Sunday, August 13, 2023

Letters from My Sister by Valerie Fraser Luesse: Book Review

 *Book received for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Two Sisters. One Single Event. A Family Changed Forever.

At the turn of the twentieth century, sisters Emmy and Callie Bullock are living a privileged life as the only daughters of a wealthy Alabama cotton farmer when their well-ordered household gets turned upside down by the arrival of Lily McGee. Arrestingly beautiful, Lily quickly--and innocently--draws the wrong kind of attention. Meanwhile, Callie meets a man who offers her the freedom to abandon social constraints and discover her truest self.

After Lily has a baby, Callie witnesses something she was never meant to see--or did she? Her memory is a haze, just an image in her mind of Emmy standing on a darkened riverbank and cradling Lily's missing baby girl. Only when the sisters are separated does the truth slowly come to light through their letters--including a revelation that will shape the rest of Callie's life.

Bestselling author Valerie Fraser Luesse weaves a complex and suspenseful tale dripping with intrigue, romance, and Southern charm.

Valerie Fraser Luesse is the bestselling author of Missing IsaacAlmost HomeThe Key to Everything, and Under the Bayou Moon. She is an award-winning magazine writer best known for her feature stories and essays in Southern Living, where she recently retired as senior travel editor. Specializing in stories about unique pockets of Southern culture, Luesse received the 2009 Writer of the Year award from the Southeast Tourism Society for her editorial section on Hurricane Katrina recovery in Mississippi and Louisiana. A graduate of Auburn University and Baylor University, she lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband, Dave.

In the past, I've had the chance to read some other novels by Valerie Fraser Luesse and enjoyed them, so when I saw this one, I was excited to read it. I must admit though, I struggled to get into this one as much as I had hoped and as much as I had her previous works. 

First and foremost, I have to say that the story is very well written and I very much enjoyed the history of it. It definitely got off to a bit of a slow start and remained slower paced throughout much of the story as well. That slower pace is something I recall from her previous books as well, so it very well could have just been my mood at the time of reading that made this one harder to connect with... either way, I'd say it took somewhere until 25-30% into the story for me to really start to find myself drawn into these characters as I would have liked. 

Despite the slower start and slower pace, there was a lot going on in this story and once I was able to get into it, I did find myself interested to see what was going to happen next with this family. I really enjoyed the relationship between the two sisters throughout the story. Though the title made me think letters might play a bigger role than they did, I didn't find that bothered me at all. 

Overall, it's certainly a slower paced read, but one that fans of historical fiction are sure to want to check out for themselves. 


Post a Comment

"Pleasant words are as a honeycomb: sweet to the soul and health to the bones." Proverbs 16:24