Sister Dear (Thomas Nelson, April 2016)
All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start. But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?
Convicted of a crime she didn't commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish --- time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows.
But Allie's return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie's claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already-fragile bond with family.
As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret---one that holds the key to Allie's freedom.
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“People accepted the stories they were told.” (p. 77)
This one sentence – simple, innocuous and found early in Laura McNeill’s story – captures a profound truth. It make me almost hyperventilate when I face this truth in all of its meaning. Yes, this story captures a completely human, and very Southern, way of behavior – keeping secrets and twisting the truth so other believe the reality you need them to believe so you can gain the support for your own twisted motives.
Okay, I know this is a strong statement, birthed out of my own life being torn to shreds by secrets and lies and manipulation…and thankfully, my reality wasn’t as brutal as Allie Marshall’s in the book!! But oh, how I related to the depth of the deception she faced at the end of this story!! Oh my!! If this author isn’t Southern, then she has studied their behavior very carefully! Good grief!! Makes me skin crawl!
This is a fabulously told tale that captures the insidious nature of pride, the secrets that it keeps, and the manipulation needed to keep said pride intact! The totally sold out, I-don’t-care-who-gets-hurt belief that your own story/needs/desires trump everyone else. Oh my word!! This story nails it!!
You will bite your fingernails OFF before you reach the end!! It is good! But oh my!! Too close to home!! Still shivering!!! I HATE secrets!! HATE ‘em!!
About the Author:
is a writer, web geek, travel enthusiast, and coffee drinker. In her former life, she was a television news anchor for CBS News affiliates in New York and Alabama. Laura holds a master's degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and is completing a graduate program in interactive technology at the University of Alabama. When she's not writing and doing homework, she enjoys running, yoga, and spending time at the beach. She lives in Mobile, AL with her family.