Author: Jennifer Scott
Publisher: Penguin Group
ISBN: 978-0-451-41881-4

He was the one who’d hurt her daughters – the people in this world she loved more than anything. He was the one who’d driven them away, made them lock up their hearts, made them forge secrets and keep them from her,” Jennifer Scott explains of the Yancey patriarch in her novel, The Sister Season.

This three hundred and sixty-eight page book targets readers who like complications, rivalries, and secretive problems within family relations. With profanity, sexual references, and physical and psychological abuse, it would be geared toward mature adult readers.

In this tome, the cruel, alcoholic father has died on his one hundred acre farm in remote Miller’s Creek, Missouri, leaving his wife and three daughters to bury him. Faced with fear, anger, and remorse, all women must put their personal issues aside and reunite during Christmastime to deal with the tragedy.

Elise, wife of the violent, but once romantic man, finds herself torn between relief and reminiscing missing him while she over-decorates the house for the holidays, waiting for her children to visit. Oldest daughter, Julia, must deal with the internal angst of her fourteen year old son, her ex-husband’s control, and an aloof spouse as she avoids one personal altercation after another. Perfectionist and middle daughter Maya has both marital and physical issues as she wallows in pain and hatred, never forgetting the past. Independent and always unattached, Claire’s fear of commitment based on her upbringing shelters her deeply from enjoying a normal life.

All four females under the same roof relive their father’s rages and their past sins as they keep secrets from one another as if to appear less dysfunctional. Having not had the family together for eight years, the group of strangers tries to tip-toe over hurtful past events that separated them so long ago.

As one sister tries to remain non-judgmental between the long-term grudge of her siblings, the mother contemplates exposing her own dark secret. Through guilt trips, infidelities, and suicidal tensions, the women come together for a final good-bye to the abuse and fear they lived with for so long.

With a very depressive storyline of a highly dysfunctional family, Scott’s first adult novel tries to hone in on one family’s commitment to each other but falters in its predictable outcome.

Thanks to Bookpleasures and Penguin Book for furnishing this book in exchange for a review of the reader’s honest opinion.

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