Reviewer Candace Lybarger: Candace is a young wife, mother, and lover of all books. She received her Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education from The Ohio State University. Candace taught 3rd grade until an opportunity presented itself where she could work from home and be with her toddler. In addition to spending time with her family, Candace enjoys reading, music, history, traveling, and spending time outdoors. Her perfect day in a nutshell would be sitting in the sun with a book...or two!
Author: L. Alison Heller
Publisher: NAL Trade
L. Alison Heller's The Never Never Sisters is a contemporary story revolving around Paige and her family. Paige defines herself as a successful marriage counselor, wife, and daughter.
As the story begins, all in Paige's life is well. Summer is beginning and she and her husband Dave have rented a beach house for the season that they hope to use on weekends. However, all of her well thought out plans are quickly halted when two major snags appear out of nowhere to wreak havoc in her otherwise orderly life.
As if the drama at home wasn't enough, Paige learns from her parents that her addict sister has made contact with them after 20 years and wants to visit. Paige doesn't remember much about Sloane, other than her doing drugs and abusing alcohol as a teen. At 16 Sloane was sent to a rehab facility across the country and never returned home. As an adult, the majority of the time Paige forgets that she even has a sister. However, Sloane's reappearance throws Paige's already tipsy life completely upside down.
I loved watching Paige and Sloane's relationship unfold in The Never Never Sisters. The two siblings had a long and bumpy road ahead of them toward reconciliation, but watching them stumble and then rebound was very rewarding. Heller did a wonderful job in creating two relatable sisters with a realistic relationship. Sloane had a tough outer protective shell that she wore around her parents, but when she was with Paige and her fiancée she morphed into a different person. Sloane was no longer sullen and moody, but became excitable and creative.
The Never Never Sisters dealt heavily with addiction and the effect it had on both the addict and the family. Paige and Sloane’s mother, Vanessa, had many feeling of guilt. She believed that Sloane was an addict because of her genes. Vanessa’s father was an alcoholic and for a time Vanessa also dealt with addiction. She never wanted her girls to know about her sordid family life and their history of addiction. However, sweeping everything under the rug did not work out how she wanted. Vanessa believes that Sloane will never fully trust her but her hope is that her two girls will be able to build a beneficial and lasting relationship.
The Never Never Sisters is a thought provoking story that puts addiction and marital issues on the front burner, as well as healing and resolution. This is a wonderfully well written, realistic story that has likable characters and a good bit of suspense. I highly recommend The Never Never Sisters as it will keep you guessing until the very end!
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