Emily Maine Cavanaugh
Lake Union Publishing, March 2017
Kindle, 258 Pages
Also available in paperback, audiobook
Genre(s) Debut Novel, Women’s Lit, Family
Source Author’s rep
A tender, heartfelt story of three sisters, their late father’s painful past, and the power of forgiveness.
When the news of their father’s death reaches them, sisters Cal, Violet, and Suzy Bloom have to set aside their own personal crises, and their differences, to gather in Maine. Responsible Cal, the oldest and closest to their dad, is torn between taking care of her family and meeting the demands of a high-pressure law career. Impulsive Violet, the estranged middle child, is regretting a messy breakup with a man she’s just now realizing she truly loves. And Suzy, the sweet youngest daughter, is anguishing over a life-altering decision.
Arriving in their father’s small coastal town, the Bloom sisters can’t help but revisit the past, confronting the allegations against their father that shattered their family nearly twenty years earlier. As they try to reconcile different versions of their childhood and search for common ground, they’re forced to look at their father’s life—and their own lives—with new eyes, or risk losing all they hold dear.
A little about me: Originally from the Boston area, I now live on the island of Martha’s Vineyard with my husband and two daughters. During the day I work as a middle and high school English teacher. When not teaching, parenting, reading or cooking, I write contemporary fiction. My writing tends to focus on family, motherhood, relationships, work and career angst, sibling rivalry, and other messy stuff. My first novel, THE BLOOM GIRLS, releases March 14, 2017, with Lake Union Publishing. My second novel will come out March 2018. Want to hear more? Read more about my work on my website (www.emilycavanaghauthor.com), sign up for my author newsletter. or follow me on social media.
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.
~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review
My Review: ✰✰✰✰⭒
I’m always thrilled to find out an author whose book I like is a near neighbor of mine. I’m here in Southern New Hampshire and she’s just down there on Martha’s Vineyard. This is Ms. Cavanaugh’s debut novel, which came out in March of this year. I struggle over how to classify this type of book. They seem to fall under Women’s Lit or Coming of Age a lot. I keep looking for a better classification for them.
Here we meet three sisters of the Bloom family. Each sister has been named after a flower. There’s Cal (Calla Lily), Violet, and Suzy (Black-eyed Susan). Each one has her own struggles with her past and current life. They have just found out that their father died of a heart attack. Their mother lives overseas. So the sisters make plans to go take care of their father’s funeral.
Each of the sisters starts a mental house cleaning of things related to her own relationship with her father and how the situation will be once they get to his house. Each of them is focused on herself and how this has affected her. They all have questions about their father and whether or not he was really gay, even though he denied it. The sniping and bickering reveal all the tension beneath the surface. Finally, their mother arrives and they settle a bit now that their Mom is there to stabilize them. But their drama continues and it takes a near-death incident and a botched one-night stand to bring all of the dirt to light and get all four of the women together and talking enough to get at the truth of what happened “back then”.
Parts of this were really tough to read. This was a family story, and yet Violet was pretty disgusting. I was glad in the end all the dirt came out so that she could really heal. There was excellent character development of all the characters. And the storyline was tops. Poor Barry, so alone in the end. I felt so bad for him. There was no resolution, no path ahead for him.
Ms. Cavanaugh has another book coming out in March of 2018. I recommend reading this first one and looking forward to her second one later on. She seems like an author to watch.