Minda’s drunk review of The Stepsisters by Susan Malley.
Thank you to NetGalley for an Arc! This book came out on May 25th and you can get it here or at your local independent bookstore.
What I drank prior: Out in Salt Lake City, so altitude plus more than a handful of beers and cocktails. SLC is 5 stars, highly recommend. The Great Salt Lake is 1 star, so not recommend.
#1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery pens a love story of a different sort…a heartfelt tale of friendship between two women who used to be sisters.
Once upon a time, when her dad married Sage’s mom, Daisy was thrilled to get a bright and shiny new sister. But Sage was beautiful and popular, everything Daisy was not, and she made sure Daisy knew it.
Sage didn’t have Daisy’s smarts—she had to go back a grade to enroll in the fancy rich-kid school. So she used her popularity as a weapon, putting Daisy down to elevate herself. After the divorce, the stepsisters’ rivalry continued until the final, improbable straw: Daisy married Sage’s first love, and Sage fled California.
Eighteen years, two kids and one troubled marriage later, Daisy never expects—or wants—to see Sage again. But when the little sister they have in common needs them both, they put aside their differences to care for Cassidy. As long-buried truths are revealed, no one is more surprised than they when friendship blossoms.
Their fragile truce is threatened by one careless act that could have devastating consequences. They could turn their backs on each other again…or they could learn to forgive once and for all and finally become true sisters of the heart.
My Summary: Daisy’s husband just left her. No warning. No apology. Just gone. Even worse, on one of the already worst days of her life she runs into her glamorous former stepsister, Sage—who also happens to be her husband’s ex-fiancé (awkward, right?). Sage, for her part, is back in town after saying goodbye to her life in Europe and the end of her third marriage. When their mutual half sister Cassidy gets into a big accident and moves into Daisy’s house, they both come to find they may have more in common than they think. But, there may be a few secrets that come out that bring them closer together and further apart as they dig into old and new wounds.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: Really, really enjoyed this one. I’ve been really into beach reads and this fit right into that. Very consumable, but also very heartfelt. I don’t have a sister, but could still deeply relate.
Characters: Let’s start with Daisy. She is so amazing, but also didn’t seem to have many flaws other than people being jealous of her. I wish she wasn’t so angelic, but it’s not the end of the world. Then we have Sage, who is delightful but also self-destructive and a sorta reformed mean girl. I enjoyed her, and appreciated her flaws. I thought Cassidy was kind of a brat, but she grows on you. I just wish she had a little something else—like more of her adventurous side or journalist side—that we could see other than be told. The men, Jordan, Adam, and Desean were likeable in ascending order from what I have there. Adam in particular stood out to me since he is supposed to be this sweet nice guy, but sometimes I’m like woah man you stepped over the line. Idk I get his role but it was a bit misguided.
Plot: For me, this moved along nicely. I loved watching the two stepsisters get closer and closer. It was so nice and sweet. And, when the big BIG happened, I didn’t think it came out of nowhere. Even though I hated it—a lot. A lot a lot. I liked how we learned a little more each chapter, in many cases at the same time as the characters.
Writing Style: All third person from each of the two stepsisters. I think I would have liked Cassidy’s perspective too, but not that mad about it.
Drink Pairing: Bloody Mary. This is a good brunch book.
Rating: 4/5, I was feeling it and the family relationships were so so sweet.