The Sister Season

( 17 )

Overview

Sometimes coming home for the holidays isn’t as easy as it seems….

It’s December 21, and the Yancey sisters have been called home. When the girls were young, holidays at their family farm meant a tinsel-garnished tree, the scent of simmering food, and laughter ringing through the house. But as the years unfolded, family bonds fractured, and the three sisters scattered and settled into separate lives. Until now. The Yancey sisters are coming to ...

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The Sister Season

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Overview

Sometimes coming home for the holidays isn’t as easy as it seems….

It’s December 21, and the Yancey sisters have been called home. When the girls were young, holidays at their family farm meant a tinsel-garnished tree, the scent of simmering food, and laughter ringing through the house. But as the years unfolded, family bonds fractured, and the three sisters scattered and settled into separate lives. Until now. The Yancey sisters are coming to spend the holidays with their mother. They’re also coming to bury their father.

Claire, the youngest, a free spirit who journeyed to California, returns first. Then comes Julia, the eldest, a college professor with a teenage son of her own. And finally there’s Maya, the middle child, who works so hard to be the perfect mother and wife. 

During the sisters’ week together, old conflicts surface, new secrets emerge, and the limits and definitions of family are tested. And as the longest night of the year slips by and brightening days beckon, the sisters will have to answer one question: When you’re a sister, aren’t you a sister forever?

CONVERSATION GUIDE INCLUDED

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
10/15/2013
Elise is decorating her Kansas City farmhouse for Christmas, anticipating the return of her fractured family for her husband Robert's funeral. A sister's betrayal and an abusive father drove Elise and Robert's three daughters away years ago. Needing to bury their father and support their mother, the girls have returned: free spirit Claire, intimidating and driven Julia, and perfect Maya. Under one roof at last, Elise and her girls will have to confront finally the past if they want a happier future. VERDICT This angst-filled and guilt-ridden novel by a YA author (as Jennifer Brown) making her adult fiction debut will not raise readers' spirits for the holidays.
From the Publisher
"Emotionally honest and psychologically astute, The Sister Season is ultimately an uplifting story about the pull of the past, the need for forgiveness, and the redemptive power of familial love." —Liza Gyllenhaal, author of A Place for Us
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451418814
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/5/2013
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 162,588
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 8.18 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Jennifer Scott also writes award-winning young adult fiction as Jennifer Brown, including Bitter End and Hate List, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. The Sister Season is her first adult novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 17 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2014

    I loved this book....Jennifer Lancaster (another must read autho

    I loved this book....Jennifer Lancaster (another must read author) recommended this and I am so glad that she did.

    It's a heavy book as the family is dysfunctional, but its a great read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    Loved this book

    I read this book in two days, I felt it was very well written and was easy to get engrossed in the story and the characters lives. I loved the story it told even though the family was extremely dysfunctional and there was unhappiness and chaos it was a great book and I would highly recommend it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2013

    The Sister Season, a story about a dysfunctional family...

    I read 2/3 of this book and then put it in my archive. I may try to read the rest; or I may not. It was depressing to the point that I felt sad after reading a couple of chapters. The sadness continued as I read more of the book. It isn't a book that lifts your spirits, quite the contrary. It was recommended to me by a friend. I would not recommend it to anyone.

    On the plus side, it is very well written with good characterizations and descriptive narrative.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 6, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    USA.  November 2013. 368 pp. pbk. ISBN #: 9780451418814. Clare,

    USA.  November 2013. 368 pp. pbk. ISBN #: 9780451418814.
    Clare, Julia and Maya Yancy have come home, home to celebrate Christmas and bury their father.  Their mother, Elise, is trying so desperately hard to make it a festive time but she seems most of the time to be thinking how she wants it to be and really not surprised that every day seems a more intensified form of dysfunctional disasters a la bickering, sarcastic comments, and threats.  These are the dysfunctional children of an abusive father whom no one is really mourning at all.  If anything, they all seem rather relieved!
    Maya believes one of her sisters had something going with her husband, never bothered to truly listen to what had happened and is dealing with a serious illness as well.  One of their children is suicidal and the mother spends a heck of a lot of time beating herself up figuratively speaking for her neglect of this once happy and delightful son.
    Elise knows something more about her husband’s death and she’s not about to share that with anyone, even though not one of them would have a problem with her secret.  The reader wonders whether Elise is really grieving as she seems to be caught up in memories at the oddest moments and oblivious to whatever is being discussed right in front of her.  Perhaps age is taking its toll more than she realizes?
    How did such a romantic man turn into such a verbal and physical abuser who never had a kind word for anyone and who was feared by everyone in the house. One could hardly call this a home under such a constant threatening atmosphere!  How could one be other than grossly dysfunctional.  It has made one daughter terrified of committing herself to any romantic bond, even though one has recently appeared that would be sheer delight for anyone.
    The Secret Season is a very intense read, heavy and at times as oppressive as the atmosphere depicted.  For this alone Jennifer Scott deserves accolades, although it’s not a pleasant experience.  But more than that is the fact that these sisters have to learn to face each other with care, stop navel gazing, forgive (although one could never forget what they have endured) and be there for each other as well as their Mom.  The book is carefully crafted with pivotal moments carefully placed in a solid plot that moves after a slow beginning.  Nice writing and very appropriate themes as the holidays approach for families of all!  

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2014

    Great!

    I love this book... full of suspence. It made me really think. I recommend it to anyone who likes to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2014

    Depressing

    A little depressing for me, but a good story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 24, 2014

    A beautiful book for anyone with a sister!

    This was really well written and a superior look into the family dynamics that can and do mess up family relationships.This is a good Book Club read and I expect to enjoy more from this author.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 22, 2014

    It took me several pages before I really synced with the rhythm

    It took me several pages before I really synced with the rhythm of Sister Season. But once I did, I was hooked. When I cracked the spine, I anticipated a run-of-the-mill chick lit book full of the typical family strife and drama, with an ending that tied everything up nicely in a bright bow of sunshine and rainbows. I should have known better, having reading several of Jennifer Scott's YA lit books (writing as Jennifer Brown). Scott writes reality. Harsh, bald, bare bones reality. And Sister Season was no exception. Each character was exquisitely defined. The descriptive settings were detailed enough to let me create a mental movie, but not so detailed that I became bored. Scott deftly layered the problems, family interactions and secrets, and just as expertly peeled back those layers one by one. I found her characters' reactions to various situations authentic and human ... all the way to the end. And while she leaves the reader feeling hopeful for the Yancey family, she also leaves the reader with the familiar feeling that hope and reality - especially when it comes to family dysfunction - are two very different concepts.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 11, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Home for the Holidays!

    This was my first e-book by author, Jennifer Scott and look forward to reading her next book, “The Accidental Book Club” (5/6/2014). First, the cover was a huge draw and started it one day and had to finish it the next.

    The Sister Season is very intense and at times there was a lot of dysfunction (similar to Jodi Picoult) subject matter; however, Scott did a fantastic job combining the lives the sisters, mother, and how they related to the Eli. For me the book centered on the mother and father and each of their problems began with their father.

    The father was a very abusive man (there are many women who are afraid to leave such relationships which blows my mind). The mother has had enough of this as Robert, her husband has ruined the lives of their daughters and the mother-daughter relationship, due to his behavior.
    It is Christmas time and the Yancey sisters have been called home for more than Christmas-their father has died. No one likes him and there is a secret to his death. They all come back to the family farm from different parts of the country and this home place does not hold very many pleasant or fond memories.

    Claire, the youngest-a free spirit who lives in California and is afraid of commitment. Julia, the eldest-a college professor with a teenage son and a not so happy life. Maya, is the middle child who tries to be the perfect mother and wife.

    During the week together, there are many old conflicts and much tension in the air, secrets, and pretty much a miserable week. As they wait until an old friend returns to bury their dad, the true test of family and sisterhood develops.

    I really liked the book even though it was dark at times with thoughts of suicide from the teen, cancer, loss of marriage, sarcastic comments, fighting and memories and emotional problems due to this dysfunctional and abusive father (none of them are sad about his dying).

    Ellie, the mother struggles with memories of what her romantic early relationship was like and how her husband turned into such a monster. Ellie now wants more than anything to rebuild her relationship with her daughters. During the entire book until the end do you find out the truth about the death of her husband, Robert?

    Very well written, I look forward to reading more from this author! It is movie worthy and would make an ideal Christmas story to depict the reality of families which are not so perfect with a nice takeaway!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2014

    Home for the Holidays!

    This was my first e-book by author, Jennifer Scott and look forward to reading her next book, “The Accidental Book Club” (5/6/2014). First, the cover was a huge draw and started it one day and had to finish it the next.

    The Sister Season is very intense and at times there was a lot of dysfunction (similar to Jodi Picoult) subject matter; however, Scott did a fantastic job combining the lives the sisters, mother, and how they related to the Eli. For me the book centered on the mother and father and each of their problems began with their father.

    The father was a very abusive man (there are many women who are afraid to leave such relationships which blows my mind). The mother has had enough of this as Robert, her husband has ruined the lives of their daughters and the mother-daughter relationship, due to his behavior.
    It is Christmas time and the Yancey sisters have been called home for more than Christmas-their father has died. No one likes him and there is a secret to his death. They all come back to the family farm from different parts of the country and this home place does not hold very many pleasant or fond memories.

    Claire, the youngest-a free spirit who lives in California and is afraid of commitment. Julia, the eldest-a college professor with a teenage son and a not so happy life. Maya, is the middle child who tries to be the perfect mother and wife.

    During the week together, there are many old conflicts and much tension in the air, secrets, and pretty much a miserable week. As they wait until an old friend returns to bury their dad, the true test of family and sisterhood develops.

    I really liked the book even though it was dark at times with thoughts of suicide from the teen, cancer, loss of marriage, sarcastic comments, fighting and memories and emotional problems due to this dysfunctional and abusive father (none of them are sad about his dying).

    Ellie, the mother struggles with memories of what her romantic early relationship was like and how her husband turned into such a monster. Ellie now wants more than anything to rebuild her relationship with her daughters. During the entire book until the end do you find out the truth about the death of her husband, Robert?

    Very well written, I look forward to reading more from this author! It is movie worthy and would make an ideal Christmas story to depict the reality of families which are not so perfect with a nice takeaway!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2014

    A Good Read

    As several of the other reviewers mentioned, this is not a book that gives you a wonderful holiday feeling. It is however, a well written book with interesting and well developed characters. It may not be the happiest story, but it certainly is realistic. Unfortunately there are too many adults out there who are broken due to lousy childhoods. These adults are raising broken children because they have nebet had a good parent example to follow. I would definitely recommend this book but not to everyone.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 11, 2013

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Three sisters m

    Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

    Three sisters must return home to bury their father and when they return they are bringing with them a whole load of emotional baggage that must be dealt with in order for them to move forward.  Each sister also has personal things they are dealing with on top of the long held grudges within the family.

    All of the sisters reacted to their rough childhood in different ways and each has been affected in their current relationships by their father's extreme abuse.  I appreciated seeing how abuse can affect different children in different ways and some may shy away from forming bonds while others run towards them.  It was interesting to see the grudges that they had held for so many years unravel and see the secrets that they had been holding from each other and how each of them could possibly help once they knew what the other needed.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 3, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The Sister Season is just not my cup of tea. I like happy, ligh

    The Sister Season is just not my cup of tea. I like happy, light-hearted reads and this book is anything but happy and light-hearted.

    It is well written and includes great characters. The characters were dimensional and certainly realistic. The underlying tone is what I consider dark for a story that is set around Christmas, but the situations are real life situations that lots of people are having to deal with regardless of the time of year. Some may find some of the scenes intense as the book deals with domestic abuse and suicide — but both are written about in a very delicate manner and never in any extremely violent detail. It is a pretty quick read as the story flows and there is so much going on you what to know what happens next.

    Overall, it is well-organized with great characters, but the whole book just lends itself to emotional overload. This is definitely not a fun light-hearted Christmas read, but if you want deep soul-searching, heart-wrenching family drama at its best this is your book.

    Rating: 3

    Heat Rating: None

    Reviewed by: A. Lyn

    Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More

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  • Posted November 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    There is a lot happening in this story. We are at the Christmas

    There is a lot happening in this story. We are at the Christmas season, and now the Yancy sister's are home for their Father's funeral.
    This is one dysfunctional family, These girls grew up without a childhood, their father was a brutal alcoholic.
    We have a Mom who is happy her Husband is dead, but misses him. One sister, is in love, but cannot commit. Another has a child that is suicidal, and another is married to a man that has cheated on her all during their marriage.
    As we enter their world you will be appalled at how they have been treated, and how their Mother put up with this. Two of the sisters basically hate one another, or I should say, one hates the other one.
    Is their any hope here? Can all these years of abuse be reversed, and having these woman lead fairly normal lives?
    This is a rather sad read, and one that shouldn't be happening, but it does. The book does read quite fast, and you want to know what is going to happen next.

    I received this book from the Publisher NAL and Edelweiss Reviewer Program, and was not required to give a positive review.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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