The Almost Sisters

  • by Joshilyn Jackson
  • Narrated by Joshilyn Jackson
  • 12 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

With empathy, grace, humor, and piercing insight, the author of Gods in Alabama presents a powerful, emotionally resonant novel of the South that confronts the truth about privilege, family, and the distinctions between perception and reality - the stories we tell ourselves about our origins and who we really are.
Superheroes have always been Leia Birch Briggs' weakness. One tequila-soaked night at a comics convention, the usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman.
It turns out the caped crusader has left her with more than just a nice, fuzzy memory. She's having a baby boy - an unexpected but not unhappy development in the 38-year-old's life. But before Leia can break the news of her impending single-motherhood (including the fact that her baby is biracial) to her conventional Southern family, her stepsister Rachel's marriage implodes. Worse, she learns her beloved 90-year-old grandmother, Birchie, is losing her mind, and she's been hiding her dementia with the help of Wattie, her best friend since girlhood.
Leia returns to Alabama to put her grandmother's affairs in order, clean out the big Victorian that has been in the Birch family for generations, and tell her family that she's pregnant. Yet just when Leia thinks she's got it all under control, she learns that illness is not the only thing Birchie's been hiding. Tucked in the attic is a dangerous secret with roots that reach all the way back to the Civil War. Its exposure threatens the family's freedom and future, and it will change everything about how Leia sees herself and her sister, her son and his missing father, and the world she thinks she knows.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Cluttered story lines

While I have enjoyed many of Jackson’s previous works, this one did not satisfy as well for me. In spite of her usual deft wordsmanship injecting delightful humor in surprising places, there are plotting and pacing problems that made this a bit of a disappointment.

The story is overstuffed with too many subplots and characters, making it impossible to give her usual biting clarity to many of them. The first person POV left many crucial characters flat. The first half of the book moves very slowly, setting up these plot lines, but does pick up at the halfway point.

The thread she uses to tie her plot points together is the subtle and sometimes not so subtle racism and classism that exists in small town southern communities. While her point is a valid one, it was hammered over and over, becoming preachy. The result is a story that is forced and contrived in its effort to bring all the threads together by the end. I was especially disappointed in the lack of depth to the Batman's character.

Finally, the comic book aspect of the story was truly interesting and integral to the plot. But because graphic novels are by nature a visual art, I found it difficult to get a mind’s eye view of what Jackson was trying to describe. This became a distraction that pulled me out of the story more than once.

Jackson’s narration was generally good, but her Batman was the exception, shifting from a painful stutter to an annoying sexy bedroom voice. Not her best.
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- Janice

My new favorite Joshilyn Jackson!

I have been hooked since I first read Gods in Alabama and have either read or listened to everything she's done, but The Almost Sisters is my new Joshilyn Jackson favorite! I loved that she tackled racism and life in a small southern town (the good, the bad, and the ugly) in a fresh way without making the story too depressing and hopeless. I love her natural Southern voice (so sad when other narrators try to fake it) and think she's a great narrator! I highly recommend this Audible book!
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- Jenna Walker

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-11-2017
  • Publisher: Harper Audio