Saturday, December 27, 2014

The Oleander Sisters by: Elaine Hussey

Title: The Oleander Sisters Author: Elaine Hussey Publisher: Harlequin Mira Publication date: 2014 Pages: 338

In August, 1969, Biloxi Mississippi prepares itself for disaster as Hurricane Camille lurks on the horizon. As Beth (Sis) Blake and her family prepare themselves for Camille's approach, a disaster of another kind poses even more threat. Beth's sister, Emily, is engaged to marry a man that everyone else despises. Where Emily sees a new start for herself and her illegitimate son, her family sees evil lurking behind a too-slick smile.
Sis has been self-appointed caretaker and guardian for her younger siblings, Emily and Jim, since their parents died in a car crash when Sis was fourteen. Raised by their grandmother, Sweet Mama, and her best friend Beulah, the three Blakes grew up in a pink Victorian by the sea and in Sweet Mama's Bakery/ Cafe. Sis has put aside her own dreams in order to make sure Emily and Jim achieve theirs. Now it is 1969 and, as Emily embarks on her own wedding, Sis sees her own chances at love slowly fading away. Will the return of a childhood friend bring fresh hope?
As Camille lurks on the horizon, Sis' life is turned upside down. Jim returns from Vietnam and is no longer the brother she once knew. Emily is hiding more than fresh bruises, and, scariest of all, Sis discovers human bones buried beneath the roses in Sweet Mama's yard!
When tragedy strikes and Emily's life hangs in the balance, the Blakes pull together against Larry, against Camille, and against long-buried family secrets.

I enjoyed this book. I was immediately drawn into the story with Sis' horrifying discovery underneath the roses. Although the outcome is fairly predictable, the story is still enjoyable and the characters are likable. I loved the strong women in the story and the strong devotion to family. Both of these are true southern characteristics. The story was both suspenseful and heartwarming. A great beach or vacation read, I recommend this story to lovers of southern fiction.

Read this story if....
*you love southern fiction
* you love stories of family
*you love stories about strong women

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