Contemporary Fiction

The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets by Molly Fader

The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets


I’ve been a big fan of the author’s work under her pseudonym, inhaling just about everything she’s written in the last 7 years. When I saw this show up in NetGalley, I grabbed it immediately, knowing that her stories have bordered on contemporary fiction for a long time. My instincts did not fail me as I loved every minute spent reading this story.

Something happened 17 years ago to splinter the McAvoy sisters. Lindy, the “wild” one left their Port Lorraine, Ohio home and carved out a life for herself in Cleveland. Younger sister, Delia, stayed in town, married her sweetheart but abandoned her college plans to raise her baby and take over the family business. Now Delia is juggling a new baby, a difficult teenager and their mother who is struggling following a “brain event.” Lindy hasn’t been home in five years but shows up when she accidentally receives a call and learns about her mother.

We’re given a gift of not only Lindy’s and Delia’s points of view but mother Meredith’s and 15-year old daughter Brin’s as well. Meredith’s stroke has left her transitioning at will between past and present with unpredictability and I found her passages extraordinary, providing insight about how terrifying it must be to know, or not know, what’s going on when all your life you’ve been completely in control of your faculties. It was artful in how the same events were taken in by each character, giving us a unique perspective about how each of them perceived each other and its impacts. What drove the sisters apart was slowly revealed, which can sometimes be maddening but in the right hands, create an extraordinary reading experience.

I loved everything about this story, how these two sisters found their way, how their mother factored into their reunion and the strong sense of place created in the story. I could smell Lake Erie and the fish in the shop, see the quaint stores in the heart of the town, feel the thunder and turmoil of the storms. I felt everything these women felt, even Brin’s frustrations with the adults around her harboring all these secrets. It’s a lovely story, often heartbreaking but more heartwarming as this family triumphs. But, that unexpected twist at the very end left me stunned. I know Fader wanted me and other readers to be conflicted about it, and I am. That’s a perfect conclusion to a lovely, lovely story.

Book Info

  • Release Date: July 16, 2019
  • Page Numbers: 384
  • Publisher: Graydon House


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(Thanks to NetGalley for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)

21 thoughts on “The McAvoy Sisters Book of Secrets by Molly Fader”

  1. Aww, I love this review, Jonetta! I had started reading this one and put it down just because of some other deadlines. Now I definitely want to get back to it. I loved the setting too. It took me back to the year I lived in Erie, PA, and oh how beautiful that lake was in the summertime! Lovely review, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

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