*I received a free copy of this book with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: After a family dinner turns into a bitter fight, sisters Maria, Lauren, and Avery decide to go their separate ways. Their father warns them that someday they will need one another. When he dies suddenly, they learn that he intends to make sure that they do. He’s left them a substantial inheritance, far more than any of them ever imagined.There’s just one catch. If they want the money, they will have to spend two weeks together at a secluded lake house and follow all of their father’s instructions—no matter how strange.Their task seems simple enough, but each one is holding onto painful secrets and old grudges the others know nothing about. But if they can learn to trust each other again, they might be able to mend the rift between them and give their father his dying wish.
The Rift Between Us is an immersive tale of family loyalty and Christian values.
We get alternating chapters from the viewpoints of the three sisters – Maria, Lauren and Avery – as their family falls apart into separate units and their father tries to posthumously glue the pieces back together again.
Each sister begins the story completely wrapped up in her own problems, and dismissively judgemental about the behaviour of her siblings. Maria feels trapped in a loveless marriage and is resentful that she had to also mother her younger siblings, with no appreciation or recognition for her sacrifices. Lauren has health issues which she is desperate to keep private, and is repeatedly devastated by her sisters’ dismissal of her as frivolous and wasteful. Avery is hiding from a terribly trauma which has blighted her ability to live a normal, everyday life, and bitterly resents her ‘perfect’ sisters, as they in their turn are scathing about her perceived promiscuity.
Of course, appearances can be deceptive! Through forced intimacy, the sisters are gradually forced to confront their misconceptions about each other, and along the way they also come face-to-face with their own deepest demons. The question is, after so much bitterness and bile between them, will they each be able to set their pride aside and support each other through the hardest challenges of their lives?
This is a painful story in places, as the issues the sisters face individually are heartbreaking, and yet it is also a warm, comforting story, as the focus is on family values and on coming together in times of need.
I found the ending a little bit ‘neat and tidy’, especially after the emotional depth of everything that came beforehand, however it was also emotionally satisfying to finish on a positive, uplifting tone.
A lovely, family-centred read about sisterhood, forgiveness and not judging others when you don’t know the struggles they are facing.
Arthur stood up, a furious expression on his face. He slammed his fists on the table, rattling the fine china that had been treasured by Maria’s mother. “That’s enough! Stop this now!”
“Fine!” Avery threw her napkin down. “I’ll make it easy. Next time there’s a family gathering, don’t bother to invite me.”
“You sit back down, Avery,” Arthur bellowed. “We are a family. Families spend time together.”
Avery looked at him with a gentle expression. “Don’t worry, Dad, I’ll still come visit you… but just you.”
“That goes for me, too, Dad,” Lauren said. “I can’t take this anymore, but I’ll always be there for you.”
“You think that’s what I’m worried about?” Arthur asked. “You girls are each other’s family too. You must put aside your differences once in a while. Someday you’ll need each other.”
“Maybe… but not today,” Avery said, walking away and leaving her date behind.
– Rebecca L. Marsh, The Rift Between Us