Welcome back to Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers.
Today, we're playing host to a TLC Blog Tour starring a Women's Fiction title that's much more than it seems in all the right ways. Don't believe me? Well then, my mission is clear and the challenge is accepted. Ready or not fair readers, here comes today's blog tour guest and book of choice...
Leisure Time Books
About the book...
Set in the South Carolina Lowcountry and packed with Southern charm and memorable characters, Her Sister’s Shoes is the story of three sisters—Samantha, Jackie, and Faith—who struggle to balance the demands of career and family while remaining true to themselves.
Samantha Sweeney has always been the glue that holds her family together, their go-to girl for love and support. When an ATV accident leaves her teenage son in a wheelchair, she loses her carefully constructed self-control.
In the after-gloom of her dreaded fiftieth birthday and the discovery of her husband’s infidelity, Jackie realizes she must reconnect with her former self to find the happiness she needs to move forward.
Faith lacks the courage to stand up to her abusive husband. She turns to her sisters for help, placing all their lives at risk.
In the midst of their individual challenges, the Sweeney sisters must cope with their mother’s mental decline. Is Lovie in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, or is her odd behavior normal for a woman her age? No one, including Lovie, understands her obsession with a rusty key she wears around her neck.
Where oh where to begin!
This book was so much more than I first perceived and in the best ways possible. Seriously, I didn't know what to expect but in the end, it blew me away. Now on to the how and why...
The story brings us into the lives of three sisters, Sam, Faith and Jackie. They are the heart and souls of the Sweeney legacy. Each of the sisters is different and carries the baggage of her life in their own way. The hardest part for me was seeing how despite being siblings and staying in touch with each other over the years, they had the hardest time trusting one another. Now I'm an only child so I never had any experience to base it off of personally, but I always wanted to believe that the bond would be so strong between them that they could say anything, always being their truest selves. Perhaps only wishful thinking on my part, but this trio does get there eventually, though more by force than by choice. A few words on and to each of these remarkable women...
Faith: You're much stronger than your choices would lead people to think but I've truly no idea how you stayed with him so long. He deserved so much worse than what he got and you and Bitsy, so much better. That one especially harrowing scene that left you locked in a bathroom hoping against hope that he remained passed out so that your child was safe...if I could have come through the page, I would have. Mack had the right idea on how to handle him. My soul sang out when your story's end was finally written.
Jackie: I was all ready to say you were better off without him...especially after his less than subtle PDA. (Caught by your sister no less!) , but despite it all...I trust your judgment on what to do. Though I wasn't your biggest fan...let's face it, you realized your shortcomings by book's end as well and it made you better for it...I came to understand where you were coming from and why you were the way you were. It couldn't have been easy holding on to all those "what if's", the boys latching on to their father more than you, and all that goes along with upholding a certain image. You weren't easy to love or be loved by but once it was gained, its hold was strong.
Sam: Of the three of you, I feel that we became closest with you. You always seemed to have the world's weight hanging on your shoulders. Between the market renovation, saving the family business, determining how to handle Lovie's concerning situation, as well as learning to deal with the surly teen the accident left behind. Add to that your sister's drama de jour and I'm surprised you weren't one big basket case. No wonder you sought escape, but believe Eli and the others when they say, the bottle is not the answer. Hang in there, it'll get better...but of course, you already know that, you just have to listen to yourself.
Now, the sisters are definitely stars of the show, but there is quite the cast of characters to contend with. Let's illuminate a few of them now, shall we? We have Lovie, their mother, who is dealing with aging as gracefully as she can but may be losing herself to a disease of the mind. Then there's Mack, their departed father's friend of so many moons, that loves them like his own family and won't let anything or anyone bring them harm. Gotta love that guy....and speaking of guys to love, Eli! Hello! What a doll...and a policeman too! No seriously though, he's a breath of fresh air that's as determined to see this family into quieter times as they are. I love the attention and support he gave to Jamie, Sam's son. It was heartwarming but macho enough for the guys to revel in it too.
So to sum things up, this was quite the enjoyable read. I love it when a "sleeper story" sneaks up on you and leaves you dazzled. Despite all the warm feelings I shared, there are multiple darker areas to the story line as well to taunt and intrigue. There's dealing with the guilt one feels when they survive something others didn't. There's abuse, secrets, theft, drinking, contemplation of "the end", and murder...though whether that actually happens, I'll leave up to YOU to discover. (Yep, totally not telling.) So although it's classified as a Women's Fiction title, don't run away if it's not your niche genre; it's got a little something for everyone.
About the author...
Ashley Farley is a book blogger at Chronicles and author of Saving Ben and Her Sister's Shoes. She is a community volunteer in Richmond, Virginia, where she lives with her husband and two college-aged children.
Visit her website at www.ashleyfarley.net, connect with her on Facebook and Twitter, and friend her on Goodreads.
Special thanks to Trish at TLC Book Tours for the chance to bring this title to you and to the author for the PERSONALIZED copy for review. (THANKS!) For more information on THIS TOUR, the title, the author, the publisher, or those promotions on the horizon, feel free to click through the links provided above. This title is available now via Leisure Time Books, so be on the lookout for it on a bookstore shelf or virtual retailer of your choosing. In the mean time....
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Until next time...GOOD LUCK...happy reading!