Summer Reading: The Sisters Chase by Sarah Healy

I’m a little (well, a lot) late posting this review, as this was my vacation read this year. I breezed through this book, as one would expect with any good vacation novel. I found the book to be un-put-down-able, and even though I was able to guess the ‘twist’ less than half way through, I still felt it packed a powerful punch and I’m not ashamed to admit that I found myself teary-eyed when it was done.

The Sisters Chase by Sarah Healy is a quick paced, riveting novel that depicts the lives of the Chase sisters, Mary and Hannah, following the death of their mother, Diane. Prior to Diane’s death the family had been barely scraping by, clinging to the vestiges of their family business. A ramshackle seaside motel called the Waters Edge in Sandy Bank, New Jersey.

Diane’s abrupt, tragic death, leaves eighteen-year-old Mary responsible for Hannah, or Bunny as she affectionately calls her. However, it isn’t long after Diane’s death that Mary learns that Diane owed more in back taxes on the Waters Edge than the motel was actually worth, leaving her with very few options. This is when her scheming and expert manipulation comes into play, as Mary turns to her mother’s rich cousin. Mary’s actions while staying with her Mother’s wealthy cousin and her family at their Florida home are sufficient to ensure that Mary and Hannah may have a secure future.

After the sisters spend some time camping, and traveling listlessly up the East coast, the pair lands in Northton, Rhode Island to set up a life. Mary gets a job and an apartment, and Hannah starts school. Then, Mary’s scheming comes into play again as she manages to wriggle her way into the life and heart of Stefan Kelly, one of Mary’s old flames. This plan happily comes to fruition for both Mary and Bunny, and the sisters enjoy a few years of peace and happiness. Until a blast from Mary’s past catches up with them, and Mary flees. The sisters then bounce from town to town, where Mary can find work in various hotels, much like the Waters Edge.

Throughout it all, the sisters relationship remains at the center of the story. The trust, mutual understanding, and love that has become the foundation of their lives together remains the focal point of the novel. Mary and Bunny are on a grand adventure, one that is infused with imaginative fairy tales invented by Mary for Bunny’s sake. This novel is thrilling, suspenseful, moving, and heart breaking. It is a good, quick read that can be undertaken in an afternoon or two. I highly recommend you add it to your summer reading list.



Author: Lee Ann Fryman

Lee Ann is a poet, fiction writer, and blogger located in Lexington, Kentucky. She received an MA in English from Northern Kentucky University, and has BAs in Theatre and English from Morehead State University.

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