Reviews for The Mill River redemption : a novel

Library Journal
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A pair of sisters, estranged since a long-ago tragedy, are forced into an effort to reconcile when they're called home for their mother's funeral. Josie DiSanti stipulated that her estate is to be split between Emily and Rose-but only if they spend the summer in Mill River, VT, where they grew up, and find a safe-deposit-box key Josie has hidden. Rose is as frosty and haughty as Emily is friendly and kind-to everyone but Rose, from whom she won't take any nonsense. The relationship soon escalates from criminal mischief to vandalism as the two stubbornly resist their mother's edict. It isn't until another tragedy that Rose and Emily realize what they stand to lose. Despite a few underbaked subplots, Chan's follow-up to The Mill River Recluse is an engrossing page-turner, reeling readers in further with each layer that's revealed. VERDICT The deus ex machina ending may throw some readers for a loop, but this is still a satisfying read with sympathetic and relatable characters that will be good for book group discussions and vacation reading. [See Prepub Alert, 3/17/14.]-Amy Brozio-Andrews, Albany P.L., NY (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

The second novel in Chan's (The Mill River Recluse, 2014) series set in the small Vermont town of Mill River focuses on sisters Rose and Emily, who have not spoken in years. News of their mother's sudden death does not bring them back together until the terms of her will are disclosed: the sisters must cooperate to solve a series of puzzles that will lead to their inheritance. Each can use the money, but forgiveness is something these stubborn sisters cannot seem to figure out. Mill River and its quirky denizens are more charming than the bickering and backstabbing DiSanti sisters, but their story is compelling. Slow reveals and dramatic twists proliferate: the cause of Rose and Emily's grudge remains unclear until the book is almost over, and the final surprise will either make readers gasp or frustrate them with its sheer emotional manipulativeness. Though it can feel as though Chan is not sure if she's writing a small-town chronicle, a family drama, or a tale of forgiveness, the answer may well be all three, and, in the end, it works.--Donohue, Nanette Copyright 2014 Booklist

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Estranged sisters try to work together to earn their inheritance in this novel from Chan (The Mill River Recluse, 2011).When the death of their mother, Josie DiSanti, calls them back to quaint Mill River, Rose and Emily plan on avoiding each other as much as possible. Unfortunately, their mother's last wish was that the sisters reconcile, and she created an elaborate plan that requires them to live next door to each other until they earn their inheritance. This proves difficult, as Rose and Emily would rather vandalize each other's cars than carry out their mother's wishes. Through flashback chapters, readers learn about Josie's move to Mill River, where the family lived with her aunt Ivy, who owned a bookstore in town, and the incident that inspired years of anger between Rose and Emily. As the sisters attempt to uncover the clues that will lead to their inheritance, Rose must face a serious alcohol problem, and Emily must confront a horrible loss from her past. Can the town help the girls reconcile, or are they doomed to be enemies forever? After learning so much about their difficult past, readers will definitely root for Rose and Emily. Mill River has a pleasant, small-town feel, and readers of Chan's first novel will enjoy returning. There are perhaps too many characters crammed into the novel, and some of their stories feel superfluous. A twist near the end provides a shock, but it's also borderline unbelievable. However, the endearing characters and the relationship between Josie and her daughters make it easy to overlook the flaws. Readers looking for a feel-good book about small towns and family bonds won't be disappointed by Chan's latest. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.