Today I’m reviewing The Sisters Chase. This is one of those books that is different from the description on the book jacket, but in a good way. At first I wasn’t even sure if it was going to be a suspenseful or a thriller, and it’s not in the traditional sense. But it is darker and there are surprises along the way.
Parts of the book reminded me a bit of V.C. Andrews. Which I’m not sure if that’s a nice thing to say. I used to love V.C. Andrews as a teen and read Flowers in the Attic and the Heaven Series, but lets fact it, those book aren’t exactly literary. The Sisters Chase is definitely higher brow, but does contain some of those dysfunctional family and torrid past details I enjoyed from Andrews’ books.
Maybe it’s grown up V.C. Andrews? Although, I’m not sure that teenagers are actually supposed to be reading those books.
From the Publisher:
The hardscrabble Chase women—Mary, Hannah, and their mother Diane—have been eking out a living running a tiny seaside motel that has been in the family for generations, inviting trouble into their lives for just as long. Eighteen-year-old Mary Chase is a force of nature: passionate, beautiful, and free-spirited. Her much younger sister, Hannah, whom Mary affectionately calls “Bunny,” is imaginative, her head full of the stories of princesses and adventures that Mary tells to give her a safe emotional place in the middle of their troubled world.
But when Diane dies in a car accident, Mary discovers the motel is worth less than the back taxes they owe. With few options, Mary’s finely tuned instincts for survival kick in. As the sisters begin a cross-country journey in search of a better life, she will stop at nothing to protect Hannah. But Mary wants to protect herself, too, for the secrets she promised she would never tell—but now may be forced to reveal—hold the weight of unbearable loss. Vivid and suspenseful, The Sisters Chase is a whirlwind page-turner about the extreme lengths one family will go to find—and hold onto—love.
The book opens when Hannah is born. Her older sister, Mary, is 15 years older and not super excited to be welcoming a baby sister. But as her mother places Hannah in Mary’s arms, and tells her that she just knows that baby will need her older sister. And in the moment, their connection as sisters solidifies.
The Sisters Chase is one of those stories that highlights the strong, unbreakable bond that sisters share. The relationship between Mary and Hannah is so strong that at times I wanted Hannah to fight back more, but of course, with a personality as strong as Mary’s, a sister would know she has no hope of winning that fight.
Mary is a pathological liar. But in a functional way. She says at one point in the book that she is the type to do whatever is necessary to get what she needs. And after their mother passes away, it becomes important to be conniving to get where she needs to go. After all, she finds herself without a high school diploma, deep in debt, and needing to support and provide a life for her baby sister. For this reason, I didn’t find her as unlikeable as some of the reviewers did, but I couldn’t trust her as the narrator.
What also struck me about this book is that there was a lot of truth in the pages. How mistakes and circumstances from one generation are so easily passed down to the next. I was rooting for Hannah and Mary, but knowing Mary’s past, I just wasn’t sure how things would end up for them.
This one is a quick read, and I’m not sure I set it down more than a couple times while I read it–and never for more than 5 minutes. It’s a bit more literary than some of the other popular thriller type books and I really appreciated that. The story was artfully written with a satisfying ending.