Confessions Of The Sullivan Sisters

4987605306 91cc0e9b57 Confessions Of The Sullivan SistersBuy Confessions Of The Sullivan Sisters
Special $11.99 (Regular price: $17.99)
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Format: Hardcover
Reviewer: Melissa on September 15, 2010
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Every Sullivan sister has a secret that they’ve been shielding from the eyes of their family and the blue blood Baltimore society. On Christmas Day, however, their rich and impervious grandmother gathers the entire Sullivan clan and tells them that not only that she is dying, but also that she’s taken the entire family out of the will. Someone among them has offended her deeply, and only if she receives a signed confession by New Years Eve from the offending party will she even consider reinstating them. And thus, the confessions begin. Some are filled with love or hate. Others speak of life and death. One thing is for sure – Confessions Of The Sullivan Sisters is a quirky book that will do more than merely entertain your desire for salacious gossip.

Dear readers, I have a confession to make to each and every one of you. When I first saw the concept and cover for ConfessionsOfTheSullivanSisters by Natalie Standiford, I wasn’t really interested. I thought that a story about blue bloods wasn’t for me. The possibility that the Sullivan Sisters might live out their lives without a trust fund didn’t seem to be an entirely appealing to someone like myself, who has no hope (or desire) of living off the money of previous generations. Whereas the cover of Standiford’s debut novel, How To Say Goodbye In Robot, grabbed me, I felt that the design of the new book was lacking, and *gasp* I judged it before I even had the chance to crack the book open. So, yeah, there, I said it, and I’m sincerely repentant (as much as Norrie, more than Jane, but not quite as overcome as Sassy). Perhaps, you’ll forgive me and allow me to forgive myself one day for my prejudicial thoughts.

Now, some of you might have unsubstantiated prejudices circling around your head about this novel too. Before you need to give an equally sincere (and possibly embarrassing apology) to all of your readers, please read this review. While in general I’m far from a reluctant reader, I clearly was reluctant about this book, but I was so wrong! From the second sentence – literally – I was drawn into the quirky world of the Sullivan family that Standiford has painted with a warm and playfully mischievous affection. I never would have imagined someone, let alone six children, referring to their father as “Daddy-o” and their grandmother as “Almighty,” except perhaps as a joke, but there it was. I was in love from the first glimpse into the world, and I have a strong suspicion that you will be too.

Not only are the voices charming, but the novel’s structure is just as intelligently handled. Two short, third-person omniscient narrated chapters envelop the remaining, epistolary ones in a clever mirroring of form and function. Each of the girls ostensibly close up their letters/confessions in an envelope, sealed for Almighty’s eyes only, but the narrator lets readers “tear into” the novel’s ‘structural envelope.’ Norrie is the eldest and first sister to get the undivided attention of Almighty and readers alike, so the subsequent sisters both get less time to confess their stories. Perhaps Norrie just has more to confess, but the overlapping explanations of, occasionally, the same scenes from a different sister’s perspective suggests that not only did some content not need to be repeated each time, but also the same scenes weren’t significant to each of the confessions.

From the hilarious personalities to the clever structure, Standiford has put together a solid book that is sure to garner acclaim from both critics and the book community at large. Take my advice – pick up Confessions Of The Sullivan Sisters now.

Buy Confessions Of The Sullivan Sisters today!

  • http://www.readingangel.com Reading Angel

    I really enjoyed this one and posted a review for it today as well.
    I was afraid I wouldn’t like it either! Glad we were both pleasantly surprised!

  • http://www.yabookshelf.com Melissa

    I’ll check out your review latter today, Reading Angel. (I’m just heading out now, so I don’t have the time immediately) :)
    I’m glad that we were pleasantly surprised too! Also glad that I broke down some of my own stereotypes about what I can actually get into. There is another book that I received recently that I wasn’t looking forward to especially, but Confessions Of The Sullivan Girls makes me want to give it a chance too. May be surprised there as well. :)

  • http://noraolsen.com Nora Olsen

    As for me, I’m immediately drawn to a story about wills and rich girls getting disinherited! Thanks so much for reviewing this book, I will put it on my to-read list!

  • http://www.yabookshelf.com Melissa

    Ha! You’re welcome – it was definitely my pleasure to read and review this book, Nora. I’m sure that you’ll really like it too. :)

  • http://www.galleysmith.com Michelle

    I read and enjoyed this one as well. I was less enamored of Norrie but found Jane to be highly entertaining!

  • http://www.yabookshelf.com Melissa

    Yes, Jane was hilarious. Did you see the real blog, MyEvilFamily.com? It actually exists. :)

  • http://www.semicolonblog.com Sherry

    Hmmm. I thought How to Say Goodbye in Robot was weird, interesting but weird. And like you I saw the cover of this one and read the first few lines of your review and thought, “No way, RIch girls. Yuck.” But I think I’m intrigued.

  • http://www.yabookshelf.com Melissa

    Thanks for stopping by again, Sherry! After reading Confessions Of The Sullivan Sisters, I’m really looking forward to the moment when I have time to read How To Say Goodbye in Robot. Confessions is cool because there are different voices and different stories that the girls are telling. They might not all appeal to you, but it’s definitely not your average debutante story.

  • http://PragmaticMom.com Pragmatic Mom

    Wow! Sounds like a fun read! Thanks for your review!

  • http://PragmaticMom.com Pragmatic Mom

    ps love your blog. adding you to my blogroll!

  • http://www.yabookshelf.com Melissa

    Thanks for your comment, Pragmatic Mom! It really is a fun read – hope you enjoy reading it too. :)

  • http://www.yabookshelf.com Melissa

    Glad you like my blog so much. Thanks for adding me. :)

  • http://thehidingspot.blogspot.com Sara (The Hiding Spot)

    Fantastic review! I’m so glad you enjoyed it… you MUST read HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT. It’s one of my absolute favorites!

    Also, my goodness, you’re a fabulous writer. It makes me jealous… I’m… not. haha

  • http://www.yabookshelf.com Melissa

    I’m really glad that you liked my review, Sara. I have How To Say Goodbye In Robot on my shelf, so it’s definitely going to read once I have a little more time. As I said on your site, I’m really looking forward to reading it, but your recommendation makes me even more intrigued.

    Thanks to for the compliment about my writing abilities. You don’t need to be jealous – it’s just practice, really.

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