Publisher: Lake Union
Genre: Women’s Fiction
After a tragic accident on Martha’s Vineyard, keeping secrets becomes a way of life for the Tangle family. With memories locked away, the sisters take divergent paths. Callie disappears, Mimi keeps so busy she has no time to think, and Ginger develops a lifelong aversion to risk that threatens the relationships she holds most dear.
When a whispered comment overheard by her rebellious teenage daughter forces Ginger to reveal a long-held family secret, the Tangles’ carefully constructed web of lies begins to unravel. Upon the death of Glory, the family’s colorful matriarch, and the return of long-estranged Callie, Ginger resolves to return to Martha’s Vineyard and piece together what really happened on that calamitous day when a shadow fell over four sun-kissed siblings playing at the shore. Along with Ginger’s newfound understanding come the keys to reconciliation: with her mother, with her sisters, and with her daughter.
At turns heartbreaking, humorous, and hopeful, Sisters One, Two, Three explores not only the consequences of secrets—even secrets kept out of love—but also the courage it takes to speak the truth, to forgive, and to let go.
I love a book with a plot based around secrets, and when it’s a family that has things hidden from each other, I’m even more curious. The Tangle family has skeletons in their closets, and the power of long kept secrets have affected all three sisters in dramatic and very different ways. Told alternately from the 1970’s and present day, all from eldest sister Ginger’s point of view, it’s clear that tragedy will strike when Ginger, Mimi and Callie are young. Present day shows what happens when their mother, Glory passes away and two tragedies set decades apart manage to both devastate and reunite the dysfunctional and broken Tangle family.
I loved how this book made me question how I think I would handle things if I was in the same situation as this family. I kept thinking about secrets, and wondering when is it really ok to keep things from your loved ones? Glory makes some parenting choices for her children that I had a hard time understanding, but I think that she was making decisions and keeping things from her daughters in order to protect them. Seeing how her choices effected the girls as adults was both heartbreaking and interesting. Ginger is such a worrier and her anxiety has a crippling impact on her life and her relationships, especially with her daughter Julia. Mimi is bossy and overbearing, but very much able to function under stress and upheaval. Callie has been damaged the most by the tragedies that she endured, she comes across vulnerable and innocent, I wanted to protect her from any harm. All three were endearing in their own unique way, and they all had quirks based on their upbringing that I found really charming.
I found this book to be a really captivating look at a family shaped by their painful past. Though Ginger, Mimi and Callie were all changed by past events, they all reacted in completely different ways and had wholly separate issues. Even their memories of things that happened when they were young were vastly different, that’s so interesting to me. The day of the original tragedy is remembered vividly and uniquely by each sister. Ultimately this is a story of love, loss, family and healing that I really enjoyed.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to Kathleen Zrelak at Goldberg McDuffie and Lake Union for my review copy.