Saturday, April 25, 2015

Review: Sisters of Heart and Snow by Margaret Dilloway

Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: April 7th 2015 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
ISBN: 0399170804 (ISBN13

From Goodreads:

The award-winning author of How to Be an American Housewife returns with a poignant story of estranged sisters, forced together by family tragedy, who soon learn that sisterhood knows no limits.

Rachel and Drew Snow may be sisters, but their lives have followed completely different paths.

Married to a wonderful man and a mother to two strong-minded teens, Rachel hasn’t returned to her childhood home since being kicked out by her strict father after an act of careless teenage rebellion. Drew, her younger sister, followed her passion for music but takes side jobs to make ends meet and longs for the stability that has always eluded her. Both sisters recall how close they were, but the distance between them seems more than they can bridge. When their deferential Japanese mother, Hikari, is diagnosed with dementia and gives Rachel power of attorney, Rachel’s domineering father, Killian becomes enraged.

In a rare moment of lucidity, Hikari asks Rachel for a book in her sewing room, and Rachel enlists her sister’s help in the search. The book—which tells the tale of real-life female samurai Tomoe Gozen, an epic saga of love, loss, and conflict during twelfth-century Japan—reveals truths about Drew and Rachel’s relationship that resonate across the centuries, connecting them in ways that turn their differences into assets.

My thoughts: Dilloway has done it again! She captured my attention from the cover; precursor of what was to come - hard, cold, steely image entwined with soft fragile flowers.. The  characters of both caliber found inside . Told from points of view from strong women, one of the twelfth  century Japan and sisters from present day San Diego.

Sisters of Heart and Snow is a wonderful story of family drama, sisterhood/love and motherhood. When Hikari, mother of Rachel and Drew, requested the book, the sisters are somewhat baffled as to the meaning of it all. As time goes by, the sisters begin to empathize with the characters in the book, seeing themselves as either the samurai,Tomoe Gozen or Yamabuchi, housewife and mother.

Both time frames are equally gripping as the women have to deal with life and all it's ups and downs. Not only do they learn a lot about their reticent mother but also a lot about themselves. One thing about Dilloway's books is the fact that the characters stick with me for a long time. I read How to be an American Housewife several years ago and still remember the plot, the characters and how much I liked the book. The same with The Care and Feeding of Roses. Dilloway is an extraordinary author in this respect. I've read hundreds of books since I read Dilloway's first and yet I still remember it while some books I read last week, I can't even remember a single character. This says a lot about the author's ability to capture the reader's attention and make the plot truly memorable. 4****

Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by G.P. Putnam's Sons/Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.


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