Brought to you by OBS reviewer Heidi
It’s been several years since the Yanceys have been together, let along celebrated the holidays as a family. But when Elise’s husband dies right before Christmas, it brings all of their daughters and grandchildren home, with all their problems as well. Can a week fix the damage that has been done over a lifetime?
I really didn’t know if this was the kind of book I would like or not. And, after reading the book, I realize just how little the synopsis really gives you!
This story did start out a little slow with Elise decorating for the holidays, the revelation that Robert is dead, and the girls slowly trickling in. But once the foundation of the story is laid out, it’s a pretty easy read.
Seeing the abuse this family has endured at the hands of Robert, especially the three daughters, and how it has affected their adult lives; making it hard for them to form healthy relationships of their own coupled with Eli’s suicidal tendencies really just makes you want to hold your kids close, cuddle them, and show them just how loved they truly are! It also makes me wonder something I’ve never quite understood; why the abused wife tolerates it especially once it’s directed at her children as well. But never living it myself, I’m sure I’ll never understand it. It really just made me sad for this family and all the real life ones that are going through similar situations.
The three sisters in this story all have problems in their own life that stem from how they grew up in one way or another.
Julia reminded me the most of her mother. She is the always well composed daughter, well educated and smart, but she has no idea how to show emotion to even her own child, which leaves him feeling unloved and depressed, which was incredibly sad to see. And, her son is a huge voice in this story and narration and it was heart-wrenching.
Maya is the daughter that has never felt good enough and in turn tries to be the best at everything. But her trying so hard is actually off-putting to the one person she wants to hold on to the most; her husband, Bradley, and causing him to stray in their marriage. His infidelity causing a huge rift between her and Claire.
Claire is painted as the bad sister of the group because of the whole situation with Bradley and the assumptions that Maya has formed years ago. But seeing her story unfold, especially when the story turned to her point of view really made me appreciate her and the injustice she has been dealt. Of all the sisters she turned out to be my favorite of all. She even made me soften toward Bradley a little. I love how she stood up to the abuse when she was younger and fought back! I also loved the budding romance between her and Michael, it was truly the bright spot in this sad novel.
Elise played a big role in her daughters’ problems by not interfering on their behalf and leaving them in an abusive home. And, it’s nice to see her finally try to right some of those wrongs, but begs the question of is this a case of too little too late? This story just really shows you the damage that can be done simply by letting things happen.
I found myself enjoying this story and it is the perfect book to curl up with on a nice snowy day!