Book: The Sweeney Sisters
Author: Lian Dolan
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: April 28th 2020
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
An accomplished storyteller returns with her biggest, boldest, most entertaining novel yet—a hilarious, heartfelt story about books, love, sisterhood, and the surprises we discover in our DNA that combines the wit of Jonathan Tropper with the heart of Susan Wiggs.
Maggie, Eliza, and Tricia Sweeney grew up as a happy threesome in the idyllic seaside town of Southport, Connecticut. But their mother’s death from cancer fifteen years ago tarnished their golden-hued memories, and the sisters drifted apart. Their one touchstone is their father, Bill Sweeney, an internationally famous literary lion and college professor universally adored by critics, publishers, and book lovers. When Bill dies unexpectedly one cool June night, his shell-shocked daughters return to their childhood home. They aren’t quite sure what the future holds without their larger-than-life father, but they do know how to throw an Irish wake to honor a man of his stature.
But as guests pay their respects and reminisce, one stranger, emboldened by whiskey, has crashed the party. It turns out that she too is a Sweeney sister.
When Washington, DC based journalist Serena Tucker had her DNA tested on a whim a few weeks earlier, she learned she had a 50% genetic match with a childhood neighbor—Maggie Sweeney of Southport, Connecticut. It seems Serena’s chilly WASP mother, Birdie, had a history with Bill Sweeney—one that has remained totally secret until now.
Once the shock wears off, questions abound. What does this mean for William’s literary legacy? Where is the unfinished memoir he’s stashed away, and what will it reveal? And how will a fourth Sweeney sister—a blond among redheads—fit into their story?
By turns revealing, insightful, and uproarious, The Sweeney Sisters is equal parts cautionary tale and celebration—a festive and heartfelt look at what truly makes a family.
Lian Dolan is a writer and talker. She’s the author of two Los Angeles Times best-selling novels, Helen of Pasadena and Elizabeth the First Wife published by Prospect Park Books. Her next novel, The Sweeney Sisters, will be published in 2020 by William Morrow. She’s a regular humor columnist for Pasadena Magazine and has previously written monthly columns for O, The Oprah Magazine and Working Mother Magazine. She’s also written for TV, radio and websites.
Lian is the producer and host of Satellite Sisters, the award-winning talk show she created with her four real sisters. On Satellite Sisters, she’s interviewed everyone from Nora Ephron to Madeleine Albright to Big Bird. Satellite Sisters began life as a syndicated radio show and is now a top-rated podcast for women. The recent book by the Satellite Sisters, You’re the Best: A Celebration of Friendship, is popular with book clubs.
A popular speaker who combines humor and heart, Lian has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Sunday Morning and The Today Show and many local TV stations. She’s been a featured speaker at the LA Times Festival of Books, the Santa Barbara Celebrity Authors Lunch, the Literary Guild of Orange County Festival of Women Authors and dozens of other events at libraries, book stores, schools and women’s organizations across the country. In 2020, she’ll be on the faculty of the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop.
Lian graduated from Pomona College with a degree in Classics. She lives in Pasadena, California with her husband, two sons and a big German shepherd.
Family is a delicate matter and Lian Dolan handled it very deftly and weaved a touching story into The Sweeney Sisters. We often don’t know the people we think we know, even after spending years under the same roof. Without communication things can get so much worse in a family. All the characters have some baggage, some secrets, keeping them secrets destroys a family. That’s what we see in The Sweeney Sisters. The three sisters over some miscommunication or the the other become strangers and merely tolerate each other.
Family is complicated, we love to hate them, but family is essential. Every character Dolan sketched are realistic, each one is distinct from the other, but with one commonality – everyone is flawed some way or the other, every one is coping with life. The Sweeney Sisters is a touching and eye-opening chronicles of a family of mismatched people.
Daddy Sweeney does not deserve any respect. He had no respect for the women in his life. He was awful to his wife who loved and supported him dearly. Mommy Sweeney deserved more exposure. Though Whit Jones had a brief appearance, I didn’t appreciate his presence, either. I commend Lian Dolan for having crafted characters who are worth your empathy and those who you despise wholeheartedly.
Prize: Win a copy of THE SWEENEY SISTERS by Lian Dolan (US Only)
Starts: 28th April 2020
Ends: 12th May 2020
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Thank you FFBC and William Morrow for including me as a tour host and for the review copy.