If you don't know the beautiful, slightly off-kilter, heart-warming world of Joshilyn Jackson's books, do yourself a favour and get shopping. These are books you want on your shelf, to greet you at the end of a long day; and in your car on CDs, and on your e-reader for when you have five minutes to spare at the dentist and you want to read a few pages of gorgeous prose.
"The Almost Sisters" revisits some themes from "Gods in Alabama" - racism, maternal love, the bond between not-necessarily-biological sisters, old secrets - but it offers a totally different plot and a brand-new set of characters.
You will fall in love, just as I did.
Only read the blurb if you have to. I didn't, and was happy to let the book take me places at its own pace.
Superheroes have always been Leia Birch Briggs’ weakness. One tequila-soaked night at a comics convention, the usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman.
It turns out the caped crusader has left her with more than just a nice, fuzzy memory. She’s having a baby boy—an unexpected but not unhappy development in the thirty-eight year-old’s life. But before Leia can break the news of her impending single-motherhood (including the fact that her baby is biracial) to her conventional, Southern family, her step-sister Rachel’s marriage implodes. Worse, she learns her beloved ninety-year-old grandmother, Birchie, is losing her mind, and she’s been hiding her dementia with the help of Wattie, her best friend since girlhood.
Leia returns to Alabama to put her grandmother’s affairs in order, clean out the big Victorian that has been in the Birch family for generations, and tell her family that she’s pregnant. Yet just when Leia thinks she’s got it all under control, she learns that illness is not the only thing Birchie’s been hiding. Tucked in the attic is a dangerous secret with roots that reach all the way back to the Civil War. Its exposure threatens the family’s freedom and future, and it will change everything about how Leia sees herself and her sister, her son and his missing father, and the world she thinks she knows.