Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford

Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters
Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters by Natalie Standiford
Scholastic, 2010

The Sullivan sisters did not have a good Christmas. Their grandmother, Almighty Lou, made a proclamation that one of the Sullivans has disrespected her horribly, and as a result she's written the entire family out of her will. We're not talking chump change here, either. Almighty Lou is the matriarch of the entire town, not just her family, and she's so wealthy that not one member of the family--not the parents, Daddy-O and Ginger, and certainly not any of the six siblings--has ever had to work, nor want for anything. Needless to say, the thought of losing everything (to a charity that provides rain jackets to dogs who can't afford them) is unfathomable.

But there's hope! Almighty won't divulge who the offender is, but has decided that if that person can make a full confession and apology by New Year's Day, the family will be reinstated in the will. It's quickly decided the offender has to be one of the teenage daughters, and the three must spend the week writing confessions to their grandmother.

It turns out that yes, all three girls do have secrets to divulge and apologies to make. Norrie has had the audacity to fall in love with someone who is not on Almighty's "approved beaus" list. Jane has created a blog revealing all of the family's secrets. And Sassy has suddenly become untouchable and immune to danger. Is one of these offenses the one that upset Almighty so much? Can the sisters get back into Almighty's good graces? Are the sisters truly aplogetic, or just afraid of losing their wealth?

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, as I suspected I would. Each sister is given a section of the book to tell her story in her own way, which allows you to see into that girl's mind, but the actions of the other sisters at the same time. You can then compare what that sister says with how others viewed it.

It's a fun read, and fun to imagine living as a Sullivan: one of six children, living in a castle-like home (complete with a tower that is passed down by sibling as older ones leave for college) with parents who aren't really parents in the grand scheme of things (there are an extraordinary amount of couches and chaises throughout the house, allowing Ginger, to rest whenever and wherever she needs to). Yes, there's that whole "living in fear of offending Almighty Lou" thing, but really...Almighty can't possibly live forever. I think I could survive tea every Tuesday afternoon knowing that!

The sisters' stories are very believable, and all three of the confessions are pretty worthy of Almighty's fury. Readers will be interested to hear Almighty's reaction to the confessions. Anyone who enjoys contemporary YA fiction should like this novel.

Enjoy your reading!

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