The Sullivan Sisters

S. & S. May 2020. 384p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781534420533.
Gr 9 Up–Once, the Sullivan sisters believed they would forever be united. After all, with the death of their father and with their mother frequently absent, they only had each other. Then life changes, and so do the sisters. Eileen, 18, has uncovered a secret that drives her to drink. Claire, 17, wants to escape to an Ivy League school that seems to promise love and acceptance. Murphy, 14, wishes to be perceived as more than just a whiny child. When their mother leaves on a cruise and Eileen receives a letter saying the sisters have inherited a house from a previously unknown uncle, they decide to investigate their family’s secrets. In their investigation, they discover a past crime and the truth about one another. This stylish family drama has elements of a true crime mystery. Ormsbee uses multiple narrative perspectives and flashbacks to develop strong characters and create intriguing plot revelations. While the secret they discover borders on the surreal, the themes of family abuse, mental health, alcoholism, and LGBTQIA+ experiences are realistically and sensitively explored. Fans of Ormsbee’s Tash Hearts Tolstoy will find this title radically different in plot and humor, but with a similar writing style.
VERDICT An engaging, rewarding, and realistic family drama for readers who enjoy juicy family secrets and murder mysteries.

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