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Are You Sitting Down? [Kindle Edition]

Shannon Yarbrough
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $10.95
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
The story of love in old-age in a small town in the middle of the country. Learn more | See similar books

Book Description

A rape victim raising a biracial baby. A drug addict haunted by a dead girlfriend. A homosexual mourning a dead lover. A teacher having an affair with his student. And a businesswoman sexually harassed by her boss. What do they all have in common? They all sit at Lorraine White's holiday dinner table; they are also her children.

But Lorraine's children are not the only ones in the family dealing with ghosts of the past. This is the first Christmas the Whites have spent together since the death of their father. And it very well could be their last, as arguments ensue, secrets are revealed, and perhaps a murderer walks among them.

In his latest novel, Shannon Yarbrough explores the damaged soul of one small town family and breaks through the boundaries of love, convincing his readers that no matter how hard life gets, sometimes the support of family is often the only true foundation we have left to depend upon - whether we want it or not.

Editorial Reviews


"Yarbrough's best book yet-a well-crafted blend of interesting characters, a wistful small-town setting and a tense family dynamic that serves up discomfort food for Christmas." --Jerry L. Wheeler, author & book critic -

"Yarbrough weaves the lives of a band of disparate characters into a rich tapestry complete with death, secrets, and murder, tied up with a Christmas bow." --LK Gardner-Griffie, author of the Misfit McCabe series

"A true-to-life portrait of a modern American family. You'll find pieces of your own life in this gritty, moving story." --R.J. Keller, author of Waiting for Spring

About the Author

Shannon Yarbrough is the author of two books, The Other Side of What, first published in 2003, and Stealing Wishes, first published in 2008. He is the founder and lead reviewer of the LL Book Review (  He lives in St. Louis, Missouri.  He is currently at work on another novel. Visit him online at

Product Details

  • File Size: 642 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Publisher: Shanlian Wordlit Press; First edition (October 3, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0045U9R96
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #651,130 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly "The Waltons" ... November 26, 2010
Travis White is making the two hour trip, from his apartment in Memphis back to the small town in which he grew up, for his family's Christmas Eve dinner. It's a holiday reunion that is bittersweet for Travis, who lost his lover, Justin, to cancer less than two years earlier, and a shorter time since his father died unexpectedly from a stroke. His siblings have their own issues as well, from his kid sister Clare (a single parent with a biracial baby), his younger brother Sebastian (a recovering substance abuser), his older sister Ellen (dealing with a crumbling marriage for which she feels responsible) and firstborn Martin (a school teacher, like his father, but with a connection to a missing student). There's also a new man with his mother at the dinner table, and an encounter with a murderer who may strike again.

The ties that keep families together ... and the secrets that threaten to tear them apart ... are blended skillfully as if a tapestry, by a talented author who never disappoints. Told in first-person chapters that alternate between the different characters (including Justin, from the grave), it's a well written, captivating tale about family and friendship in a small Southern town ... occasionally more than a little dark, but with an honesty and realism most readers will relish. Much recommended reading, which I give four stars out of five.

- Bob Lind, Echo Magazine
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Are you for real? December 29, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Didn't pay a dime for this book and boy am I relieved about that. "Are You Sitting Down" left so much unfinished business, I feel like it will never cross over to the other side. It just died and now it will haunt me forever.

The members of the family in this book were either mass murderers in another life and karma came back around with a vengeance, or they are just a bunch of the most unlucky sons-of-bitches known to literacy. Can't someone just have one good thing going in their life? Is it too much to ask? If it wasn't death, or murder, or cancer, or rape, or a body being burned in an incinerator, it was not knowing who your baby's daddy was, or arrest, or a cheating spouse, or being judged for your sexual preference. I mean the only thing missing was a massive five alarm fire with multiple casualties. Maybe in the sequel? Is that why there is basically no ending?
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Family Secrets Galore April 8, 2012
By Peng
Format:Kindle Edition
I loved this book from the first page to the last. Many of the things in the novel really hit home for me: being from a small town, moving away, going back to visit the rest of the family and you feel disconnected from everything that has been going on... oh, and especially the part about going back home for Christmas and all of the expectations that surround it.

The best part about the book is the number of skeletons that just keep falling out of he closet and into your lap, it kept me wanting to read more... I had a hard time putting the book down. I was disappointed when the book ended because, well, I was at the end. I then realized, isn't that what a good book does, it keeps you wanting more?!

This was the first novel I have read by Shannon Yarbrough and I can't wait to read the others.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Flawed family finds comfort August 12, 2012
While Shannon Yarbrough's novel "Are You Sitting Down?" ultimately extols the virtues of family, make no mistake- it is not a substitute for "Chicken Soup for the Soul." The White family, the members of whom dominate the action in this novel, are not a stable, problem free lot. Clare, the youngest of the siblings, has a baby which resulted from a rape, and recently discovered a secret that her family has been keeping from her since she was an infant. Sebastian, one of her three brothers, is a drug addict who recently lost his girlfriend to a drug overdose and has a secret of his own. Martin, the oldest of the siblings, is happily married with kids, and also hides a secret which could destroy his entire life. Ellen, the eldest sister, is in the process of getting a divorce, hiding her own secret. Finally, there is Travis, who lived with his own secret until his senior year in high school (he is gay), at which point he came out and, apart from the fact that he lost his lover to cancer, appears to live the most normal, healthy life in the family. This cannot be said about the Blacks, however, the parents of Travis' boyfriend, who hide secrets worthy of their own novel.
"Are You Sitting Down?" contains enough drama for half a dozen books. With each chapter told from the perspective of a different character, the book compels the reader forward as each section essentially serves as a psychotherapy session for each individual. Returning home for Christmas to their childhood home, essentially the same home save for the absence of their recently deceased father, each character confronts their past and affirms the importance of family in their own lives.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, Didn't Like How it Ended. June 23, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Unlike some reviews on here, I loved the switching back and forth between the characters. However, I didn't feel like everyone's story was developed enough. JB's dad had some issues that needed to be dealt with, one of the son's had some problems that needed to be dealt with, and the book just kind of ended and left me frustrated. I even went back to Amazon to make sure that my book downloaded all the way because I really thought I was missing half of the story. The writing is excellent, the imagery is amazing, but I just really wish it had more to it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Are you sitting down?
Don't be --- or you'll surely fall asleep -- that is, until you get to about page 150; then there is a terrific shocker, really exciting for about 10 or 20 pages. Read more
Published 4 months ago by marcia riley
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Such a good book. Makes you realize how special life should be to someone, even if it is full of flaws.
Published 7 months ago by Erica Chiasson
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book
Thoroughly engrossing book. The characters were all well developed, and the telling of their lives was enjoyable, particularly since the events were told from the perspectives of... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Rebecca Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars The author present his story in a strange way but ...
The author present his story in a strange way but is well presented and when the book is read to the end. Read more
Published 9 months ago by WmDz
4.0 out of 5 stars Are You Sitting Down is not your feel-good Christmas tale
Although this story takes place around a Christmas Family get-together, this is not a feel-good tale of Christmas. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Sharon M. Hopkins
3.0 out of 5 stars What a bunch of characters!
This is an interesting quick read, but not much of a story. Small town characters, who are all flawed, populate the pages. This book about one family's Christmas holiday. Read more
Published 20 months ago by DebB
4.0 out of 5 stars Are You Sitting Down?
Family secrets, we all have them, some more painful than others. The dynamics of this story is based on secrets and each chapter is dedicated to one person's view of how the... Read more
Published 20 months ago by D.Snyder
4.0 out of 5 stars Good but different
I'm not sure how to describe this book. The family dynamic is more than I can put into words and the other characters in the town are just as difficult to put into words. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Sophie's Mom
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It!
I absolutely loved this story. The characters are experiencing things that many people are going through. Read more
Published on May 16, 2013 by Koda
4.0 out of 5 stars Not your typical family
A family gets together for Christmas dinner. Everyone has a problem. One son is gay; another an alcoholic. One unmarried daughter has a biracial child. Read more
Published on May 14, 2013 by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Shannon Yarbrough is originally from the small town of Dyersburg, Tennessee. He lived in Memphis for six years. It is a place that has inspired his writing very much. Shannon moved to St. Louis, Missouri in late 2001 and still lives there today.

Shannon's first book, The Other Side of What, was published in 2003. The Other Side of What is about a young man moving away from his home and discovering his sexuality as he meets new friends and falls in love.

His second book, Stealing Wishes, was published in 2007. A sequel to Stealing Wishes is due out in 2014 called Feeling Himself Forgotten. Stealing Wishes is a romantic comedy about an obsessive compulsive coffee barrista desperate to fall in love, or to at least find a date.

Shannon's third book, Are You Sitting Down?, was published in October 2010. It's a dark psychodrama about a family whose members are each dealing with problems from the past but trying to overcome them to enjoy Christmas together.

Shannon's fourth novel, Dickinstein, was released in October 2013. It is a Gothic Horror mash-up blending the life of beloved poet Emily Dickinson with the classic tale of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

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