Sisters, One, Two, Three by Nancy Star

Sisters One, Two, Three
Nancy Star

Lake Union Publishing

The Tangle family of New Jersey had its troubles. Glory Tangle was a vain social-climber with theatrical ambitions, a strict and occasionally unfeeling mother to her children Callie, Mimi, Charlie and Ginger.

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” . . . secrets have consequences for everyone . . .”

Their father, Solly, seemed to hold inexplicable grudges against people and resented having their neighbors over to dinner. Ginger the eldest, on the cusp of adulthood, never received the affection her mother bestowed on her siblings which left her unsure of herself. The year Ginger turned thirteen the Tangle family’s comfortable middle-class existence ended one terrible day during a vacation to Martha’s Vineyard. A fatal accident on the beach altered the family dynamics and affected Glory to the extent she was never the same person afterward. 

Years later, Ginger is a grown woman with her own family and a compulsive desire to minimize all risks in life. Solly has passed away. Glory is in a home where she’s showing signs of memory lapse, although Ginger finds it hard to make out given her mother’s propensity for deflecting awkward questions. Faced with the rebellious behavior of her teenage daughter Julia, Ginger feels unable to figure out a way to respond to something slipping out of her obsessive control. A chance remark leads to Julia discovering Ginger’s family secret. It causes Ginger herself to question what really happened on that Martha’s Vineyard beach. It’s only on the death of Glory that the secret is examined for what it is, and Ginger can find reconciliation with her surviving siblings.

Sisters One, Two, Three is by turns a heartbreaking, heartwarming and funny look at how family members survive in each others company and how secrets have consequences for everyone, whether they know them or not.

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Reviewer: Cindy A. Matthews