The hardscrabble Chase women—Mary, Hannah, and their mother Diane—have been eking out a living running a tiny seaside motel that has been in the family for generations, inviting trouble into their lives for just as long. Eighteen-year-old Mary Chase is a force of nature: passionate, beautiful, and free-spirited. Her much younger sister, Hannah, whom Mary affectionately calls “Bunny,” is imaginative, her head full of the stories of princesses and adventures that Mary tells to give her a safe emotional place in the middle of their troubled world. But when Diane dies in a car accident, Mary discovers the motel is worth less than the back taxes they owe. With few options, Mary’s finely tuned instincts for survival kick in. As the sisters begin a cross-country journey in search of a better life, she will stop at nothing to protect Hannah. But Mary wants to protect herself, too, for the secrets she promised she would never tell—but now may be forced to reveal—hold the weight of unbearable loss. Vivid and suspenseful, The Sisters Chase is a whirlwind page-turner about the extreme lengths one family will go to find—and hold onto—love.
Every now and then, I like to read something different and fresh, a story that keeps me engaged despite not being a thriller, a mystery or even proper historical fiction. I told you a while ago that I loved White Oleander, and while they weren’t comparable in terms of plot, it did offer a similar vibe.
The book is set in the 70s, 80s and the beginning of the 90s and it tells the story of Mare and Hannah -Bunny-, two sisters whose mother has just died. Mary is eighteen years old when she decides that she and Bunny must leave the hotel their family owns and travel across the country, searching for the right place to live. Along the way, Mary and Bunny meet different people and visit old friends while we gradually discover their mysterious past. I don’t want to say too much.
This is a story about sisters and family and you know how much I love books that focus on sibling relationships. While reading The Sisters Chase (I started it on the train in the morning and finished it that very same evening), I felt like I was reading the book equivalent of a road-movie. A beautiful, poignant and nostalgic ride.
The Sisters Chase was a lovely read: the writing was gorgeous and it made me want to travel across America and discover tiny towns in the middle of nowhere. I loved that there were some surprises that in hindsight made complete sense, but what I enjoyed the most was the bond between the two sisters. And yes, I wish there had been more adventures and a bit of action, but I loved this tale for what it was.
This is one of those quiet stories that makes me want to read similar books and forget about crimes for a while. And that is definitely something.
ARC, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2017