Review: The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

The Almost Sisters was so much more than I was expecting. Joshilyn Jackson is known for her Southern women’s fiction. There’s always romance and family drama, but this book had so much more.

Let’s start with the main character:┬áLeia Birch Briggs. I loved her! She’s a comic book artist who hosts weekly board game nights and regularly attends comic conventions. Can I be friends with her? Seriously. My husband and I host monthly board game nights, and he just built a gaming table for our living room. Guess what Leia has in her dining room? A gaming table! I couldn’t believe it. I love when characters in books match up so perfectly with the type of person I would actually hang out with.

At one of the above mentioned comic cons, Leia drunkenly hooks up with a Batman…a black Batman. And she’s knocked up. She’s afraid to tell her perfect step-sister, Rachel. Only Rachel’s not-so-perfect-after-all marriage (to Leia’s childhood best friend and first sexual partner) is falling apart, and Rachel thrusts her daughter on Leia, and the two head down to Georgia where Leia’s grandmother, Birchie, has just made a scene at church and revealed her dementia.

Birchie, and her best friend, Wattie, were so fun. They’re a couple of conniving old ladies who like to shake things up. They grew up together because Wattie’s mother was Birchie’s family’s maid. They split their time between the white church and the black church, even though no one in their small town really approves.

Race and racism are major themes in this book as are the importance of family and honesty. There’s a whole lot of drama and humor in this book along with the pack of fantastic characters. I read this book very quickly, and I loved every second of it.

Rating: 4 Stars

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This fact does not in any way impact my thoughts/feelings about the book.

 

She Reads

This book was read as part of this She Reads Summer Book Club.

The Almost Sisters
Joshilyn Jackson
Fiction
William Morrow
July 11, 2017
eARC
352

With empathy, grace, humor, and piercing insight, the author of Gods in Alabama pens a powerful, emotionally resonant novel of the South that confronts the truth about privilege, family, and the distinctions between perception and reality---the stories we tell ourselves about our origins and who we really are.

Superheroes have always been Leia Birch Briggs' weakness. One tequila-soaked night at a comics convention, the usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman.

It turns out the caped crusader has left her with more than just a nice, fuzzy memory. She's having a baby boy--an unexpected but not unhappy development in the thirty-eight year-old's life. But before Leia can break the news of her impending single-motherhood (including the fact that her baby is biracial) to her conventional, Southern family, her step-sister Rachel's marriage implodes. Worse, she learns her beloved ninety-year-old grandmother, Birchie, is losing her mind, and she's been hiding her dementia with the help of Wattie, her best friend since girlhood.

Leia returns to Alabama to put her grandmother's affairs in order, clean out the big Victorian that has been in the Birch family for generations, and tell her family that she's pregnant. Yet just when Leia thinks she's got it all under control, she learns that illness is not the only thing Birchie's been hiding. Tucked in the attic is a dangerous secret with roots that reach all the way back to the Civil War. Its exposure threatens the family's freedom and future, and it will change everything about how Leia sees herself and her sister, her son and his missing father, and the world she thinks she knows.

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