Title: The Sisters Chase
Author: Sarah Healy
Year Published: 2017
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Obtained: Public Library
Synopsis: Mary, Hannah, and mother Diane, are scraping up a living running a seaside motel until, one day, Diane dies tragically in a car accident. This leaves Mary alone to raise Hannah, and they embark on a journey around the country trying to find somewhere to call home. Secrets come out as Mary tries to do whatever it takes to keep Hannah safe.
Ugghhh this book made me CRAZY!!! I was hesitant about it at first, since it’s not exactly what I’ve been reading lately. I really wanted to give it a shot, and I did. I’m still unsure if I regret it or not. It’s really hard to say at this point.
The narrative seemed a bit aimless at times, which made me stray from it quite a bit. I would put it down, putz around the house a bit, then pick it back up because it still intrigued me. The sisters Chase, Mary and Hannah, wander across the country for most of their lives after the death of their mother, Mary, finding the odd job and “homeschooling” Hannah (her idea of homeschooling is a bit farfetched.) There are things about Mary’s past that are hinted at throughout the novel, but I just couldn’t seem to catch on to them. Thinking about it now, I should have seen some of these revelations coming, but I guess it’s just because my heart wasn’t in it at times.
At one point, I couldn’t stand Mary. Then my thoughts would turn and I would respect her for what she is willing to do to survive. I couldn’t possibly imagine what it would be like to be orphaned at 18 years old and strapped with raising a 4-year-old alone. It’s just that I can’t fathom some of the things she has done in order to make ends meet. What would you do to ensure the survival of your family? Steal from a kindly neighbor? Blackmail a rich relative? Would you even resort to prostitution? These are all circumstances that Mary finds herself in during the novel, and I couldn’t imagine doing any of these things. Then again, I’ve never had a reason to.
What I did like about the characters was Healy’s unbiased opinions of them. She left a lot of room for the reader to judge without making judgments in the narrative. Whether good or bad, she never favored one side or the other. This really allowed me to make my own judgments, then let me ponder if my judgments were fair.
Healy has a great writing style, but her settings don’t do it for me. First off, the Chase girls originate from the Jersey Shore (a place I am MOST familiar with) but in a fictional town. Maybe it’s just a pet peeve of mine, but I’m not fond of locations that are made up. Healy doesn’t make me feel like I’m there on the beach with Mary, with my toes in the sand and the sea breeze blowing through my hair. I just wish there was a bit more effort put into the settings.
By the end, it all starts to make sense for the sisters and how their lives ended up the way that they did. If you’re looking for a happy ending, I don’t think you’ll find it in this book, but it was satisfying. The story could have been so much fuller for me. In all honesty, I don’t wish I could take back my time reading The Sisters Chase, but I just wasn’t completely satisfied in the end.
Overall: 3 out of 5 stars
Storyline: 3 stars (Eh…)
Characters: 5 stars (The best part about the book.)
Setting: 3 stars (I prefer more descriptive and realistic settings.)
Reading Pace: 4 stars (I think I was just hoping for something major to happen.)
Memorable Quote: “The onslaught of the truths would be like relentless waves, knocking and knocking and knocking her down the moment she found her feet to stand back up.”