Wednesday, April 29, 2020

The Sweeny Sisters - Fiction Review

Goodreads:  The Sweeney Sisters by Lian Dolan

Rating:  Really Liked it!
Source: Publisher

Description:  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.

Genre: Fiction

Why I Picked This Book:  I love a story about sisters and family secrets so of course I couldn't resist this one!

My Impression:  Apparently April is the month of new sister discovered through DNA results books.  This is the 2nd one that I've read this month and while this one had a completely different feel I think I enjoyed it just as much! 

The Sweeney sisters were expecting it to be a tough summer with dealing with the fallout from the unexpected death of their father.  They weren't expecting extensive financial issues, a missing manuscript, and even worse a sister they never knew existed.  Dolan kept a good balance of making the sisters' reactions and relationships seem authentic without too much wallowing or grudge holding which may be realistic but gets a bit tedious to read. 

I really felt connected to Liza, Tricia, and Serena and while I didn't care for Maggie as much I still felt like I understood her even if she annoyed me.  While this wasn't the most shocking unpredictible book it was one that I really enjoyed.  I connected with the characters and genuinely wanted good things for them.  If you enjoy family stories that are a bit messy without being to angsty, where things aren't perfect but not dreary this is a fantastic read.  For me, it was a fantastic bit of escape and this is an author whose books I'll be picking up in the future.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Definitely!  I really enjoyed this one and will be looking for more books from this author.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy family stories that aren't to grim or dreary but also aren't super fluffy, this is one I think you'll really enjoy.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *


  1. I do enjoy family stories and thanks for sharing your great review!

  2. Not super fluffy sounds just like my thing! Thanks for sharing your review. 😊

  3. I was looking out for your review on this one. The characters sound really interesting, glad you enjoyed it.

  4. This DNA testing with Ancestry is turning a few lives upside down. How cool there is a fictional story involving family surprises. Great review!

  5. I got this on my TBR. Glad you enjoyed it.

  6. I recently downloaded this one, and can't wait to read it. Glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for sharing.

  7. A book to add to DNA and sisters stories. I am not sure I'll ever get to it but it would be the kind I'd happily read I think.

  8. This sounds really good! I couldn't imagine finding out that I had a sister that I didn't know about.

  9. "Apparently April is the month of new sister discovered through DNA results books." Hah, I had the same thought when I read the blurb. I do like family stories that aren't too angsty. I may see if my library has this.

  10. I am looking forward to reading this one and am glad you liked it, Katherine. I enjoy books like this too. :-)

  11. A book you can just escape into is always good for the soul!

  12. I adore Dolan's books. This one is not filled with as much humor as her others but her characters seem so true.