Sisters One, Two, Three
By: Nancy Star
Publisher: Lake Union
Publication Date: 1/1/2017
My Rating: 3 Stars 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.
A special thank you to Lake Union and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Nancy Star’s SISTERS ONE, TWO, THREE is an intriguing and emotional mystery drama of dark family secrets. Raising many questions, from why this family kept these secrets and struggles to when to reveal them. From memories, both true and false and versions of each – meet the Tangle family. The consequences of secrets and how they can harm. A gripping family saga, a story of three sisters, Ginger, Mimi, and Callie. Moving back and forth in time, we are taken back to a tragic accident on Martha’s Vineyard. If you ever wondered about your family secrets, you will appreciate both sides and why secrets can be toxic. Ginger has kept a big secret from her daughter. Later, Ginger learns others have kept secrets from her. By keeping secrets are they protecting themselves or others? Desperation, fear, or love? A brother’s accident, an event someone spent their entire adult life trying to pretend never happened. From before and after, the author takes us from the 1970s to the present day. Secrets trickle down and harm others in many ways. Consequences. When Glory dies, Callie returns home and piece by piece the secrets unravel. From mother, sisters, and daughters. With many parallels between the generations and the contrasts between holding on or letting go. How do we become who we are in adulthood based on events of our past? Some are more profoundly changed than others. From tragedy, loss, love, and family. The road to healing and forgiveness. An ideal for book clubs and further discussions (guide included). Enjoyed the inspiration behind the book with the added conversation with the author. I always find hidden family secrets intriguing and often wonder about my own history and those of past generations. For readers who enjoy complex family dramas and fans of Nancy Thayer and Elin Hilderbrand. I listened to the audiobook, performed by my favorite narrator, Cassandra Campbell 2016 Best Audio Narrator, as well as the book review copy. Review Links:
“An extraordinarily moving, beautifully written novel, Sisters One, Two, Three is a searing portrait of a family haunted by tragedy and fractured by the toxic power of secrets. As the story progresses, we grow to know and love the fierce and eccentric Tangles, a family at once familiar and like no other. I was riveted from the first page.” —Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train
“With delightful wit and the prowess of an expert story teller, Star offers profound insight into the maternal heart in this deftly braided tale of the utterly original Tangles. Sisters One, Two, Three begs to be read in one big gulp—and will leave you with a lasting understanding of the treacherous balance between love and autonomy.” —Lisa Gornick, author of Louisa Meets Bear
“Witty, compelling, and wise, Sisters One, Two, Three is the kind of novel I always crave but rarely find. Glory Tangle's relationship with her children, both as kids and as grown ups, is as real as it gets. She's a fantastic character, a match for the surprises to be found in the perfectly evoked island setting of Martha's Vineyard. I really loved each of the three sisters, too, and was very nervous for all of them! Nancy Star, thank you so much for the hours I spent in these pages.” —Alice Elliott Dark, author of In The Gloaming and Think of England
“Nancy Star’s gripping novel of mothers and daughters and sisters shows us how we can never escape our families—and why that may be our salvation. Full of surprising twists and deep emotional insights, Sisters One, Two, Three will keep you glued to your beach chair, casting worried glances at those little clouds threatening to gather into a storm. This book will transform the way you see your own family's past and its future along with the way you experience the power of now.” —Pamela Redmond Satran, author of Younger
“What is it that fascinates us about the bonds between sisters? There have been many great stories about that special bond and this is no exception. Enter the Tangle sisters, held together by love, common experience, and a web of secrets. From cautious Ginger, to adventurous Callie, to busy bee Mimi, you won’t be able to help seeing yourself in this family, the things that pull it apart and ultimately tie it back together. Set some time aside to read this gem; you won’t regret it.” —Catherine McKenzie, bestselling author of Hidden and Fractured
About the Author
Nancy Star is the author of four previous novels: Carpool Diem, Up Next, Now This, and Buried Lives. Her nonfiction writing has appeared in the New York Times, Family Circle, Diversion magazine, and on the web. Before embarking on her writing career, Nancy worked for more than a decade as a movie executive in the film business, dividing her time between New York and London. She has two grown daughters and a son-in-law and now lives in New Jersey with her husband. Read More