The Book Mark

Books that make the grade.

The Sisters Montclair



The Sisters Montclair (B) by Cathy Holton is a story about well-kept secrets.  Alice Montclair Whittington is a ninety-four year old forgetful and feisty woman.  By all appearances, she has led a privileged life.  She was raised by a loving family and was one of three sisters. Now she needs round the clock caregivers, most of whom she is annoyed by and barely tolerates.

Stella Nightingale is a 21-year-old college student who struggles everyday to keep herself going.  She is penniless and dependent on her boyfriend Josh for room and board.  She was abandoned by her mother at 16 years old and learned to become someone she dislikes in order to survive.  She has been given an opportunity to go to college and study psychology.  She would love to become a counselor to girls like herself so that she can show them that they matter.  In an attempt to earn some money, she becomes a part-time caregiver to Alice Whittington.  Alice sees something familiar in Stella and likes her immediately.   To everyone’s surprise they grow close and become confidants.

Alice and Stella have haunting secrets they’ve shared with no one.  Slowly, over many months, Alice shares stories of her life with Stella.  Stella begins to look forward to Alice’s stories.  She becomes so involved with the story telling process that she falls father and father behind in her studies.  As Stella’s depression deepens and her relationship with Josh becomes more strained and unbearable; she decides she must drop her classes for surely she is failing.

Alice has become more and more troubled.  Unable to sleep and haunted at night by her memories; she decides to share her secret with Stella. By doing so, she frees herself and saves Stella.

The Sisters Montclair is about strength, courage and forgiveness.  I am happy to have a won an advanced copy of this novel.  I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever been in hopeless situations and lost faith in themselves.  Cathy Holton alternates between the voices of Alice and Stella.  Two separate stories become one powerful novel that I enjoyed and I think you will too.  I look forward to more from Cathy Holton.


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