Book Review: Appearances by Sondra Helene

“Those who’ve seen us
Know that not a thing could come between us
Many men have tried to split us up but no one can” – Irving Berlin


3.5 disco balls

Published: April 9, 2019 by She Writes Press
Category: Women’s Fiction, Family Drama

I was recently selected to be a BookSparks 2019 Spring Campaign #SwipeRightonReading Ambassador! Over the next few weeks I will receive three ‘blind date with a book’ books. First up was debut novel Appearances by Sondra Helene.

When I first read the synopsis, I immediately thought of the song from White Christmas:  Sisters. Apparently I am not the only one; KIRKUS Reviews had the same thought and offered the following quote for the book’s back cover: “Sisters,’ the old Irving Berlin song, wrinkly covers primal themes of romance and family; this novel takes them with detail and realism…[and] makes quietly clear how precious any extra time with a loved one can be.

Samantha is married to a successful Boston businessman, Richard. Her sister, Elizabeth, is married to a successful real estate developer, Jake. Samantha and Elizabeth are attached at the hip (figuratively speaking). Since Jake, Samantha and Elizabeth grew up together, they are very close. Richard feels like an outsider and disengages from Samantha’s family: resulting in a long winded, passive aggressive turned direct family feud. They would probably make an interesting storyline on a Real House Wives of Boston for that alone.

Elizabeth is barely in her forties when she is diagnosed with lung cancer. The diagnosis looks grim and Samantha – allowing everyone around her – is pulled in two different directions: Elizabeth and Jake need her and Richard feels like she doesn’t put their family first. Truthfully, some of these grown-ups are whiney children. Will Samantha find the force within her to go the course she feels is right for her without disrupting everyone’s expectations of her? Are her own expectations impractical?

What I liked: it felt very realistic. The situations and dialogues can easily happen in families.

What slightly bothered me: heavy emphasis on material items and wealthy lifestyle. I think it was meant to show that anyone can be dealt a hardship regardless of social standing, but I don’t think it hit that mark as intended. It was just something that irked me a bit, but not a reason to not read this book.

Have you ever participated in a Blind Date with a Book? Do tell!


Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble
Amazon UK

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Please note: this post contains B&N, Indigo, and Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase this book through the links above I will earn a small fee; at no additional cost to you. This will help me purchase more books to read and recommend to you all!

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SO excited to be a @booksparks Spring Campaign #SwipeRightonReading Ambassador! My 1st Spring Date with a Book is the debut novel Appearances by @sondrahelene, out 4.9.19 #partner . 📖 Jacket description: Samantha, the fashionable wife of a successful Boston businessman, loves both her husband and her sister, but the two of them can barely exist in the same room. When her sister is diagnosed with cancer in her early forties, Samantha’s family and her marriage are tipped into crisis – and Samantha discovers strengths and skills she never knew she had. A story of love, loss, grief, forgiveness, and healing, Appearances reminds us that no amount of privilege can protect us from family conflicts, marital difficulty, or mortality. . 👯‍♀️ Last weekend my sister @love_teach_dab visited and refurbished the pictured dresser for me (she’s the best!) I couldn’t imagine her and my husband not getting along: what a stress mess that would be! . I can’t wait to dive into this story and learn what’s what on the husband sister front. Will keep you posted on my progress! . . #saturdaynitereader #toberead #igreads #readersofinstagram #readersofig #bookstagram #booksofinstagram #booksofig #booksparksambassador #blinddatewithabook #bibliophile #booknerd #bookphoto #booksharks #appearancesbysondrahelene #appearancesanovel #shewritespress #sisters #familydrama #debutnovel

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11 thoughts on “Book Review: Appearances by Sondra Helene

  1. I love the idea of blind date with a book but I have so many books that I’m worried I’d get one I already own.
    Gemma @ Gemma’s Book Nook

    Liked by 1 person

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