What’s Really Important
There are many themes within the novel and one of them is fear. Allie was in prison for ten years but is out now. She fears the reactions of the people on the outside. Likewise her sister Emma fears the disruption to her life now that Allie is out. Emma fears that Allie will want her daughter Caroline back. Caroline too, fears the future – having a Mum in prison earned her respect, having a Mum back in the community means social isolation.
Allie means to seek out the truth on the night leading to her arrest. There are several people who will prevent the truth coming out at all costs. Allie does not know who she can trust.
Families are important. With Allie locked up, it fell to her family to look after five year old Caroline. A job they did so well that Caroline does not want to see Allie and disrupt her life.
The novel is about second chances. Allie finds people do not want to give her a job and a chance at life, doors are slammed in her face. All but one, who knows all about the need to be given a second chance to prove herself.
The novel covers the topics of premarital sex, adultery, single parenting, drug taking and domestic abuse. All of these difficult subjects are tackled with sensitivity. The overwhelming message is one of love. When someone messes up, put judgement aside and just love them.
Love will motivate people for good or evil. Love can mean glossing over crimes that need to be unearthed. When love motivates bad actions, there is another quite different force at work.
There is also the theme of jealousy. Jealousy can make people commit unthinkable acts of evil. Instead of looking at another with envy, we need to look in the mirror and count our blessings.
Within Sister Dear is the theme of forgiveness. Allie has to practice forgiveness. She lost ten years of her life. She has to forgive or she will spend the rest of her life in a prison of her own making. Caroline is hurt “I don’t know if I can forgive her… for leaving me.” Caroline is trying to protect herself from more pain but she needs to let go of this unforgiving nature as she is hurting not only her mother but herself. In order to be truly free, one must choose to forgive daily.
There are many lies and cover ups in the novel. Lying, cheating and stealing are never good. No good can ever come of travelling down that road.
Sister Dear was an absolutely brilliant read and I loved it. Even as the action was unfolding I did not correctly predict the outcome. Laura McNeill is a new author to me but I shall definitely be seeking out more by her.
I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review. No monetary compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.