Review: The Second Sister by Marie Bostwick

second sisterTitle: The Second Sister by Marie Bostwick
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Contemporary, Fiction
Length: 353 pages
Book Rating: A

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


From New York Times bestselling author Marie Bostwick comes an emotionally rich, inspiring new novel about family, second chances–and the connections that bring women together in hope and healing. . .

Years of long workdays and little sleep as a political campaigner are about to pay off now that Lucy Toomey’s boss is entering the White House. But when her estranged older sister, Alice, unexpectedly dies, Lucy is drawn back to Nilson’s Bay, her small, close-knit, Wisconsin hometown.

An accident in her teens left Alice mentally impaired, and she was content to stay in Nilson’s Bay. Lucy, meanwhile, got out and never looked back. But now, to meet the terms of Alice’s eccentric will, Lucy has taken up temporary residence in her sister’s cottage–and begins to see the town, and Alice’s life, anew. Alice’s diverse group of friends appears to have little in common besides an interest in quilting. Yet deep affection for Alice united them and soon Lucy, too, is brought into the fold as they share problems and stories. And as she finds warmth and support in this new circle, Lucy begins to understand this will be her sister’s enduring gift–a chance to move beyond her difficult past, and find what she has long been missing. . .


A truly unforgettable journey of grace and healing, The Second Sister by Marie Bostwick is a very emotional novel of family, forgiveness and friendship. It is also a heartfelt and engaging story about making peace with the past and letting go of mistakes in order to move on and embrace the future.

Lucy Toomey has spent her entire adult life avoiding her small hometown in Wisconsin. Despite her older sister Alice’s numerous pleas to visit, she has not returned home in the eight years since her parents’ deaths. When she learns that Alice been hospitalized and is in serious condition, she drops everything to rush to her sister’s side, but unfortunately Alice passes away while Lucy is still en route. Planning to leave as soon she settles her sister’s estate, Lucy is stunned to discover that the terms of Alice’s will stipulate she live in the family home for eight weeks in order to inherit or the house will go to a local animal rescue.  She reluctantly remains in town where she eventually discovers startling truths about herself, her sister and their somewhat complicated relationship. Lucy also unexpectedly finds friendship and, quite possibly, love but will this be enough to change her mind about leaving the small close-knit community for good?

Lucy lives life at a frantic pace and she allows herself very little time to think about anything other than her demanding career. Her childhood was spent in the shadow of her older, more accomplished and outgoing sister and she could never live up to her father’s expectations. In the aftermath of the tragic accident that left Alice mentally impaired, Lucy was overcome with guilt at the events of the day and she could not wait to leave her unhappy memories behind. Although she has achieved a measure of professional success, her personal life is devoid of friendship or love. Lucy and Alice talk daily, but Lucy only pays superficial attention to her sister’s rambling middle of the night phone calls and after Alice’s death, she comes to realize how little she knew about her sister or her life.

While at first Lucy resents taking time away from her career, she slowly begins to appreciate the slower pace of life. Of course, she still plans to leave as soon as possible, but in the meantime, she enjoys getting reconnecting with old school friend Peter Swenson, his extended family and other people from her past. When she decides to make a quilt in her sister’s memory, Alice’s close friends, Rinda, Daphne and Celia, reluctantly offer their assistance, and Lucy is pleasantly surprised to discover how much she likes spending time with the three women. Despite her new found contentment, her departure date is fast approaching and Lucy clings tightly to her decision to leave. But will a shocking revelation change her plans?

The Second Sister is a poignant and thought-provoking novel that is also quite uplifting. The storyline is complex but easy to relate to and the characters are appealing and sympathetic. The setting is charming and Marie Bostwick brings the small Wisconsin town vibrantly to life. It is a very heartwarming story of reconciliation and grace that is sure to resonate with readers of who enjoy novels that are not afraid to delve into the complexities of real life relationships.


Filed under Contemporary, Fiction, Kensington, Marie Bostwick, Rated A, Review, The Second Sister

2 Responses to Review: The Second Sister by Marie Bostwick

  1. Timitra

    Thanks Kathy

  2. Cindy DeGraaff

    Thanks for the review, Kathy!