The Sisters of Summit Avenue

Gallery. Sept. 2019. 320p. ISBN 9781501134166. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781501134180. F
Sisters June and Ruth have been in conflict despite their love for each other—Ruth is jealous of June’s grace and beauty and their parents’ attention, and June can’t understand Ruth’s anger and constant need to rebel. In Depression-stricken 1934, they are grown and living their lives separately, but their rivalry continues. Ruth is raising four daughters and single-handedly keeping her farm going since her husband John contracted “sleeping sickness” eight years ago. June is married to a successful doctor and is one of the women behind the popular persona Betty Crocker. While Ruth is jealous of June’s life, June is unhappy and desperately in love with Ruth’s husband. It is only when Dorothy, their mother, forces them to reunite and dark secrets from her past are revealed that the family can come together.
VERDICT Cullen’s (Mrs. Poe) complex story of a family torn apart by jealousy, betrayal, and misunderstanding will resonate with all readers. Courageous and heart-wrenching, it is a tribute to mothers, daughters, and sisters that’s not to be missed.
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