The Oleander Sisters

By Elaine Hussey
ISBN: 9780778316435
Publisher:  Harlequin MIRA
Publication Date: Jul 29 2014
Format: Paperback 
My Rating:  3.5 Stars  
An emotionally riveting tale of the bonds of family and the power of hope in the sultry Deep South In 1969, the first footsteps on the moon brighten America with possibilities. But along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, a category five storm is brewing, and the Blake sisters of Biloxi are restless for change.
Beth "Sis" Blake has always been the caretaker, the dutiful one, with the weight of her family's happiness—and their secrets—on her shoulders.
She dreams of taking off to pursue her own destiny, but not before doing whatever it takes to rescue her sister. Emily Blake, an unwed mother trying to live down her past, wants the security of marriage for the sake of her five-year-old son, Andy. But secure is the last thing she feels with her new husband.
Now she must put aside pride, and trust family to help her find the courage to escape. With Hurricane Camille stirring up havoc, two sisters—each desperate to break free—begin a remarkable journey where they'll discover that in the wake of destruction lies new life, unshakable strength and the chance to begin again.
Dreams are reborn and the unforgettable force of friendship is revealed in The Oleander Sisters, an extraordinary story of courage, love and sacrifice.

My Review

A special thank you to Harlequin MIRA and NetGalley for an ARC  in exchange for an honest review. 
Elaine Hussey’s THE OLEANDER SISTERS, is a heartfelt story—a book of hope and courage of women, and the strong bonds of sisterhood, set in the Deep South—one of triumph, over tragedy.

The Blake family struggle takes place in Biloxi, Mississippi, in 1969, in the midst of two historical events. Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon, and the devastating hurricane Camille. 

THE OLEANDER SISTERS, a strong group of women Sis, Sweet Mama, Beulah, and Emily. Told in alternating perspectives from Sis, Emily and Sweet Mama. 

Emily and Jim, tragically lost their parents in a car accident when Sis was 14 years old. Now Jim is back from the Vietnam, with one leg facing his own demons. Emily is engaged to Larry and wants to provide her 5-yr. old son with a father. She makes poor choices and the sisterhood is there to support her.

Sweet Mama is a colorful woman with a checkered past, eccentric with a strong voice. Sis, the strong one in the family wants to stop the wedding when they begin suspecting Larry’s abuse and violence. 

Both Sis and Emily work at their grandmother’s café named “Sweet Mama's Café along with her grandmother’s best friend Beulah handling the baking. As they work together trying to stop this madness, another storm is approaching.

There are metaphors and takeaways from this heartwarming story— from strong family bond to helping one overcome abuse, to finding hope in the midst of heartache; as the town rallies together to help rebuild the town after the hurricane. A story of courage, love, sacrifice. 

A story of one small boy who never lost hope—building a ship to take them all to the moon, as everything else was being swept out into the Gulf—a symbol of hope. 

If you like southern women’s fiction, sipping tea, sisterhood, strong family bonds, and southern cooking—you will enjoy THE ORLEANDER SISTERS.
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