From the publisher:
#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.
I love Susan Mallery books, and this is a really good one. I feel like she usually writes romances, and while this does have a bit of romance, it is really more about a family and women and friendship. It is the kind of story that sucks you in and I couldn’t put it down.
Daisy is the main character and like all these characters, they really come to life on the page. A little background – when her widowed father remarries, she gets a stepsister, Sage. Daisy is thrilled to have a new sister but quickly learns that Sage isn’t. But Sage is beautiful and quickly becomes popular, helping to ostracize Daisy and making her high school years miserable. Her father and stepmother have a baby, Cassidy. Again Daisy wants to be a big sister to the new baby, but her stepmother is not having it. Cassidy and Sage team up against Daisy, and make her life difficult. Eventually, Daisy’s father divorces her stepmother and the girls are permanently estranged.
They are all adults in this story, and Daisy has been married for a dozen years to Sage’s ex-high school boyfriend, and they have two kids. Daisy thinks everything is fine so she is shocked when her husband suddenly moves out with no explanation. Then she gets a phone call from her father; Cassidy has been in a mountain climbing accident, and needs a place to recover. Since Daisy inherited the big mansion from her parents, she definitely has the room and can’t say no to her father.
With Cassidy firmly ensconced in the family home, Sage becomes a regular visitor and the girls start talking. There is still a lot of resentment but with time, they form new bonds. But then just when you think the happy ending is coming, there’s a twist. Actually, a few twists, making this book completely unputdownable. It’s a heartwarming read sure to appeal to fans of Elin Hilderbrand or Jennifer Weiner.
6/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
THE STEPSISTERS by Susan Mallery. MIRA; Original edition (May 25, 2021). ISBN: 978-0778331803. 416 pages.