Shae-Lynn Penrose drives a cab in a town where no one needs a cabbut plenty of people need rides. A former police officer with a closet full of miniskirts, a recklessly sharp tongue, and a tendency to deal with men by either beating them up or taking them to bed, she has spent years carving out a life for herself and her son in Jolly Mount, Pennsylvania, the tiny coal-mining town where she grew up.
Two years ago, five of Shae-Lynns miner friends were catapulted to media stardom when they were rescued after surviving four days trapped in a mine. As the men struggle to come to terms with the nightmarish memories of their ordeal, along with the fallout of their short- lived celebrity, Shae-Lynn finds herself facing harsh realities and reliving bad dreams of her own, including her relationship with her brutal father, her conflicted passion for one of the miners, and the hidden identity of the man who fathered her son.
When the younger sister she thought was dead arrives on her doorstep, followed closely by a gun-wielding Russian gangster, a shady New York lawyer, and a desperate Connecticut housewife, Shae-Lynn is forced to grapple with the horrible truth she discovers about the life her sisters been living, and with one ominous question: Will her return result in a monstrous act of greed or one of sacrifice?
Tawni ODells trademark blend of black humor, tenderness, and a keen sense of place is evident once again as Shae-Lynn takes on past demons and all-too-present dangers.
Sister Mine, O'Dell's third novel following Back Roads and Coal Run, is a raucous, action-driven, fun read with a cast of robust characters including hard-talking Shae-Lynn, a Russian gangster, a sleazy New York lawyer, a dastardly mine owner and a wayward sister. In fact, it's such a fun read that it's easy to overlook that at its heart are powerful issues that explore, in various contexts and from various perspectives, the price we put on human life. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Entertainment Weekly - Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
O'Dell hits her stride here; one hopes this is not the last we'll hear from her punch-packing, pink-Stetson-wearing heroine.
Shae-Lynn Penrose, the author's first female protagonist, is a ballsy, sassy delight, but the story she tells verges on ridiculous...Many wonderful scenes bear witness for people too often left voiceless in American literature, but coming on the heels of the majestic, passionate Coal Run (2004), this undisciplined novel is a disappointment.
Starred Review. Family saga O'Dell-style crackles with conflict and a deep understanding of the complications and burdens that follow attachment, sex, love and kinship.
Booklist - Michele Leber
Starred Review. O'Dell...examines such issues as abuse, betrayal, abandonment, perseverance, and reconciliation, with love at the heart of it all, in crisp, insightful prose that sweeps the reader along. A knockout.
Although she occasionally includes some jarring topics that veer toward the sentimental, she also packs this gripping tale with loads of action, intrigue, and suspense. Strongly recommended.
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