—Susan Wiggs, New York Times bestselling author
What drove their family apart just might bring them back together…
It’s been seventeen years since the tragic summer the McAvoy sisters fell apart. Lindy, the wild one, left home, carved out a new life in the city and never looked back. Delia, the sister who stayed, became a mother herself, raising her daughters and running the family shop in their small Ohio hometown on the shores of Lake Erie.
But now, with their mother’s ailing health and a rebellious teenager to rein in, Delia has no choice but to welcome Lindy home. As the two sisters try to put their family back in order, they finally have the chance to reclaim what’s been lost over the years: for Delia, professional dreams and a happy marriage, and for Lindy, a sense of home and an old flame—and best of all, each other. But when one turbulent night leads to a shocking revelation, the women must face the past they’ve avoided for a decade. And there’s nothing like an old secret to bring the McAvoy women back together and stronger than ever.
With warm affection and wry wit, Molly Fader’s The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets is about the ties that bind family and the power of secrets to hold us back or set us free.
|Publisher:||Graydon House Books|
|File size:||1 MB|
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May 2018 DELIA
Delia Collins was not proud of her glee. It was unbecoming, she got that. And truthfully, she couldn't even say where it came from. What awful spring of motherhood created this kind of joy in catching her teenage daughter sneaking back into the house past curfew?
If she was a different kind of mother she'd be worried. Or angry. Even guilty.
And she was angry, worried and guilty (this had to be partly her fault — hers and Dan's — they were too lenient, too forgiving. Let her sleep too long in their bed when she was a baby. Something). But somewhere between her gut and her head the anger, worry and guilt morphed into this ... giddiness. Delia and Dan had told her they were trusting her. That this was — for real this time — her last chance. Brin had promised she wouldn't be late.
And Brin blew it.
Dan shuffled into the room, bleary-eyed, up way past his bedtime, and she felt a sudden rush of affection for him in his worn-thin Cleveland Browns pajama pants.
"Go on to bed," she told him as she dragged her old blue rocking chair across the carpet.
"What are you doing?"
"Nothing. Actually, can you ...?" The chair got stuck on the edge of the coffee table and she couldn't twist it away.
Dan reached down and pulled it loose, the momentum nearly knocking her sideways. "Careful," he said and reached out to steady her.
"I'm going to be the first thing Brin sees when she walks in the door." She glanced down at her watch. "A half hour late."
"Did you call her cell?" he asked.
"Yep. She didn't answer. But she texted to say she'd be home soon."
She texted because she'd been drinking and she knew Delia would be able to tell.
Delia ran into Jenny's mom the other day outside Giant Eagle and she'd clearly thrown up her hands trying to control Jenny.
She's mad at me all the time anyway, she'd said. Why make it worse?
Pick your battles, she'd said.
But what if Delia picked the wrong one?
"When was that?' "Ten minutes ago."
"Are you ... supposed to be enjoying this so much?" Dan asked.
Probably not. But Delia was the breastfeeding perimenopausal mother of a teenager and an infant. Enjoyment was wired wrong these days.
"What's your plan?
"She walks in the door and what?"
"Dan, I'll handle it. Just go to bed."
"You're gonna scream?"
"I'm worried about you," he said.
"Me?" Dan was stressed. Clearly. His appearance after 10 p.m. in the living room on a weekday was proof that something was cooking in that head of his.
"Between the baby, Brin, the store and your mom —" She sat down in her rocking chair, now conveniently positioned in front of the door. "I'm fine."
His silence seemed to imply that he thought otherwise.
The front door swung open and Brin walked in, curtailing the conversation. Brin, her beautiful daughter, looked from Delia to Dan and then back again.
And then her lip curled in a totally new and devastating way.
"What? You're like waiting up to yell at me?"
Delia's bright-eyed baby who had once slept curled like a question mark in the curve of Delia's body had turned into this teenager. Surly and sleepy-eyed, wearing cutoffs that were way too short.
Time folded like a fan and Delia was struck — anew — by how much Brin now looked like Lindy. It was shocking. They were carbon copies in different clothing. It was like having a ghost in the house.
Lindy. Delia still hadn't called to tell her sister about their mom. She just didn't know how to tell her.
The number of times over the last few months she'd sat at the kitchen table, her cell phone in front of her, was too many to count.
One touch of her finger and Lindy would come back. She knew that.
But then what?
Lindy had been the wild McAvoy sister, playing chicken with her reputation and her future, and in the end she left and broke Delia's heart.
All Delia wanted in this world was to stop Brin from doing the same thing.
The lake got inside Meredith McAvoy's head on a Sunday.
She knew it had been a Sunday because she'd been sitting on her back deck, working the crossword, the yellow tabby stretched out beside her, when she heard the screen door slam. Her first thought was that it was William. Which wasn't right. He got swallowed up by the lake years ago.
But still, she turned, her heart pounding hard. Hope like that never really went away. It was a loyal dog, sitting at her feet every day, waiting for a chance to break its chain.
Next thing she knew she was waking up in the hospital, her daughter Delia looking over her like Meredith had survived a shipwreck.
"You're okay," her youngest daughter said as if it were an order. And it was an order Meredith was trying her best to obey. Because Meredith McAvoy was no burden. Not on Delia. Not on anyone.
And some days she was okay; the lake in her head was still and flat. Calm. The world recognizable. The old blue house, gone gray in the sun, was her home. There was Gwen on the corner, who overwatered her yard, and Mike Porter next door, who shoveled Meredith's walk all winter long. Her life. Her grief. The imaginary dog of hope at her side. All of it her own, just as it was supposed to be.
But some days the Lake Erie storms roared up and the sandbars shifted and she didn't know what was real. She didn't know where her William was. Or why her Lindy had left. All she had were the secrets she had swallowed, and Meredith was afraid she'd open her mouth and they'd all fly out like bats at dusk.
She had given the babysitter Delia'd hired, that Tiffany woman, the slip after lunch. Meredith was supposed to take a nap like some kinda toddler, but when Tiffany went to sit on the back porch, Meredith had skedaddled out the front door.
In her quick escape she'd left without her hat and the sun was hot on the top of her head. It was William's hat, actually. The brim white with salt and sweat and sometimes she put her tongue against it just so she could taste him again.
Hold on, now, I am Mrs. McAvoy.
Meredith stopped and there was Garrett Singh walking along beside her.
How long has he been there?
His boot kicked a piece of gravel and it flew off the narrow spit to land with a thunk in the lake. Erie was still shallow at this part. The sand like clay. The water, when calm, a bright blue-green.
"Garrett," she said and got back to walking. No time for chitchat. Her palm was sweating so she switched the flare gun to her other hand. "If you're looking for Lindy, she's not here."
"I'm not looking for Lindy, Mrs. McAvoy." He kept along beside her.
"Probably for the best," she told him. "I love that girl but she's tough on the nice boys."
If William was still around maybe that wouldn't be true. Maybe Lindy would be less wild, but it was just Meredith and she was doing the best she could.
"Can I ask where you're headed?"
"It's obvious, ain't it?" The spit only went out to the Fulbright House.
He smiled. "I suppose that's true."
"Oh no, boy." She wagged the flare gun at him. "You save that smile for someone your own age."
He vanished that grin real fast. "Can I ask what you're doing with that gun?" I've got to do something, don't I? You can't expect me to sit at home and do nothing. Not while he's out there.
She was about to tell him all about it, glad actually that he was there in case she needed his help, but then they rounded that last curve and Fulbright House came into view.
And it didn't look at all like it should. It wasn't the grand mansion with bright white gingerbread and ruby red door. The gardens — a Fulbright point of pride — were overgrown and full of them pesky reeds that crept in when you weren't looking.
And Garrett, he was wearing a uniform. Not the high school lacrosse jersey Meredith remembered, but something new. Something ...
He's Police Chief Garrett Singh. Not that high school puppy following Lindy around.
Just like that the waves receded and the waters were still.
"Do you need help, Mrs. McAvoy?" Garrett asked.
Meredith McAvoy never needed help before, and there was already that Tiffany woman in her house these days, a babysitter in nurse's scrubs.
"Do you want me to call your daughter?"
Meredith wanted Garrett to call her husband. More than she could say, she wanted her William. He would know what to do.
She closed her eyes. This was a new kind of tired. Used to be, she could work for hours out on the boat and then come back and close up the shop and still go home and make dinner for the girls, play a couple hands of gin rummy on the porch. Every day she did that, for years, without even thinking about it much. The days were just days. The work just work.
But now her bones wanted a rest. How long have I been walking?
"Lindy will know what to do," she finally said.
"Mrs. McAvoy, Lindy doesn't live here anymore," Garrett said. "I can call Delia."
Delia's head would pop right off her shoulders and no one needed that. Meredith had caused that girl enough grief.
She remembered she had a cell phone in the pocket of her soft shorts. Delia'd insisted she have one, which seemed ridiculous.
Meredith and Lindy sometimes talked every week, but it had been a while. Time was a slippery fish these days, but Lindy had promised she'd come home if Meredith needed her. No matter what Delia had to say about it. And she'd wanted her daughter home plenty. Longed for her and missed so much it sat like a stone in her stomach.
But Meredith never needed Lindy before.
Meredith pulled out the phone. "Call Lindy."CHAPTER 2
This was it. Another highlight in the Lindy McAvoy story. Though, this one felt different. Special. In a lifetime filled with near misses, this might actually be rock bottom.
Sitting on the curb outside her apartment, her clothes raining down on her, thrown by her — now ex — boyfriend from her — now former — second-floor apartment, Lindy decided with the thunk of a Michael Kors knockoff hitting pavement that yep, this was rock bottom.
It had to be, because she sure as hell couldn't get any lower.
"Screw you, Lindy," Ben shouted. The window slammed shut and she flinched.
What could she say? Lindy made really bad decisions about men. She liked them talented, jealous and borderline unstable.
It was a flaw. One of many.
And in the case of Ben Ming she liked them to be the genius chef at TAO where she worked. So now she had no boyfriend, no apartment and no job.
While this might be the lowest she'd ever been, she'd been in training for just this kind of emergency for seventeen years and she gave herself to the count of five to get her act together. That was the rule for a woman with too much experience putting her chin up and getting on with things. Five seconds to wallow and curse and wail and then she had to get back up on her feet.
She put shaking fingers to her lips and refused to cry. Refused. She didn't love Ben, and knew he didn't love her. But she'd naively believed he respected her more than ... this.
Two ... three ... four ...
"You all right?" a girl asked as she picked up a pair of Lindy's underwear and handed it to her.
The kind pedestrian looked like she was on her way to some internship at a tech start-up or her brand-new job as a bank teller. Her glasses were ironic. Her hair, a day-old blowout, frizzing up in the Ohio humidity. This girl was putting her best foot forward.
In equal parts, Lindy wanted to push her away and invite her to sit down. So Aunt Lindy could tell her a few horror stories about how the world really worked.
"Do I look all right?" Lindy asked her. Wondering really.
"Yeah. I didn't think so." She sighed. "Word of advice," Lindy said as the young girl slowly backed away. "Don't go for the jealous types."
"I never do," the girl said before melting into the trickle of pedestrian traffic.
Well, bully for you, kid.
Lindy stood up — literally from the gutter — and picked up her black bra and her e-reader — now probably broken; thank you, Ben. The kimono from San Francisco, the stupidly expensive hairbrush she bought when she freaked out that she might be losing her hair.
Lindy gathered it all up, and like a true pro, she began making plans, so this moment, this awful low point, was already behind her.
The manager at The Fig Tree would hire her in a nanosecond; she'd been trying for weeks to poach Lindy from TAO. And The Fig Tree was so hot right now, the tips would be better.
Angela was visiting her parents at their lake house this week and Lindy had her key so she could water the plants and feed the fish. So, she had a place to stay.
It was already a funny story she'd tell Angela over the phone tonight.
No, I'm not kidding Angela. All my stuff ... out the damn window!
She'd laugh and laugh and never let on how bad it was. Not even a little.
Her phone buzzed in her pocket and she fished it out, answering without looking because who else would it be but Ben apologizing for this next-level tantrum.
And the hope ... God, it was embarrassing. Her relief that the man who just threw her underwear onto Third Street was calling made her mouth dry with self-loathing.
Lindy should be better than this.
She wanted to be better than this.
"I'm sorry, but I swear, Ben," she said past the stone in her throat. "I was talking to him about his girlfriend, who is a total —"
"Lindy? Is this Lindy McAvoy?"
That voice. That ... voice?
"Ben?" she asked, even though she now knew it wasn't him. But she couldn't quite place that voice.
"No. Lindy. It's Garrett. Garrett Singh."
This ... this was a joke. It had to be. Or a different Garrett Singh, because there was no way the Garrett Singh she once knew was calling now. The world was not that cruel.
"Garrett Singh from high school?"
"The ... ah ... one and only."
Look! Rock bottom has a trap door!
Behind her a woman picked up Lindy's favorite pair of jeans, holding them to her body to see if they might fit. Lindy hissed at her like a stray cat. "Those are mine!"
"Then get them off the street, girl!" she hissed back, dropping the jeans and stepping on a T-shirt as she walked past.
"I'm sorry," Garrett said. "Am I interrupting something?"
"No. Nope. Not at all. What can I do for you, Garrett?"
"Well," he said, but then in the background came another voice. An older female voice saying something she couldn't understand. "Funny you should ask. Your mom asked me to call you."
"My mom?" She bent over, picking up her scattered jewelry. "How ...?"
"Kind of a long story and I'm not sure how much you know about your mother's condition —"
She stood up straight.
Garrett's silence was pronounced. "The stroke?" he finally asked.
"Is she okay? Where is she?"
I have to get to Port. Keys ... where are my keys?
"You know," he said, "I think this is a conversation you should be having with your sister."
Great idea. Except Lindy and Delia didn't have conversations. Not for seventeen long years.
"Garrett," she said. "Just tell me what's happening."
"I found your mom walking down the spit to the Fulbright House with a flare gun. She was clearly confused. Disoriented."
Lindy started kicking her clothes into a pile, searching for her purse. Keys. Dammit. "And what about a stroke?"
"It ... it was three weeks ago. I think. They called it a brain event."
And Delia didn't even call her? Not even a message on Facebook or a text? It was easy not to be surprised. Impossible not to be crushed.
"I'm really sorry, I didn't mean to get in the middle of things."
"You're not, Garrett." There was the familiar rattle of keys and she dug through jean mountain to her purse.
"She's probably just been busy with the baby."
More awkward silence on his end. "You're kidding. Right?"
That her sister had a baby and didn't tell her? Ha! Hilarious joke.
"Totally kidding." She even laughed along.
"So anyway, your mom asked me to call."
"Can you put her on, please?"
"Sure. Just a second —"
You were always so sweet. Far too sweet for the likes of me. "Thank you."
"No problem, Lindy. It's ... ah ... it's good to hear your voice."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets"
Copyright © 2018 Molly Fader.
Excerpted by permission of Harlequin Enterprises Limited.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This was the first book I’ve ever read that featured Lake Erie as the location. I have a connection to the Lake since it was the first place I ever learned to fish and I have strong memories of falling in the lake. In any case, the location made this book extra special for me. This is one of those books where you’ll start to read not really knowing what you’re in for but you’ll be surprised at how well developed the story and characters are. The story is told through the characters voices and each chapter features one character. The story centers around a family that had lived at the lake for a long time and also owns a fishing charter/general store in town. The mother of the family has had a stroke and her daughters, who are slightly estranged, are taking care of her. Through this care, the two daughter’s stories unfold. As the story deepens, so does the mystery surrounding the estrangement and one fateful night on the Lake. The relationship that the two daughters have with each other is special and I found myself rooting for reconciliation throughout the book. I fell in love with the town, the family and in general a compelling mystery that had a surprise ending! I highly recommend this book!
I enjoy reading books about sisters and family relationships. This one kept my attention, but it did seem to drag on a bit with the same thing over and over when I think it could've been done a little more succinctly. Overall, it was a good read about 2 sisters who have mostly been estranged for 17 years. It also is told from the POV from their mother, and Delia's teen daughter, Brin. It has a bit of a plot twist at the end so it ended on a good note.
Something happened 17 years ago to splinter the McAvoy sisters. Lindy, the “wild” one left their Port Lorraine, Ohio home and carved out a life for herself in Cleveland. Younger sister, Delia, stayed in town, married her sweetheart but abandoned her college plans to raise her baby and take over the family business. Now Delia is juggling a new baby, a difficult teenager and their mother who is struggling following a “brain event.” Lindy hasn’t been home in five years but shows up when she accidentally receives a call and learns about her mother. I’ve been a big fan of the author’s work under her pseudonym, inhaling just about everything she’s written in the last 7 years. When I saw this show up in NetGalley, I grabbed it immediately, knowing that her stories have bordered on contemporary fiction for a long time. My instincts did not fail me as I loved every minute spent reading this story. We’re given a gift of not only Lindy’s and Delia’s points of view but mother Meredith’s and 15-year old daughter Brin’s as well. Meredith’s stroke has left her transitioning at will between past and present with unpredictability and I found her passages extraordinary, providing insight about how terrifying it must be to know, or not know, what’s going on when all your life you’ve been completely in control of your faculties. It was artful in how the same events where taken in by each character, giving us a unique perspective about how each of them perceived each other and its impacts. What drove the sisters apart was slowly revealed, which can sometimes be maddening but in the right hands, create an extraordinary reading experience. I loved everything about this story, how these two sisters found their way, how their mother factored into their reunion and the strong sense of place created in the story. I could smell Lake Erie and the fish in the shop, see the quaint stores in the heart of the town, feel the thunder and turmoil of the storms. I felt everything these women felt, even Brin’s frustrations with the adults around her harboring all these secrets. It’s a lovely story, often heartbreaking but more heartwarming as this family triumphs. But, that unexpected twist at the very end left me stunned. I know Fader wanted me and other readers to be conflicted about it, and I am. That’s a perfect conclusion to a lovely, lovely story. (Thanks to NetGalley for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)
This is romance author Molly O’Keefe’s women’s fiction debut as Molly Fader. I love her romance novels so I was curious how her women’s fiction might compare. The connections are there: she’s one of the best in the business when it comes to rich character development and the exploration of relationships. Only in this case, the focus is more on the relationship between two sisters and their mother than the love interests. (Side note: it’s interesting to see quite a few romance authors taking a stab at women’s fiction in the past few years.) The story is told through four female POVs: sisters Lindy and Delia, their mother Meredith, and Delia’s teen daughter Brin. The characters are strong and well-developed. I was especially drawn to Lindy’s arc, as someone who went away and now it being drawn back in and whose life has not turned out the way she imagined. I really enjoyed her burgeoning relationship with Chief Singh, who is a total dreamboat. Multiple POVs give us great insight into the family dynamics. Digging in to who knows what was fascinating. There are secrets in this family: again and again, Lindy and Delia mention how the McAvoy way is to essentially bury things under the rug. But you can only bury things for so long before they start to rise to the surface. I wanted to know the secrets and to better understand the pervasive dread that made me burrow even deeper into the story. The way the Fulbright House featured in the story—or perhaps loomed—gave it definite gothic vibes. The house is a specter. We know something went down at that house but we don’t know what, only that it changed the course of the McAvoy women’s lives in two distinct ways. First, it figured into the death of Lindy and Delia’s dad when they were kids. Second, something that is not revealed until the end of the book and warrants a content warning. (See the spoiler tag in the CWs at the end of this review for details.) Once the truth is revealed, it was handled well but please exercise caution as needed. This story was enthralling and Fader’s gift for prose was on full display. If Fader decides to write more women’s fiction, I will certainly keep reading more in this vein. CW: past death of a parent, drowning, grief, stroke, hospitalization, postpartum depression, shoplifting SPOILER CWs: second degree burns, past rape, unexpected pregnancy Disclosure: I received an advanced copy from Graydon House in exchange for an honest review.
This is one of my favorite books of the summer. I am a huge Molly O’Keefe fan and her transition to women’s fiction feels completely seamless. I enjoyed the alternating points of view of each of the McAvoy women. The story was richer and more complex because we got to listen to each woman tell her part of the story. If anything the end arrived too soon as I wanted to keep reading. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this novel.
Sometimes secrets can destroy a family. Sometimes they make it stronger. Molly Fader has written a compelling story about a troubled family trying to find their way back to each other. Delia and Lindy McAvoy have been estranged for years. Their mother’s failing health forces them to come together again. There were many unexpected twists and turns. I was drawn into the story from the first chapter and I couldn’t put it down. I really enjoyed The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets and highly recommend it. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I honestly loved this book!
This is a great women's fiction novel that focuses on family dynamics of sisters, their mother & the past. Lindy left home years ago but came back after finding out her mom had health issues. She goes back & has to reconnect with her sister & her sister's children. There were things that happened in the past that they needed to get past & deal with.
Oh goodness, THIS BOOK. I absolutely loved Delia, Lindy, Brin, and Meredith's story. It was at turns heartwarming, heartbreaking, upsetting, and inspiring--sometimes all on the same chapter! We go through so much of the book knowing that the three older women have secrets--so many secrets, and we have a feeling that some of them are pretty major--but we don't find out the truth (especially one BIG truth) until almost the very end. To be honest, most of the guesses that I had never seemed quite right until the big reveal; at which point everything snapped into place like the pieces of a puzzle. I managed not to gasp out loud--not even once!--but it was a close thing. I've loved Molly Fader's writing as Molly O'Keefe and M. O'Keefe, but this book pretty much blew me away. All of the different POVs, all of their different stories, all of the secrets--she wove all four women's stories together just so beautifully that it has become clear I will sign up to read just about anything she has to offer, and do so with a smile...and probably a few tears. But a smile at the end for sure. Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
This is a truly wonderful story of a family that is broken but slowly is finding its way back to happy, loving times. Ms. Fader has crafted an beautifully written story with just the right balance of suspense, romance and family drama. As events of the past are slowly revealed it is easy to see how the family got to this point but just when you think you have things figured out the author will throw in another delightful twist that will keep you glued to the pages. You will want to put this one on the MUST read list. I highly recommend it.
This book, this book is about the journey that your life ends up being, when it doesn’t go as you planned. How the woman that you are, the women that are around you, the people who love you, are as fragile and as strong as you are. Love, and need to be loved, as much as you do. Have the same pain, the same hopelessness, the same despair, and share it all with you. They may know why, they may not know why, but they are connected to you. You care about them, and they care about you, and the moments make the relationships, good and bad. The women in your life, they will be there for you, you just need to let them in. The men in your life, they are unique, and deserve to be judged on their own merit. And the good ones, they are worthy of your love, and love you too. Every sister, every mother, every daughter, makes mistakes, but it is never too late to talk about them. It is never too late to heal and be whole This book, this story, is as dark and murky as the great lake it is set on, and it is just as powerful and profound. It had been engrossed in it from the beginning, and I was invested in the outcome with every word, each viewpoint, and it did not disappoint
The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets is not just a story about two sisters, Lindy and Delia. We are also exposed to the relationship of an aging mother, Meredith, with her daughters as Meredith the after-effects of a stoke being that she’s confused whether she is living in the past or today. There’s also the relationship between Delia and her two daughters, teen Brin and baby Ephie, as well as her relationship with her husband Dan. Meredith grew up in a time when people did not talk about bad things happening inside their house. You didn’t tell anyone that a parent was abusive; not the police, clergy, or a teacher. You lived and grew up keeping those secrets inside your home and locked up inside yourself. When her husband was lost at sea she continued the fallacy of not sharing, or telling your feelings or secrets. Delia and Lindy were not just sisters but also best friends. I loved how they communicated at night using a notebook so not to get caught still being awake. When something horrific happens to teen Delia it affects everyone as well as changes the dynamics of all the varying relationships. Lindy, the wild McAvoy sister, leaves town, not to return for seventeen years. Delia no longer lives the life she dreamed up, traveling in Europe and attending college to become a teacher; instead she marries Dan and has a baby, Brin, remaining in town. Seventeen years later nothing has truly changed when Lindy returned other than the birth of Ephie. Lindy was finally going to get the chance to spend time and get to know her nieces; especially if she stayed. Another change was the sweet Brin, feeling left out and unloved. She become rebellious, crying out for attention from a mother who had lost her perspective on life, a dad too busy with work and a newborn, and parents struggling with their own marriage. She was too young and lacked the life tools to understand what was happening to her family or able to fix any of it. It bothered me that no one pushed Delia to get some counseling to help her with her struggles when they first occurred, instead of waiting until now. I totally and absolutely loved the alternating POV by the four women that Ms. Fader utilized in order to tell this wonderful and amazing, three generational story; a tale that was emotional, tragic, filled with wonderful dialogue, and endearing characters that is must read. I highly recommend The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets to other readers. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Seventeen years have passed since Lindy McAvoy set foot in her hometown. After a tragic incident involving her family she packed her bags, headed for the city, and planned to never return. But now her mother has fallen ill and her sister Delia cannot continue to care for their mother, carry out her motherly duties at home, and still keep the family business running, so she reaches out to her sister and asks for her help. Lindy has her doubts about going back home, knowing all the hurt and drama awaiting her... but when your family needs you, you have to honor that and do what you can. But nothing could prepare her for the homecoming she is about to have... Between the pages of this beautifully crafted story readers will get a glimpse into the lives of the McAvoy family, and learn their secrets, fears, strengths and weaknesses. They are your typical family, with a few flaws of course, but their flaws have caused them to stray from what is important, and left them divided. But now they are getting a second chance to make things right, but it won't be easy for them, there is a lot of forgiveness that needs to happen and secrets need to be brought to the surface. This one promises to give the heartstrings a good little tug, between the family drama that ensues, and the healing and forgiveness that takes place there is no way that you won't be affected. I absolutely loved every second of this one, it brought smiles to my face, stirred up a serious case of the feels, and did my heart so good! Highly recommend! I requested an advanced copy of this title from NetGalley and I am voluntarily leaving my honest and unbiased opinion.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book at first. What I got was a heartfelt story about family secrets and the lengths one might go to protect the people they love. I thought that everything from the characters to the plot to the setting was carefully thought out and well-described. I liked that I only got bits and pieces of the backstory as the plot progressed. The impact of the secrets that had been kept hidden coming to light was not unlike a storm crashing on the lake. The small mystery propelling the plot, and the role each of the McAvoy women played made this into a page-turner that I finished in a day. I highly recommend this compelling book. For more thoughts, please visit my blog at Fireflies and Free Kicks Fiction Reviews. This review was written based on a complimentary, pre-release digital ARC of the book.
This novel has all the elements that, for me, create a great women’s lit book. There is tension among characters, a lurking past covered by family secrets, and many erroneous assumptions. There is consistency in the relationships and in their unfolding troubles. It is a very well executed novel and I hope to see more of its kind from Ms. Fader. I voluntarily read an advanced copy of this book. All thought and opinions are my own.
Rated 4.5 Stars The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets is as the title states, about family secrets and the effect it has on relationships. It's also about forging bonds, love, romance and letting go. I loved the way the story was told and thought the author did a great job of balancing all the elements. I definitely recommend this book.
THE MCAVOY SISTERS BOOK OF SECRETS by Molly Fader is a contemporary, adult, story line of woman’s fiction focusing on the McAvoy family: matriarch Meredith, sisters Delia (husband Dan) and Lindy, and Delia’s daughter Brin. Told from four third person perspectives (Meredith, Delia, Lindy and Brin) THE MCAVOY SISTERS focuses on seventeen years of secrets and heart break. Delia and Dan had their future’s ahead of them but one night destroyed it all. Fast forward to present day wherein Lindy returns home to help care for their ailing mother but struggles with the less than warm welcome of the sister she loves. Lindy and Delia have been estranged for close to seventeen years, an estrangement brought about by tragedy and the unacknowledged events of what happened years before. With their mother battling failing health, and Delia’s daughter Brin rebelling at every opportunity, Lindy becomes the beacon in the storm for a family that continues to spiral in to the abyss. What ensues is the rekindling relationship between Lindy and Delia, as Delia continues to bury the past, a past that is currently demanding to be revealed. THE MCAVOY SISTERS BOOK OF SECRETS is a story of family, secrets, lies and the fall out of seventeen years of buried pain and profound shame. As Delia’s daughter Brin begins to unravel the mystery of her family’s past, Delia is forced to reveal the truth even though the pain continues to destroy her heart. Molly Fader pulls the reader into a tale of one family’s journey and struggle with the destructive nature of secrets, tragedy, and their control of our every day lives. The strength of the premise is found in each of the character’s battle within themselves and with one another. The characters are passionate in their presentation as they face the truth of what happened years before in order to move forward.
Molly Fader is a consummate weaver of tales. We're treated to the sister's journey to love and family. Each of the sisters have burdens to overcome...but a strong foundation of love enables them to get past the hurts of childhood and meld into a strong family unit. As the chance for old hurts to heal, and new beginnings become reality, the sisters learn about family ties that bind tighter than they believe. Even when those same ties are stretched thin for many years they never totally break apart as the sisters and reader find out to mutual satisfaction. The story-line in this book was easy to follow and compelling. The conflict was well defined and the resolution more than satisfying. The characters are very realistic and it was easy to love them and root for their happiness. The author's humor, engaging characters, and charming nostalgic setting were all there, but it was paired with the touching family issues of these women, all of whom have had bitter pain and disappointment to deal with. Now, they are slowly learning to count on themselves and each other. Molly Fader's wonderful, warm writing makes The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets an absolute joy to read. It's a special book filled with many precious moments, unexpected twists and complex secrets and relationships. I loved the story from beginning to end and couldn't put it down. The novel is a brilliant touching story about unconditional love, family, friendship and forgiveness. I highly recommend this delightful book as it brings tears, smiles, laughs and sighs. It's the work of a master storyteller.
THE MCAVOY SISTERS BOOK OF SECRETS follows the McAvoy women in alternating third person limited points-of-view. The main two are the sisters, Lindy and Delia, who had once been so close but after something happened (which we don't find out more about until the end of the book), they had stopped talking. Lindy has not really been back home in years as a result. She is now returning because her mother, Meredith (another featured character), has had a stroke and needs help. The other McAvoy woman the book follows is Brin, Delia's teenage daughter who looks just like Lindy and is following in her wild teenager ways. Delia has just had a baby, Ephie, and is suffering from postpartum depression (not completely named but discussed here and there). She is clearly in need of treatment for this, but of course, it is complicated to take on that diagnosis. Her relationship with her husband, Dan, is suffering for it. Delia has also been running their family shop with Dan- a shop which it had always been Lindy's dream to run. Lindy has been bartending successfully in the city and a continued streak of bad relationships. When she comes back to town, she finds herself reliving the past and trying to find a way forward with her sister. It all comes back to what happened 17 years ago- and the mystery of this event propels the book forward. This was a completely engrossing page-turner that was impossible to put down. All the main characters were really well done, even Brin, whose perspective added to the overall story. It was also interesting to read Meredith's point-of-view with her dementia also creeping in. I also really appreciated the depiction of postpartum depression and the difficulty there can be to seeking treatment, which is an important topic/discussion point. The sisters were both engaging characters, and I loved reading about them, their interactions, and the ways that they are able to move forward. I completely fell in love with the whole family- flaws and all- throughout this amazing book. Also, the twists at the end are shocking and whoa- you will definitely want to read to the end. I highly recommend for people who enjoy women's fiction, character studies, and a little taste of mystery/suspense. This is a book you will not forget. I would add warnings for sexual assault, mental illness (depression, dementia), and criminal behavior (shoplifting, breaking and entering, etc.). Please note that I received a copy from the publisher. All opinions are my own.