The Sister Effect
My rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

The Sister Effect by Susan Mallery is a family drama story centered on complex dynamics, flaws, and redemption.

My Overview

The McGowan sisters had a tough upbringing, and its effect is still haunting them. They grew up without their father, their mother was focused on chasing stardom for herself, and their grandfather abandoned them instead of stepping in to raise them. Their childhood years were tough, and each found their own way to cope with it. Now as adults, they couldn’t be more different from each other. Sloane is an alcoholic and has served time in prison. Finley, on the other hand, is overly focused on working hard to make something of herself. She’s also raising Sloane’s daughter.

Finley and Sloane are sisters who can’t relate, and ideally wouldn’t even want to be related. However, as much as they’d like to walk away from each other, they can’t. There are other people in their family holding them together: Sloan’s daughter, their mother, and even their grandfather (who now wants to be in their lives). They’re all affected by past choices, and are trying to figure out how to move forward.

When Finley meets Jericho, she learns about the mess his family is experiencing. The family dynamics in Jericho’s family are complex, since his wife had an affair with his brother. Jericho and his wife are recently divorced … and now his ex-wife and his brother are getting married soon. Since Finley’s and Jericho’s families are broken to some extent, they can relate.

This is 360º view into the complexity of family dynamics, the effect of addiction, and damage from past choices. It’s a story full of real issues and realistic characters. The characters are well-developed, and depict the various ways family members can keep each other from healing. Overall, this is a heartfelt story about love, growth and forgiveness. It’s a reminder that families are messy, but love keeps them together.

My Recommendation

I’ve enjoyed other books by this author, and this one was no exception. This is a complex story that brings up a lot of questions. Although I recommend this book, it’s not for everyone. Alcoholism and infidelity are the main themes in this story, and I understand some may not want to read about either. If, you choose to read this story, I hope you’ll enjoy having a first-row seat to the mess and drama of these families.

Have you read this book yet?

If you enjoyed Reminders of Him, I think you’ll enjoy this story.