Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Review: Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford (ARC)

Title: Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters 
Author: Natalie Standiford 
Published: 2010
Source: Received for Review

The Sullivan sisters have a big problem. On Christmas Day their rich and imperious grandmother gathers the family and announces that she will soon die... and has cut the entire family out of her will. Since she is the source of almost all their income, this means they will soon be penniless.

Someone in the family has offended her deeply. If that person comes forward with a confession of her (or his) crime, submitted in writing to her lawyer by New Year's Day, she will reinstate the family in her will. Or at least consider it.

And so the confessions begin....
 (taken from
What I expected to be a shallow, mean-girl type book was actually a delightfully witty and real novel. This is the first novel of Standiford that I've read, and I was swept away by her writing. Somehow, she managed to create a story that was both ridiculously over the top and comical, yet also grounded and realistic.

The plot moves quickly and can be quite addictive. I read the book in about a day. Each sister tells her own story, which means that the book is divided into three "confessions." Usually I don't like books that are made up of smaller vignettes because I can't get enough of the stories I love. Just as I begin to enjoy one tale, a new one begins. It wasn't this way with Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters. Although each story is short, they have depth and great plot development.  

My favorite character was Norrie, hands down. Thoughtful and romantic, she reminded me a bit of myself. Norrie is the eldest sister, and I love her story the most. While I enjoyed the other two sisters' confessions, Norrie's won me over from the first chapter on. I didn't enjoy Jane's story as much. In my opinion, she brought all of her troubles upon herself with her destructive behavior and insensitive comments. Sassy's confession was entertaining, although quite strange. 

Overall, I can honestly say that I throughly enjoyed Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters. The novel dives deep into the lives of three teenage girls and their quirky yet lovable family. Both funny and meaningful, this is a novel I won't soon be forgetting. I'll also be looking into Standiford's other novel, How to Say Goodbye in Robot

*I received this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.