Read Sister Dear by Laura McNeill Online


All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start. But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?Convicted of a crime she didn't commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish; time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barelyAll Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start. But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?Convicted of a crime she didn't commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish; time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows.But Allie's return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie's claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already-fragile bond with family.As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret; one that holds the key to Allie's freedom....

Title : Sister Dear
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780718030933
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sister Dear Reviews

  • Jan
    2019-03-09 04:56

    3.75 Stars (I know, I know-why not just give it a 4 star rating, right?)I have to be honest-there really isn't anything wrong with this book... It's written well, the pace moves quickly, and I could identify with the characters.So why not a higher rating?It's because I've read this storyline before. From different authors. The characters might have different names and live in different towns, but the set up and end result is all basically the same.My other issue with this book is in the title itself. Maybe it should have a warning before you read the title, like "SPOILER ALERT!"Now, if you haven't read a lot of books about wrongly accused women getting out of prison with the intent of clearing their name, (and who happen to have a sister or a daughter) then I highly recommend you read this, as it's written a lot better than some of the others that I have read with a similar theme.I will absolutely read more from this author. I only hope next time it's a storyline that hasn't been written to death already.My thanks to NetGalley for the ARC I exchange for an honest review.

  • Pamela
    2019-03-06 04:45

    3.5 stars for decent writing.Well, I'm just going to say it...I know that I am one of the few who did not feel this was anything close to being a "nail-biter" or "thriller". There is zero suspense, although the writing style is good, this story is just way too predictable.Most of the characters were okay to get to know, just ordinary. Even the sister is totally predictable in her twisted way. Towards the end of the story, you do get one little surprise, but even that is nothing to shout about. If you like decent writing, and don't care if you already know the outcome, this one is for you.This is my first time reading anything by Ms. McNeill but unless her other stories have more to offer me, I don't think I'll read her again. **Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley in exchange of an honest review.**

  • Brenda
    2019-02-23 10:45

    After ten years in prison for a crime she didn’t commit, Allie Marshall was finally paroled and able to return home. Her sister Emma picked her up to begin the long drive back to the small country town of Brunswick in Georgia that they called home; to their parents and Allie’s daughter Caroline. Caroline had been five years old when Allie was incarcerated – now fifteen and not having seen her mother in years, Allie had no idea what would happen when they saw one another again. All Allie knew was that she missed her; had missed her with a fierce ache in her heart and she hoped seeing Caroline again would make it all right…But there were immediate problems for Allie – no one wanted her back in their home town. She was a killer; how could anyone feel comfortable with her among them all? So Allie, alienated from her daughter and everyone else she had once known, feeling a little tentative around her sister and parents, did the only thing she knew how. Her strength of character was completely different after spending ten years inside – her courage and determination to find the truth at the risk of her parole surmounted everything else. As Allie quietly began uncovering secrets it was obvious someone didn’t want the truth to surface. Was she putting herself in danger? Worse, was she putting Caroline in harm’s way? But the darkness wouldn’t go away – what was the truth? What would finding the answers do to Allie; to her family? But she just had to clear her name; for herself, her daughter and their future…Sister Dear by Laura McNeill is the second I have read by this author and I absolutely loved her first, Center of Gravity. Sister Dear felt a little different – not quite as gritty; a little choppy and disjointed to me. But the plot was a good one, and I enjoyed it for the most part. I really liked Allie’s character – her reaching out to get past insurmountable odds and her calmness in the face of adversity was really well done. I would still recommend Sister Dear for all lovers of the genre – it’s likely many others will love this book.With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this copy to read in exchange for my honest review.

  • Alyssa
    2019-03-01 09:01

    This was a great mind twisty mystery. A bit slow in the first several chapters, but once you get into the heart of the story you'll be flipping pages like nobody's business. A great book for those rainy Spring days.Note:::Near the end of the book there are one or two instances of mild language.Note:::I recieved this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

  • Judy Collins
    2019-03-16 04:02

    A special thank you to Thomas Nelson--FICTION and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.Top 50 Books of 2016!Talented storyteller, Laura McNeillreturns following her sensational debut,Center of Gravity,landing on myTop 50 Books of 2015“Best Southern Domestic Psycho-Suspense"with a strong followup, SISTER DEAR,an edge of your seat (nail-biter), tension-filled, psychological suspense thriller Top Books of 2016. From jealousy, greed, betrayal, family, revenge, murder, and highly charged topics of steroid use in high school sports-football; mixed with brilliant writing and clever plotting; A mind-blowing whodunit mystery! As the book opens Allie Marshall is finally getting out of prison. She has been an inmate at Arrendale State Prison for a crime she did not commit. Someone murdered the high school football coach. Who set her up? She thinks it may have been the Sheriff; however, she needs proof. She has lost her life, her promising medical career, her reputation, and her daughter. The judge had sentenced Allie to sixteen years. She had been granted an early release—ten years behind bars."An imprint made by an incident, mistake and tragedy. Evidence and lack of it." Appeals failed. She was innocent. The wrong place at the wrong time. And the killer still out there. Caroline, her daughterwas only five- years- old when Allie was convicted. Caroline is now a teen, living with her Aunt Emma, Allie's sister. She does not even know her. The joyous reunion she had imagined for years, did not happen.Allie is returning to Brunswick, Georgiaa small historic southeastern town on the coast, in South Georgia, near northeast Florida. Her father has sold his veterinary practice, from the stress of the trial(Allie worked there as a vet tech).She had it all before prison, a college education, and an acceptance to medical school—she was leaving the following week. She was almost there- living her dream. From college honor societies and her charity work to her job—destroyed by one night long ago. She was the good girl, the responsible studious daughter. Her sister, Emmawas the one always in trouble. One night before leaving for school, she wanted to celebrate with her sister Emma. A quiet girls night in with movies, dinner, and some wine. Emma led a secretive life. Dangerous secrets. She had everyone fooled. One trip to the pharmacy had led Allie to go after her. The one night which changed Allie’s life. The wrong place, the wrong time—trying to rescue her sister.Emma was the only onewho came to see Allie when she was in prison. Was she really a supporter? She has been raising her daughter Caroline. She was the one constant in her life. Allie, also lost Ben, the guy who wanted to marry her; however, with his political career, he even wanted to sacrifice—she could not allow this and broke it off. Her best friend Morgan was long gone. At first Lily, her mother, and Paul, her dad came to visit at the prison. Then their visits stopped as well as Caroline. Her prison sentence changed everyone and everything. She had survived. Her mission is to get her daughter back, find a job, and try and find the real killer. She wants justice. She was free. She will go to the new veterinarian owners and get a job, doing anything. Hopefully, the new owners will give her a chance to start over. Carolina was not speaking to her. Old friends ignored her, and her own parents were keeping a safe distance. The author skillfullyunravels the events leading up to the tragic murder, the past, and the present. Flashing back and forth from 2006-2016; through the years, we hear from perspectives: Allie, Emma, Caroline, and Sheriff Gaines.The secrets of a town. Emma is overly protective of Caroline. She wants to adopt Caroline. She needs Allie gone. Before prison,Allie was dating Ben. Living in a small town ruled by football, Allie discovered Coach Thomas was abusing the football players—one being Ben’s brother. There were many. Outrages, tempers, personality changes. Everyone turned a blind eye. The coach wanted to win and the use of drugs and steroids was suspected. He wanted to make a name for himself—wins, college football scholarships, and NFL recruits. He would use whatever tactics he could. Allie submitted an editorial about it ten years earlier. No one else was concerned or believed her. When the coachwas murdered and Allie was the first on the scene, she was quickly convicted, without a lot of evidence. Allie does not trust Sheriff Gaines. She needs proof. Coach Thomas’ family was in the pharmaceutical business. However, it is hard attaining proof, when she was being watched--her every move. Everyone was judging Allie, waiting for her to screw up so they could send her back to prison. A daughter and a town which wants nothing to do with her. Wrongly accused, and now having served her time--she is an outcast. Caroline,a teen is losing all her friends at school since her mom has returned. She felt like her life was a Stephen King movie. Everywhere she went, tension built. It was the anticipation, the beats leading up to the moment when tragedy struck the main character. Things start happening to remind everyone of the murder. Everything attached to her is being attacked. From her boyfriend to her best friend—now gone from her life. Interestingly, Sheriff Gaines' wife June, is in a nursing home where Caroline works part-time. Her mind is not right, after an accident, but she recalls things from the past. Mysteriously, she thinks Caroline is Emma. There is also a boy Russell,working at the nursing home—his parents now own the local vet, and Allie’s new boss. He befriends Caroline. Natalie gives Allie a job. Between Natalie, Allie, Caroline, and Russell---will they figure out the pieces of the mystery before it is too late. What really happened that night? What kind of monster is Emma? What about Sheriff Gaines--how is he connected?WOW,Emma is one sick character. On the exterior, Allie thinks she is the best sister, supportive and caring. However, she is her worst enemy. She is out to steal her daughter and ruin her life. She is manipulative, obsessive, and conniving to the tune of: A Fatal Attraction, The Hand That Rocks the Cradle and the Boy Next Door. .The suspense is chilling, mind-blowing—keeping you guessing as what went down. Until after the 50% -80% readers do not know what went down and how it all happened until the very end. Readers get bits and pieces, keeping you glued to the pages. Loved, Loved!!!"Un-put-down-able" a read in one sitting. Twists and turns you do not see coming. Emma is pure evil—two faces. Ideal for the big screen---Predict, a New York Times Bestseller. Laura McNeillhas written two back to back winners---quickly becoming one of my favorite psychological suspense authors.The twists with Sheriff Gaines and June were brilliant—and wow, loved Natalie and Russell’s character. Heart-pounding intensity. Everything about this crime thriller was top-notch. You will root for Allie from page one to the end. From the excellent character development, the pacing, and the explosive ending. A riveting Southern mystery!Dealing with highly charged topics of steroids, drugs, and abuse in the sports industry. Readers will be truly invested in the story, its characters, and the vivid settings. For fans of Mary Kubica --McNeill's lyrical writing shines -Tops on my list!SISTER DEARhas all the ingredients I look for in an engaging psychological thriller – Highly Recommend! On a personal note: Enjoyed familiar places, having lived in Buckhead and weekends in Dahlonega (North Georgia, Lake Lanier) as well as Southern coastal Brunswick and Jekyll Island. If you have ever lived in Atlanta, you know their obsession with football.JDCMustReadBooks

  • Elizabeth
    2019-03-21 08:49

    Wow! It's been over a week since I finished reading "Sister Dear" and I still can't get it out of my head! This is a book that will keep you thinking long after you finish it. You'll wonder why didn't I see that or "Really?" Needless to say, I loved this family mystery. The story is about a young woman, Allie, who is convicted of a crime she supposedly didn't commit. After she gets out of prison, she returns to the town she lived in and encounters a massive amount of prejudice. She, of course, is out to prove her innocence. And that is where I'm going to leave the storyline. You'll want to read the book to find out what happens.Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson Publishing for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  • Laura Rash
    2019-03-14 06:01

    Laura McNeill has a knack for weaving an intricate & intriguing family story! Alternating in time makes for a very quick paced & entertaining read. The facets of families & how they deal with secrets, tragedies & hope are all included! Fabulous read!

  • i.
    2019-03-11 11:06

    Entertaining , the perfect holiday read unless you are spending your time with your sister!

  • Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
    2019-03-14 10:48

    Two Sisters, one jealous sister, and a trail of unbelievable acts.Could you really be that jealous of someone and have such a desire for revenge t​hat you would go to any lengths ​t​o ruin that person's life?​We meet Allie as she is released from prison after​ ​ten years for a crime she didn't commit, Emma, Allie's sister who raised Allie's daughter, and Caroline, Allie's 15-year-old daughter.Allie was released from prison and returned to her home town in hopes of reconciling with her daughter, but all wasn't easy especially in the small town of Brunswick where the residents didn't forget what happened ten years ago and wouldn't change what they believed.Allie knew she hadn't killed a man, but the jury and the town still accused her and shunned her.Being a felon in her small, home town wasn't working out too well for Allie. Emma subtly and cruelly made things difficult for her sister and niece and would stop at nothing to keep Caroline as her own. Caroline was embarrassed to have anyone know her mother was out of prison and back in Brunswick.All of the characters had a lot of baggage to deal with along with the jealousy factor that definitely did a lot of personal damage.The characters in SISTER DEAR were for the most par​t ​not trustworthy.Emma was a sister that I am glad was not mine.The sheriff was not likable at all and definitely a ​sheriff who had some secrets. I liked Allie and Caroline, though, because they seemed genuine.SISTER DEAR is unmistakably a tension-building page turner that keeps your interest from the opening sentence.Be sure you have a lot of time when you begin SISTER DEAR because you won’t be able to stop reading. The last 20 pages became even more suspenseful...I was nervous. :) 5/5This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and Litfuse Publicity in return for an honest review.

  • Elaine
    2019-03-25 06:45

    I won a copy of Sister Dear from a Goodreads Giveaway.I didn't like this book and while I wouldn't say I hated it, I wouldn't recommend it only because you know whodunit by the fifth chapter. When that happens, it makes the book not worth finishing, in my opinion.The characters are shallow archetypes of exactly the types you would find in these plots:1. The picture perfect family minus the bratty, younger, wild sister Emma who is jealous of the-2. Brainy, beautiful, dependable older sister, Allie, whose one night stand ended up in a pregnancy and I feel strongly Ms. McNeill just threw it in there to emphasize Caroline and Emma's similar appearance due to Caroline's Italian sperm donor which is why Dr. Gaines is able to mistake Caroline for disloyal aunt.3. The small town setting where everybody knows your business and no one likes you, not even your parents4. The equally bratty, whiny daughter who is just...really annoying and just to add an extra dose of Lifetime drama because you just can't have enough5. The loyal boyfriend who comes back to profess his undying love for her so there is the archetype happily ever afterThere is a slight twist at the end that I was able to suspend a tiny bit of belief for because, hey, I made it to the end. I may as well get something out of it.Oh, and in case you didn't figure it out, the sister did it.

  • Susan Peterson
    2019-03-12 05:08

    This is a book that will blow you away! A real page-turner, full of secrets, jealousy, and lots of twists and turns! Allie has served 10 years in prison after being convicted of killing a revered high school football coach, although she has always proclaimed her innocence. At the time of her conviction she was the single mother of a young daughter and was about to enter medical school. Allie's sister, Emma has taken care of her daughter, Caroline, while she was imprisoned. Allie has no idea that her sister has always been extremely jealous of her, and that her jealousy goes way beyond sibling rivalry. Emma will do anything she can to keep Caroline away from her mother. Even more than that, Emma is harboring deep, dangerous, secrets of the events 10 years ago that landed her sister in prison. This story is engrossing and compelling, as it becomes clear what really happened that horrific night.

  • Jennifer
    2019-03-17 06:58

    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.This is one of those books that just fall into the "there" category. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. I read of lot of books in this genre and ultimately the biggest flaw with Sister Dear is that it is entirely too predictable. I mean, the title of the book alone basically tells you what you need to know. Right from the get go I knew who really killed Coach Thomas, so although there is a small ah-ha moment at the end, it wasn't really this gripping thriller that kept me turning pages. I mostly wanted to finish just to see if I was right (I was).Honestly, I don't think I would recommend this book, even though the writing is very good. It was just not gripping enough and the ending just entirely too obvious for my taste. However, I do seem to be in the minority, as there are a lot of 4 and 5 star reviews, so maybe it is just me.

  • Tracy Shephard
    2019-03-25 07:55

    Allie is fresh out of prison after serving ten years of a sixteen year sentence for murder. All she was to do is re-aquatint herself with her daughter Caroline and prove her innocence.Caroline is beautiful and popular. The last thing she wants is a convict mother spoiling the life she has she doesn't want to explain her mother's release to her friends.Emma, Allie's sister has been a rock to Caroline, she is the mother Allie isn't and obviously couldn't be, and all Emma wants to do is 'put things right' for everyone.This is a fabulous read. Laura McNeill manages to write a convincing tale of love and revenge. Emma isn't the kind of person you cross and if you do BEWARE.Sister Dear is a dark and intense thriller. It also gives an insight to how people cope when faced with events that can turn your life upside down. Allie is a lovely character, and the reader is on her side from the start. She is judged and has to overcome many obstacles in her quest for the truth. But is it the truth she wants to hear?? Who can she really trust?? and why is the person she needs the most, is the one she needs the least?? Riveting and dramatic, Sister Dear would make a fabulous film.

  • Philomena Callan Cheekypee
    2019-03-16 05:56

    I've read Center of Gravity by this author so I couldn't wait to read this one. I didn't read the synopsis before I started this. I've got to say as I kept reading I really hoped it was going to have a big twist that would blow my mind, that would make this stand apart from other stories like this. Sadly it didn't. Don't get me wrong it's a well written story that I read in a few days and I didn't guess straight off who did it. The ending was also different to what I thought it would happen. All good positives for my reading of this story. Allie is a strong willed character who was falsely imprisoned. After being released she aims to find out who did it. She doesn't bet on getting more than she bargained for.My heart went out to Allies daughter Caroline. I really wanted to sit her down and tell her about her mum truthfully. Emma is Allies sister. I didn't like her and then began to really hate her.Good story that had me angry one minute & covered in goosebumps the next minute. Will definitely be reading more from this author.

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    2019-03-13 03:11

    It's no secret that I loved Laura McNeill's highly suspenseful and intriguing debut novel, Center of Gravity. I loved her full-of-secrets sophomore novel, Sister Dear, for all the same reasons. Tight prose where I savor every word, multiple viewpoints told in both the present and the past, fully fleshed out, complex characters; all with a super quick, page-turning pace. I am still thinking about the ever evolving characters, each of whom I would find totally sympathetic, only to change my mind on the very next page. I highly recommend this book for fans of domestic suspense. While this advanced copy was generously given to me by the author, I had already preordered a copy because I love sharing great books with friends. All opinions expressed are my own.

  • Kimberly Belle
    2019-02-22 10:07

    This book! I couldn't put it down. Secrets, tragedies, plenty of sisterly drama... It's all included here, and the alternating storylines, switching between past and present, makes it a quick and engaging read. Five stars!

  • Caryn
    2019-03-09 06:10

    Review over at my blog:

  • Kimberly Belle
    2019-02-24 05:04

    Laura McNeill kept me flipping the pages until deep in the night. LOVED.

  • Petra
    2019-03-03 03:49

    I am really behind today because I just could not put down this completely engrossing domestic suspense drama. Told from multiple points of views and switching between present and past, all the characters were intricately fleshed out and were totally believable, and the amazing thing was, the author managed to make me have feelings for all of them, even the 'nasty' ones, because they were all portrayed in such a complex way that you could understand what was driving them and why they acted the way they did. 10 years ago, Allie was convicted of killing the local high school football coach. Released on parole, she returns to her hometown where the locals are less than welcoming, the sheriff is suspicious of her and even her parents don't know how to act around her. But Allie can cope with all that. All she is hoping for is to reestablish a relationship with her teenage daughter, Caroline. But Caroline wants nothing to do with her. She is having a hard time being the daughter of a convicted felon and becomes increasingly isolated at school. Caroline has been brought up by Allie's sister, Emma. I don't think I'm giving much away when I divulge that Emma has issues. Serious issues. In order to get her daughter back, Allie has to find a way to prove that, 10 years ago, she was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sister Dear isn't so much a whodunit, but an exciting uncovering of the why and how. There was so much skillfully crafted into this storyline: drugs and football, jealousy and betrayal, small-town politics, love and loss, and forgiveness. The writing was so adept, you really felt you were there. I actually felt compelled to look up Brunswick and Saint Simons Island and have added them to my bucket list of places-to-visit-one-day ;) Realistic, gritty, absolutely riveting. If you haven't guessed by now: I loved it. Laura McNeill was an author I hadn't heard of before, but on finishing Sister Dear, I immediately downloaded Center of Gravity, her debut novel from last year.Many thanks to Thomas Nelson for providing me with a copy of Sister Dear via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

  • Mrs Mommy Booknerd
    2019-02-26 03:09

    Wow, oh wow. This book was so good. I was so caught up in this book that I became emotionally attached. I was not sure who to believe or who to trust. I loved the way McNeill left bread crumbs for the reader to follow and how she slowly lead the reader through the story. Then, as the as the story slowly revealed itself, the suspense and thrill also increased. It was a roller coaster of a ride and the climax made me gasp. Sister Dear is about family, jealousy, justice, redemption, starting over and moving on. The reader will root for Allie while she searches for answers to prove her innocence. Will she be able to do it and at what cost? As secrets are uncovered lives are changed and long buried secrets both take unexpected turns and shatter everything Allie once believed was true. A great read for book clubs and lovers of suspense. 4.5 stars NOTE: I received this book free for my honest review.

  • Teresa Kander
    2019-02-24 04:00

    I was really excited to read this book because of all the publicity it got before it was published. I have to admit that I was disappointed that it did not live up to the hype, at least for me. The story is very well-written, but there was not, in my opinion, any nail-biting suspense. The plot is overdone and far too predictable. It took almost no time at all to figure out who the real killer had been and why they had killed the person and allowed Allie to take the blame.I really liked the character of Caroline, Allie's daughter. The things she had to go through, and the choices she had to make, were very well written and developed. For me, she was the most sympathetic character of the book.**I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.**

  • Cindy Roesel
    2019-02-23 05:05

    “All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start. But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?”Laura McNeill’s novels keep getting stronger and more compelling. The characters are richer and the plots more sophisticated and layered. Laura’s early novels seemed to focus on family and place. Her central character has always been a strong woman overcoming insurmountable obstacles, but now her storylines seem to have taken a turn toward the psychological thriller. So far she has shown a talent for writing that genre and I look forward to reading more.

  • Tamara
    2019-03-12 07:53

    Review to come closer to publication.What if.. you made a mistake that cost you 10 years of your life? And then what if the mistake was not even really a mistake, more of being in the wrong place at wrong time? You get out of jail. You want to be good. To have life go back to normal. But someone out there won't rest till you've paid. And paid. And paid. What do you do?

  • K~Terror
    2019-03-19 08:57

    This was a slow build kind of read that was very enjoyable because I liked the main character and felt a lot of sympathy for her situation. Allie was surrounded by all sorts of folks who may not have always been like-able, but definitely made the story more interesting. Laura McNeill's stories are not usually fast-paced but her writing style flows nicely and the story line is typically interesting so its an enjoyable journey.

  • Jencey/
    2019-03-11 11:11

    Gone Girl with a TwistThank you to Thomas Nelson for giving me a copy of Sister Dear in exchange for an honest review. I have followed Laura’s career as a writer from the beginning. Her books have always been enjoyable and have been great reads! The story in Sister Dear is different from the past but in such a good way. Synopsis:Allie Marshall is getting her release from prison, and her freedom back. Once she is out she can go about investigating who really committed the murder she went to prison for? This crime has cost her ten years of her life. Allie has no relationship with her daughter Caroline. Her only visitor has been her sister Emma. What happened? Will Allie find the answers she is looking for and prove her innocence? Will Caroline be willing to give her mother another chance?My Thoughts: What a story! I could not put it down. Laura has such a way of crafting a story that makes you want to find out what will happen next. She created a character in Allie Marshall that readers will empathize with as they read. They will also want to fight for Allie as she strives to find the truth. She is the protagonist. Emma who is the antagonist in this story is steadily revealed over the course of this novel. The story is told through five different characters points of view. These characters are Allie Marshall, Emma Marshall, Caroline Marshall, Sheriff Boyd Gaines, and Natalie. The description of the setting made me want to visit the Brunswick area where it was set. I titled this review Gone Girl with a Twist because it had a similar feel to me. I did not read the book but I have seen the movie. The concept of forgiveness in a Gone Girl type plot is interesting but not what we would typical see as readers. One lesson about forgiveness is that it is more about you than others. Secondly, it is about letting the one that wronged you go. Thirdly, it is about letting God be in control. Laura McNeill is definitely one to watch!

  • Bethany Clark
    2019-02-24 06:48

    WOW!!!! AMAZING!!! I can't say enough about this book! It grabs you, pulls you in and has you guessing all the way to the end. I have been trying different genres lately and after having Laura on my blog several times, and reading the blurb about the book I knew I needed to get my hands on a copy!Laura does not disappoint and I can't wait to read more from this amazing author. Her writing is suburb, her character dimension is amazing and her multiple story lines are perfectly written. Allie draws you in from the get go. You feel the only thing she is guilty of is being in the wrong place at the wrong time. As you start this amazing journey of proving her innocence you really can feel her pain and hurt that she is subjected to day after day from family, friends and her community. How could they turn their backs on her? They knew her character, they knew what she stood for and where she was going on life. But if there is one thing that we all know about the deep south, it's football is the key to living and if you were accused of killing the a top rated football coach in your hometown then you knew your days were numbered on the outside. I give Allie credit though, she did her time, got out early and moved back home to be closer to her daughter. She didn't try to run and hide, she faced her demons and set out to prove her innocence. The story has many ups and downs from the high of Allie's release, the low of Caroline wanting her to leave her alone and go away, to the high of Allie running into her high school sweetheart just to name a few.I will end by saying that this story has many twists and turns and ups and downs. Each page will have you wanting more and putting it down and reading later will not be an option. Prepare for long nights of reading ahead, grab a glass of wine and enjoy!

  • Melissa
    2019-03-24 03:55

    I'm glad I didn't get a manicure recently because Laura McNeill had me biting my nails while reading her latest novel. Allie's situation stinks all over. She's been in prison for 10 years for a crime she didn't commit, separated from her daughter, and turned upon by everyone in her community. Let's just say she does not get a "Welcome Home" party when she is released on parole. Her family is even keeping their emotional distance and her daughter doesn't want anything to do with her and even resents her for returning to the town in which they all live. It's also impossible for her to find work, given her "reputation." And the local sheriff is watching her every move, making it difficult for her to clear her name once and for all.I liked following Allie in her quest to solve the crime that unjustly put her behind bars and soiled her good name. Along the way, there are a lot of twists and potential foils to her plan, keeping me surprised the entire time.I'm already looking forward to Laura McNeill's next suspenseful novel. She really knows how to keep me riveted and turning the pages non-stop.Here's my dream movie cast:Emma: Megan FoxAllie: Maggie LawsonCaroline: Bailee MadisonLee Gaines: Christopher Meloni Coach Thomas: Joe Manganiello

  • C.J. Darlington
    2019-03-20 08:50

    3.5 stars. I enjoyed reading this book quite a bit, and finding a new-author-to-me is a fun thing! McNeill starts us off immediately caring for her main character, who's just getting out of a ten year prison sentence for a crime she says she didn't commit. She doesn't know her now teenage daughter, and that hurts her more than anything. To make matters worse, her daughter has no interest in seeing her, something Ali respects but inwardly weeps over. Her sister, Emma, has been the only one who didn't abandon her during her sentence, but does she really know her sister anymore either? If you're any bit a reader like me, you'll willingly follow along to find out in this suspenseful novel of shattered dreams, building new lives, and family relationships. My small quibbles: I sometimes got the point of view shifts between Emma and Ali mixed up as their voices weren't so entirely different that I could immediately distinguish them. That changed as the book progressed and their true colors materialized, but it made me pause a few times. Also, the ending came rather quickly, and I felt the last chapter of the author telling us what happened to all the characters anticlimactic. I wanted to "see" some of what happened instead. Still a strong story, but could've used a couple more chapters at the end.

  • Jenny Belk
    2019-02-23 09:59

    Having read Center Of Gravity I knew I wanted to read Laura's new book, Sister Dear. I would not be disappointed. Once again, Laura tells her story with strong, believable characters. Brunswick, Georgia is the setting.Opening pages reveal that Allie is being released from a ten year prison sentence for a crime she did not commit. Returning home will be a different type of trial for her. Will her teenage daughter be glad she's home or will she still believe her mother is guilty. Allie's sister has been caring for Allie's daughter. Allie is determined to prove her innocence and find the person or persons responsible for the crime to prove her innocence to her daughter and hopefully rebuild her relationship with her. Can she rebuild her life in Brunswick. Will answers be found and what will the consequences be if they are. This is a fast-paced read with a lot of surprises and secrets uncovered. I highly recommend it.

  • Jill Anderson
    2019-03-07 04:53

    I started this book a couple months ago and had to put it aside right away due to other reading deadlines. But I'd read enough of it where the nagging "what happens next" kept me in suspense until I could pick up the book again.You may think you've got this mystery/suspense novel figured out, but you will likely be wrong. About 3/4 of my way through SISTER DEAR, I told my husband I knew the underlying secret of the plot. I finished the book last night and had to admit. I. Was. Wrong.The author weaves you in to caring what really happened to Allie, who was wrongly accused of murder ten years ago.Yes, the author shows her hand in what likely happened, but the "why" and the twists are what keeps you reading (and keeps you surprised to the end.)A great read!