This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Kay Brooks
When Josie Desanti loses her husband, she decides to uproot her two daughters from the Bronx and heads to the peaceful town of Mill River where they can start to deal with their grief. Luckily the sisters, Rose and Emily, have their love for each other to pull them through the loss of their father. They remain close until tragedy strikes again and the sisters are torn apart. Believing that her daughters’ love for one another is not beyond repair, Josie would do anything to reunite them. When her will declares that the sisters must move back to Mill River and work as a team on a treasure hunt to find their inheritance, they are forced to face the past. Memories both good and heart-breaking resurface as sisterly love is truly tested.
After reading and enjoying The Mill River Recluse, I was delighted when this came through the letterbox. The story is set again in the fictional town of Mill River where it is so peaceful, the police turn up in two minutes to investigate a damaged lawn. All the characters from the first novel also feature in this sequel where they are further developed.
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The main plotline focuses around three generations of women: Josie, the aunt who takes her in and Josie's two daughters, Rose and Emily, who could not be more different. Rose is older and moved to New York as soon as she could to escape the boredom of Mill River. She is horrified at the prospect of returning. Emily seems softer but is feisty in other ways. She feels like she has come home when she arrives back in Mill River. Despite her hefty grudge against her sister, Emily wants to get to know her unusually intelligent nephew, Alex, but their feud shows no signs of calming and Alex is protective of his flawed mother.After reading Chan’s first novel, I had high hopes for this and am happy to say I wasn’t disappointed. I actually enjoyed this more, finding the sisters and their story intriguing. The storyline moves between the past and the present, which helped me to understand how strong the bond was between the sisters when they were growing up and how it was subsequently destroyed. You don’t need to have read the first instalment to understand Redemption; it can be enjoyed as a stand alone novel, too. But after reading this, you may want to.
There are a few loose ends that aren’t tied up regarding the inheritance at the end, but perhaps this hints at another follow-up.
A heart-warming story about the importance of family support.