THE SISTER SEASON, by Jennifer Scott, is not a light and fluffy holiday read. But there’s a lot about this season that brings out both the best and the worst in relatives. We all know it, and most of us have seen it.
This novel starts out with Elise, who is a woman in middle age. She is admiring the freshly cut spruce tree that is enveloping the best part of her den. Even though she suffers from allergies from the darn thing, she is determined to have a real tree. With tinsel, something her husband of many years, hates. She is remembering holidays from the past when her three grown girls were small. The only thing about her memories that is not perfect is Robert, her husband.
The book actually begins with a shocking event that sets the tone for the entire story. I found myself turning the pages looking for the how and why.
There is not much more I can write without spoiling the story. So, I will stop now while I am ahead.
The holiday season is both loved and hated by many people. There are those of us who look forward to Christmas each year. Love the shopping and hustle-bustle. And there are those of us who just loathe it all. And there are the others who have mixed feelings. I fall into the latter category.
If you have children and they are grown and gone, it is bittersweet. Sometimes they come home for the holiday, but if they are married, sometimes they spend the holiday with the partners family. That is tough. I have been dealing with this for some years now. It’s hard to celebrate when a loved one is not able to be with you, for whatever reason.
The stress of the holidays causes angst even in the best of us. There is pressure to get the perfect gift for everyone. Pressure to attend parties. Pressure to be jovial at work and at home. And pressure to put a little something in the bell-ringer’s pot at Publix, even if you visit the store every day. But none of this pressure can compete with the pressure to put on a holiday face in this novel. I think Scott has done a great job of showing us how a woman can live with an abuser for most of her life, and live a life of quiet desperation. It can’t help but make me wonder how many households are dealing with some sort of abuse. Is anything really what it seems to be?
So, this tale is not a happy, fluffy, seasonal story. But what it is and what it brings to the table is an important story of family and how we deal with adversity.
My review copy came from Penguin publishing company. Thank you so much.