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Are You Sitting Down? [Kindle Edition]

Shannon Yarbrough
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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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: 628 KB
  • Print Length: 273 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0984238336
  • 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:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #530,744 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 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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5 of 5 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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Old Fashioned Family Haunting July 21, 2011
Let me just preface this review with a full disclosure. I know Shannon Yarbrough. We travel the same Indie review circles, and I reviewed an earlier book of his titled Stealing Wishes, which I enjoyed a great deal. As a matter of fact, the author thanks me in the back of this book for simply "getting" his writing. When he queried the Podpeople for this book, I happily snapped it up. I wasn't mistaken in doing so, because true to form, Mr. Yarbrough always gives the reader compelling characters and thought provoking storylines, albeit in this story, some of those storylines are quite disturbing. I reviewed this from an uncorrected proof copy, so there were quite a few formatting and grammatical issues to wade through, but I am sure these were rectified in the final edit.

As in all Mr. Yarbrough's work, the family members in this story are revealed to us with an honest objectivity some might find troubling. This book really begins at the end, if you will. All secrets are revealed with stark acceptance. All the characters have had time to dwell on their sins, and all have reconciled their various justifications. There are no labored confessions here to tug on our heartstrings. Everyone at this point has lived through their struggles and has accepted who they are, what they've done, and that the scars are permanent. The author makes no judgments here. Every crime is weighed equally, and by crime, I mean the crime each character has tried, convicted, and punished themselves for.

The story is told in alternating first-person points of view, each chapter devoted to one character, and aside from everyone being bludgeoned to death by Southern small town life, each character is connected to everyone else in the story not simply by familiar family bonds, but by the secrets they keep.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Are You Sitting Down is not your feel-good Christmas tale December 27, 2013
Although this story takes place around a Christmas Family get-together, this is not a feel-good tale of Christmas. Part tragedy and part paranormal, the story opens with the death of the patriarch. From there all the siblings and their families meet at mom’s to celebrate the Christmas holiday, the first one since the death of the father. Everyone, including the mother, Lorraine, has a personal darkness to deal with. Yet with the darkness comes evidence of strength and solidarity of family.
The story is written in first person from each character’s point of view, each having his and her own chapters. The reader knows much more than the other family members know about the rest of the family. The darkest of many tragedies invaded this Midwestern average family, from betrayal and infidelity, to murder and death. Yet though it all, family support is what shines through.
Shannon Yarbrough has woven an intricate tale of love, betrayal and family bonding. There were a few characters whose story didn’t have an ending, which leaves me wondering if there will be a sequel. If there is, I will be sure to get it.
“Are You Sitting Down” is a great read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 1 month ago by WmDz
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 11 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 11 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 15 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 16 months ago 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 16 months ago by Carl R. Perrin
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book.
Loved the book. Never knew what was going to happen next
It was also my first book on my new Kindle.
Published 18 months ago by Debbie G
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Read
I enjoyed this book. I think the story is probably quite typical of many families. The parts about Mr. black were kind of "off the wall". They were my less liked parts of the book. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Jody
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Story
I enjoyed this book so much and was let down by the ending. A story about a dysfunctional family but if you're expecting a humorous story about the antics of this family you may... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Kindle Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Are you for real?
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. Read more
Published 20 months ago by nicolebriette
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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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