- File Size: 988 KB
- Print Length: 229 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1939993075
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: True West Publishing (March 18, 2012)
- Publication Date: March 18, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B007IK2WF6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,657,464 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$12.99|
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The Secret Sisters Club: A Ginnie West Adventure Kindle Edition
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The Secret Sisters Club – OSS for short (Operation: Secret Sisters) – is a plan hatched up by Ginnie West and her best friend Tillie. Ginnie lives on the West place with her twin brother, Toran, father Todd (or secretly called D.T. by Tillie), Uncle Jake and the patriarch of the family, great Uncle Ben.
The West family has strong ties in many ways, and the primary one is family. When Jake and Todd’s parents died many years before, Uncle Ben and his wife Sadie took them in as their own children and raised them as such. To this day, that bond – and most definitely that line of authority and respect – still stand. I absolutely adored Uncle Ben, and that feeling continued to be built on with the second book in the series.
Tillie, and her mother Amanda, are like an extension of the West family, but Tillie distinctly feels the impact of not having a father…which is a guiding light behind OSS for her. She wants Todd to be her dad, which is why she calls him D.T. secretly…for Daddy Todd. Both Tillie and Amanda have felt the repercussions of an abusive relationship, and Tillie bears the scars of that more than Amanda, and it is almost juxtaposed next to Ginnie and Toran’s steady relationship with their own father.
Ginnie can’t see anything beyond the fact that she wants a sister. Toran is a great brother, more than a great brother, but she wants more than that, so she has no qualms about going along with OSS….except every once in a while, she gets a churning sensation that Tillie wants to be her sister for another reason altogether…and she never imagined what her dad marry Miss Amanda might really mean.
This is a wonderful book that shows the love and history of a family, as well as bringing up those hard-to-describe (and certainly tougher to talk about!) feelings of blending or mixing families. Ginnie has a hard time coming to terms with the reality that Miss Amanda would become her stepmom if OSS worked. She’s a young girl still struggling with coming to grips with growing up without her own mother.
I completely understand Ginnie’s connection with riding her horse, Calliope, which is the offspring of her mother’s horse (Eternal Love). There is nothing like the bond between a girl and her horse, and it is something Ginnie very much relies on. Calliope is her go-to when she is upset.
Tillie and Ginnie are busy throughout the book orchestrating OSS and getting their parents together, which at times was cute when it worked, and worrisome when things didn’t go as planned.
The more the novel progressed, the harder it is for Ginnie to come to terms with OSS, her dad, her mom, and Amanda. She does act quite realistically, and quite bratty as well, after finding her mother’s journals – and that comes to light to her father, who embraces this extreme interest of Ginnie’s, in his own way and in his own time…which is, of course, not at all according to any young pre-teen.
The way that Todd talks about his late wife, whom Ginnie is named after exactly, is the kind of love and devotion and memory that can leave you breathless.
Ginnie is usually the sibling to do the sticking up for, but on the matter of the journals, even Toran comes to her defense, and he is quite heated in his words to their father. He is not a defiant son in the least, but there’s only so far a brother can be pushed!
I loved this first installment in the Ginnie West Adventure series. Ginnie battles several emotional conflicts throughout the novel, and her family and friends are there to help her make sense of it all, even if it’s not on her dime and on her time. We don’t always get what we want, when we want it, and that is a lesson both Ginnie and Tillie learn by the end of the book.
While she is trying to understand her own feelings about this, she finds her mother's diary. Suddenly her mother is more than a vague memory, a wisp of hair, a remembered scent. And now Ginnie is supposed to embrace a new stepmom? It is a perfect storm for a young girl on the cusp between childhood and those awkward teens.
But Ginnie isn't the only one with stormy emotions. Tillie has a huge chip on her shoulder because her father, an alcoholic with a violent temper, has left her and her mom to fend for themselves. Ginnie's own father, in his enormous grief, has failed to share his memories of the twins' mother with them. Great Uncle Ben is the only one of his generation left and doing his best to help the family get on with life.
It is an engaging story about family. They disagree, quarrel, take sides in the conflicts...and love each other. The characters are spirited, drawing the reader right into the heart of their conflicts. I couldn't put it down. I recommend this book to all middle grade readers, but most especially to upper middle grade readers.
Parents will appreciate the wholesome feel of the book, and the positive lessons the West family teaches their kids.
Young readers will relate well to Ginnie. Not only does she have her own horse (the envy of every child I know), but her relationships with her friends and family are real enough that kids will identify easily with her and enjoy reading about her adventures.