Three lovely people grow up -separately- without loving parents, and though they don’t share the same mothers, they do share the same paternal grandfather. This guy might be in the background of the story character-development-wise, but he’s the hub that brings his three grandchildren together. Well, with a little help from a friend.
Susan Mallery wrote a terrific story about a non-traditional family. Malcolm was raised from boyhood by his grandfather. Keira was brought into the family home much later – and at the transitional age of 12 has a hard time feeling like she belongs. Delaney, a woman who works in the same building as Malcolm, helps bridge the brother-sister gap. Meanwhile, a third sibling is found and brought “home.” Callie isn’t sure this new world is for her, but feels a sense of responsibility for Keira.
I’ve read a lot of half-siblings-brought-together stories, but none quite like this. Mallery wrote fresh characters with realistic flaws and shortcomings, characters you can be annoyed with and cry with and laugh with… and sympathize with. And Mallery keeps up the realism all the way to the end, when everyone really has found home, even if it’s not what you’d expect. Terrific story about family, loyalty, and love.
I love Jo Knowles. Some of my favorite books ever were written by her. See You at Harry’s is one I won’t forget, and if you haven’t read it you really should. But this review is about one of her older ones, Pearl.
Pearl and Henry are best friends. One of the things they have in common is the strangeness of their mothers, although they’re nothing alike. Henry’s mother is hugely overweight and doesn’t leave the house. Pearl’s mother is not very involved, to put it mildly. Luckily Pearl has grandfather Gus, the stable force in her life. But then Gus dies. And in addition to being without the only parent she’s really had, Pearl now has to deal with family secrets that she never would have dreamed of.
This won’t go down as one of my favorites from this author. Parts of the story were farfetched. But the brilliant writing style of Knowles more than makes up for that.