Sunday, July 27, 2014

Book Review: All for a Sister by Allison Pittman

All for a Sister is an engaging read, keeping the reader in suspense until the very end. Set in the 1920's, the story weaves between three main characters. Celeste is the privileged, beautiful movie star daughter.  Dana is the recently released prisoner who was accused of murdering Celeste's older sister when Dana was twelve years old, and Marguerite is Celeste's mother, now deceased, who awarded Dana half of Celeste's inheritance. Why would Marguerite choose to include the murderer of her daughter in her inheritance? Could Dana and Celeste possibly have a family connection?

These details are gradually divulged as chapters in the book containing Marguerite's written confession are interspersed between scenes from Dana's prison cell and Celeste's childhood. Then there is Celeste's womanizing father.  How does he fit into the puzzle?

I found the author's use of metaphors, brilliant and refreshing. For example, in describing Graciela's (the household maid) speech, here is Pittman's penning: "Her words flowed like water, like the perfect draw of a warm bath, the syllables splashing and lapping, one into the next."  When switching between the telling of each character's background history, the transitions are smooth and easy to follow.

As the truth of the past unfolds, I am left to make judgment on Marguerite's actions, partly because the author discloses her deeds in first person, so Marguerite is airing her own conscience, and also because the author expertly tosses the reader between feeling sympathy and outrage. When all is finally revealed, I was satisfied with the conclusion.

I received a complimentary copy of the book for review purposes from Tyndale House.

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