Thursday, November 15, 2007


Sister Mine, Tawni O'Dell, Shaye Areheart Books, 2006, 405 pp

Shae-Lynn has had a tough life. Her mother died when she was six, just days after giving birth to her sister. Her father was an abusive coal-miner and Shea-Lynn learned to dodge him when possible and protect her sister. She has been a cop, both in Washington, DC, and in her small Pennsylvania home town.

Now she drives the town's only cab and her son is the deputy sheriff. Her sister disappeared some 16 years ago but has reappeared, very pregnant and pursued by an odd assortment of people: a Connecticut housewife, a lawyer and a Russian gangster.

Shae-Lynn is tough, sexy, gritty, wry and deep down still emotionally wounded. As this excellent tale unfolds you learn about her life and the eccentric coalminers in their failing town. The sister's story falls out like the best of mysteries and the ending is satisfying and just right.

Really an amazing piece of writing: equal parts heartrending, suspenseful and humorous. Deep issues with a breezy style that makes a perfect read for any season.

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