The Sweeney Sisters
by Lian Dolan
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: April 28th 2020
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
An accomplished storyteller returns with her biggest, boldest, most entertaining novel yet—a hilarious, heartfelt story about books, love, sisterhood, and the surprises we discover in our DNA that combines the wit of Jonathan Tropper with the heart of Susan Wiggs.
Maggie, Eliza, and Tricia Sweeney grew up as a happy threesome in the idyllic seaside town of Southport, Connecticut. But their mother’s death from cancer fifteen years ago tarnished their golden-hued memories, and the sisters drifted apart. Their one touchstone is their father, Bill Sweeney, an internationally famous literary lion and college professor universally adored by critics, publishers, and book lovers. When Bill dies unexpectedly one cool June night, his shell-shocked daughters return to their childhood home. They aren’t quite sure what the future holds without their larger-than-life father, but they do know how to throw an Irish wake to honor a man of his stature.
But as guests pay their respects and reminisce, one stranger, emboldened by whiskey, has crashed the party. It turns out that she too is a Sweeney sister.
When Washington, DC based journalist Serena Tucker had her DNA tested on a whim a few weeks earlier, she learned she had a 50% genetic match with a childhood neighbor—Maggie Sweeney of Southport, Connecticut. It seems Serena’s chilly WASP mother, Birdie, had a history with Bill Sweeney—one that has remained totally secret until now.
Once the shock wears off, questions abound. What does this mean for William’s literary legacy? Where is the unfinished memoir he’s stashed away, and what will it reveal? And how will a fourth Sweeney sister—a blond among redheads—fit into their story?
By turns revealing, insightful, and uproarious, The Sweeney Sisters is equal parts cautionary tale and celebration—a festive and heartfelt look at what truly makes a family.
William Sweeney was a famous author and when he died he not only left his three daughters a memoir to find but also a surprise sister. We follow the three Sweeney sisters as they come to turns on who their famous father was, changes in their personal lives and a new addition to the family. This book started off pretty slow and I had a hard time getting into the story. It was probably at least halfway thru that I started to actually like any of the main characters and want to know how their story ends. The oldest sister Liza was a typical mom for their neighborhood. Her kids were in all the right clubs and programs, she was a dutiful wife to her successful husband and she even owned her own art gallery. She is the sister who holds it all together and makes sure everyone is doing what they are supposed too. The middle sister Maggie is the artist and she is very selfish. I never liked her throughout the book and even though she has some growth in the end she was not redeemed in my eyes. She was cruel to her sisters and was only looking out for her self. The youngest sister Tricia at first appeared to be a very cold and distant sister but as the story goes on she became my favorite. She is a lawyer in Manhattan and very good at her job. I loved her story arc and Raj!! The fourth sister who is actually the oldest is Serena Tucker, she is a journalist and grew up next door to the sisters. I enjoyed how the four ended up rallying around each other and supporting one another. Sister’s are not always easy to get along with and this book showed that but in the end they all loved and supported each other. Overall I really enjoyed this book. I thought the author did a great job of bringing you into the family and getting you to feel the emotions of all the characters. This would be a fun summer read, its not too hard hitting and the setting of being in Connecticut in the summer was perfect! Thank you Netgalley, William Marrow, Goodreads and the Fantastic Flying Bookclub for my copies!
Lian Dolan is a writer and talker. She’s the author of two Los Angeles Times best-selling novels, Helen of Pasadena and Elizabeth the First Wife published by Prospect Park Books. Her next novel, The Sweeney Sisters, will be published in 2020 by William Morrow. She’s a regular humor columnist for Pasadena Magazine and has previously written monthly columns for O, The Oprah Magazine and Working Mother Magazine. She’s also written for TV, radio and websites.
Lian is the producer and host of Satellite Sisters, the award-winning talk show she created with her four real sisters. On Satellite Sisters, she’s interviewed everyone from Nora Ephron to Madeleine Albright to Big Bird. Satellite Sisters began life as a syndicated radio show and is now a top-rated podcast for women. The recent book by the Satellite Sisters, You’re the Best: A Celebration of Friendship, is popular with book clubs.
A popular speaker who combines humor and heart, Lian has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Sunday Morning and The Today Show and many local TV stations. She’s been a featured speaker at the LA Times Festival of Books, the Santa Barbara Celebrity Authors Lunch, the Literary Guild of Orange County Festival of Women Authors and dozens of other events at libraries, book stores, schools and women’s organizations across the country. In 2020, she’ll be on the faculty of the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop.
Lian graduated from Pomona College with a degree in Classics. She lives in Pasadena, California with her husband, two sons and a big German shepherd.
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