Genre: Women's fiction, family saga
Synopsis: Broken by their unorthodox Midwestern childhood, sisters Catherine, Anne, and Jessica Mathers search for love, acceptance, and worth--often in the most unlikely places. Catherine, the oldest of the Mathers sisters, is an English professor battling breast cancer with Cytoxan, red wine, and profanity. Anne is a wife and stay-at-home mother of two struggling to make ends meet in a suburban existence that both suffocates and confounds her. Jessica, the youngest by ten years and estranged by choice from her family, is an exotic dancer who feels safer on stage than in a relationship. But when the sisters are faced with an incomprehensible loss, they are forced to reevaluate themselves, their damaged bonds, and their fragile future. Parting Gifts illuminates one highly dysfunctional family's tentative, desperate crawl toward a life of meaning and worth.
Review: I was interested in reading this book because of the character of Catherine, who is battling breast cancer. After my own cancer fight, I'm always drawn to characters like her--but this book is SO much more than just Catherine's story.
These three sisters live very different lives, but they all share a brokenness brought about by parents who were never fully present in their childhood. In Part One, we get to meet each of them, as well as their mother and other people who are part of their lives, and see what demons they are fighting along the way. In Part Two, after a devastating loss, they each realize what matters most to them, and start working to achieve it.
This is a touching, realistic story, filled with emotion. The author has a writing style that draws you into the lives of her characters and keeps you reading to find out what happens next. A truly amazing first novel!
**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**
Rating: Five stars
About the author
For as long as I can remember, I have been a writer. Words are my constant companion, my solace, my connection to humanity. I write because I must, but I also write to share a common experience. If one of my sentences makes you feel like you are not alone in this wide world, then I have done my job.