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My Sister's Prayer (Cousins of the Dove) Paperback – September 1, 2016
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"I love reading historical fiction, so the part that was set in the 1700s really appealed to me... Way to go Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould! Looking forward to the next book in the series!"
"My Sister's Prayer did not disappoint! This book is wonderful, and I had trouble putting it down.... Do yourselves a favor, and read this book as soon as you can!"
"Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould have again produced a winner!"
—Sallie Fisher, Instructor of Communication Studies at Columbia Basin College
About the Author
Mindy Starns Clark is the bestselling author of more than 20 books, both fiction and nonfiction, with over a million copies sold. Mindy and her husband, John, have two adult children and live in Pennsylvania. www.mindystarnsclark.com
Leslie Gould, a former magazine editor, is the author of numerous novels, including Beyond the Blue and Garden of Dreams. She received her master of fine arts degree from Portland State University and lives in Oregon with her husband, Peter, and their four children. www.lesliegould.com
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Madeline Talbot, a descendant of Catherine and Celeste, is also the levelheaded and responsible sibling. She's an uber-organized perfectionist who hasn't yet shed the "ugly duckling" persona she had as a kid, even though her appearance has drastically improved. Right now though, she has much more to worry about than her appearance or love life, which Nana is always trying to manipulate. Her younger sister Nicole, a recovering meth addict, has been in a serious car accident, and Maddee has signed on to care for her while she recovers from her injuries. In the process, both women are challenged to continue working through the childhood trauma set up in My Brother's Crown. One or both may find romance, and both are challenged to learn from ancestor Celeste.
I liked My Sister's Prayer much better than My Brother's Crown, mostly because the connection between Celeste and Maddee's stories was much clearer. As noted, both women are oldest sisters whose commitment to responsibility is challenged and tested. Celeste in particular goes through massive and gratifying character growth. The New World is nothing like she expected, and the man she trusted--indeed, abandoned her family for--betrays her. She's left to care for her terminally ill younger sister and face up to her mistakes, as well as her tendency to be critical and self-righteous. In the process, she undergoes rigorous trials and almost loses her faith. At the same time, she's placed in the paths of great secondary characters who show her who she is and the strong, Godly woman she could be. Those characters, notably Sary and Spenser, add color and depth to the novel.
For their part, Maddee and Nicole's story is intriguing and engaging. There's just enough suspense as Maddee attempts to find out the story behind the man she, her sister, and her cousins found murdered in an old family cabin. More important though, is the sisterly relationship between Maddee and Nicole. Refreshingly, Nicole is not a hard-bitten, one-note meth addict. She truly wants to stay sober, and becomes truly repentant of all she's done. There's a compassionate, sanguine person under her troubled exterior, and you root for both her and Maddee to help that person reemerge. In the process, you also root for Maddee to end up with the right guy. She's faced with two good choices, and the authors keep you guessing as to which one she'll choose. Yet as with many books like this, it's easy to tell who Maddee should be with and why.
Easy as that part is, I enjoyed My Sister's Prayer because it kept me guessing on other fronts. For example, Celeste ends up with three men pursuing her, and it's never quite clear who she will choose or why. It's also unclear until the end who will stay in Virginia or go home to London, who is telling the truth and about what, and who is trustworthy or good-hearted. Sometimes, some threads get a bit thin, but overall, they work together well.
There is some telling over showing in the novel, as well as some repetition of introspection. There are places where character or plot development could have used more attention. Overall though, I found this book an engaging read and am heartily looking forward to Nicole's story this summer.
There were several things we liked about My Sister’s Prayer. Number one is the historical setting of Celeste and Berta’s story. Our group includes a 4th grade teacher who loves history. She read many excerpts to her class in their discussions on indentured servants. This topic, as well as the general deprivations and dangers of immigration in the early 1700s, generated a great conversation.
We liked the likable characters and disliked those who were either cads, bad guys, or generally annoying 🙂 . There were a number of minor characters that gave depth to the main characters’ stories. We also liked the romances that developed. The continuing mystery of the murder at the cabin when the cousins were children provided a connecting thread for the contemporary plots. The only criticism we had was that the ending seemed rushed — everything wrapped up in just a few pages.
We recommend My Sister’s Prayer and are looking forward to book 3 in the series, My Daughter’s Legacy, which is due out in July of this year.
Audience: older teens and adults.
My Sister's Prayer is #2 in the Cousins of the Dove series. Written in first person POV, the reader meets two pairs of sisters, their thrilling stories alternating by scenes of present-day and the early 1700's Virginia.
Celeste Talbot is the obedient sister, Berta the wild one. However, one choice lands the young Talbot maidens in a strange land with more trouble around every corner than imaginable.
How could such a good girl go so wrong, and will she choose bitterness or forgiveness when the opportunity comes? The colonies are full of unsavory characters. Will the sisters trust those worthy of their friendship and love?
Meanwhile, in present day, perfectionist Maddee brings her sister Nicole to her house to recover from a drug-induced accident. The girls share a horrible secret from the past, but can Maddee trust Nicole, whose life has spiraled out of control since then? How does the reading of the eighteenth century Talbot sisters' letters influence the relationships of the twenty-first century Talbot sisters?
First, I would buy a Clark/Gould collaboration without giving any thought to the subject matter. They make such a dynamic fiction duo!!
The writing just envelops the reader and carries one along, just as if one is caught in a river's raging current, and just as fickle. One moment I'm excited, the next holding my breath, the next trying to tell characters how to act(they don't listen!), the next crying.
Finally, I finish the book and am spit up on the shore, gasping for breath, reeling from all that has happened. Incredibly, I wish I could start at the beginning and relive this wonderful,faith-filled historical with its present day counterpart all over again.
I gratefully received an e-copy of this book from NetGalley, plus I bought my own paperback version to keep on the shelf.
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