women
***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***
"Mallery beautifully illustrates the power of female friendship and the importance of reaching for one's dreams."—Publishers Weekly
Beloved bestselling author Susan Mallery brings readers an emotional, witty, and heartfelt story that explores the nuances of a broken family’s complex emotions as they strive to become whole in this uplifting story of human frailty and resilience.
Finley McGowan is determined that the niece she’s raising will always feel loved and wanted. Unlike how she felt after her mom left to pursue a dream of stardom, and when the grandfather who was left to raise them abandoned her and her sister, Sloane, when they needed him most. Finley reacted to her chaotic childhood by walking the straight and narrow—nose down, work hard, follow the rules.
Sloane went the other way.
Now Sloane is back, as beautiful and as damaged as ever…and she wants a relationship with her daughter. She says she’s changed, but Finley’s heart has been burned once too often for her to trust easily. But is her reluctance to forgive really about Sloane or worry over losing what she loves the most? With the help of a man who knows all too well how messy families can be, Finley will learn there’s joy in surrendering and peace in letting go.
The Sister Effect by Susan Mallery is an emotional family drama and romance that is intense as it focuses on forgiveness, addiction, and redemption.
Finley McGowan is raising her eight-year-old niece, Aubrey, and she is determined to keep her safe and raise her in a supportive and stable home. Unlike the way she and her sister, Sloane was raised. Their mother was in and out of their lives, and their grandfather, took over until he left them for good and never contacted them again.
Meanwhile, Finley gets closer to Jericho, a local builder. He has family issues of his own. Jericho is recently divorced after his brother admitted to having an affair with his wife, Lauren. Now Jericho’s mother wants him to forgive and forget.
Sloane is about to reach her one-year sober mark, and she’s ready to see more of Aubrey. But Finlay doesn’t believe Sloane has changed enough to raise her daughter on her own. Or is Finlay just unable to forgive Sloane?
The main theme of this book is forgiveness. Specifically forgiving family for unforgivable transgressions. And what does forgiveness look like?
I loved the different stories that are combined in this book. These characters are very well-developed and I enjoyed their interactions. Finlay lost everything due to her sister’s illness, and she took in her niece without a second thought. I thought Finlay was difficult to like at first, but as the story progressed, I realized why she is the way she is, and she grew on me and I loved her story by the end of the book.
Sloane was my favorite character. She is very flawed, but I thought her story was the most emotional and I felt for her and her struggles.
Families are messy, and this family is very messy! But, I loved their story and their journey to redemption and acceptance.
I highly recommend The Sister Effect to anyone who enjoys Women’s fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
The US and UK covers are not much different besides the colors. I like both of them.
Have you read The Sister Effect? Which cover do you like best?