Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Sisters Montclair~ Review

Title: The Sisters Montclair
Author: Cathy Holton
Source: Librarything

Goodreads Summary:

The last thing twenty-one-year-old Stella Nightingale wants is a job as a caregiver for wealthy Alice Montclair Whittington. Alice, a ninety-four-year-old Southern grande dame with a dry sense of humor and a wicked tongue, has already run off a long line of caregivers. But Stella, a former runaway from a broken home who’s only recently begun to put her life back together, is desperate for work. And she figures she can handle Alice. 

But strange things are happening at Alice’s rambling mountaintop estate. As an unlikely friendship develops between the two women, Alice, whose memory comes and goes, begins to reveal long-ago tales of her illustrious past, tales that pose more questions than they answer. Who is her mysterious sister, Laura? Why won’t Alice and her sister, Adeline, ever speak of her? And why are the other caregivers afraid to go down in the basement?

As Stella tries to separate fact from fiction in Alice’s life, she struggles to overcome her own devastating family secret, compelled by a deepening friendship that will change the lives of both women forever.

My thoughts:

I really enjoyed this book more than I thought I would.  I wasn't sure if the dynamic between Stella and Alice would be too cheesy or too forced, but I think the Holton did a wonderful job creating a believable relationship between the two.  

Stella is 21, a bit unconventional, and probably not what Alice, a 94 year old woman from the rich part of town, expected as her caregiver.  When we meet Stella, she is a bit of a lost soul, living with a boyfriend who is not very nice to her.  She doesn't seem to have great self esteem, and we learn that when she was 16, her mom gave her a hundred dollars and left her in Birmingham to fend for herself.  Alice however grew up with advantages, money and loving parents.  However, neither Stella nor Alice were happy.  

Stella grows to care about Alice, and enjoys Alice's stories.  Alice likes that Stella understands her.  Both women carry secrets around in them like poison.  Through Alice's dreams and stories, and Stella's therapy sessions, we learn the big secrets within, that they both need to set free before they themselves become free.  I loved Alice and her stories.  Her character was definitely a hoot, but more importantly, a strong woman.   Stella learns to be strong from Alice, probably the best gift Alice could have given her. 

There were so many passages I felt I could relate to in this book ~ I think readers always look for bits of themselves in books, and when you find that, characters you relate to for some reason or another, no matter how small,  it is gratifying. I found bits of myself in very small passages in this book.  I had read Cathy Holton's book Summer in the South, and while I liked it, I was so-so on it.  I think however Holton put her heart and soul into this one.  

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