Welcome to Ivory Owl Reviews

Just browsing?
Click on any of the above photos to jump to one of my popular posts (on desktop version)

Want to see what's new?
Scroll down for my most recent posts (desktop and mobile versions)

Looking for something?
Use the search box in the right hand column (desktop) or at the bottom of the page (mobile)

Review: Sisters of Heart and Snow by Margaret Dilloway

Title: Sisters of Heart and Snow
Author: Margaret Dilloway
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
Original Publication Date: April 7, 2015
ISBN: 9780425279212
Number of Pages: 388
How I Got It: publicist
Format: paperback
Publicist's Description:
Rachel and Drew Snow might be sisters, but their lives have followed completely different paths. As the adult daughters of an American father and a Japanese mail order bride, they grew up in southern California, caught between Killian, their demanding quick-tempered father, and Hikari, their stoic deferential mother. Rachel, now thirty-eight, was a typical rebellious sixteen-year-old when her father kicked her out of the house for youthful indiscretions. Now she’s married to a good man and has two strong-willed kids of her own who test her limits every day. Her talented younger sister Drew followed her passion for music, but her career is stalled along with her love life. The sisters’ relationship has been strained for years, but an odd request from their Alzheimer stricken mother launches them on a surprising journey that heals and reunites them in ways they never imagined possible.
Hikari’s lucid moments are becoming more infrequent, but she manages to ask Rachel to retrieve a large book from her sewing room, a book Rachel has never seen. It’s an album of sorts containing old, unlabeled photos and a reproduction of an ancient text. Neither she nor Drew can translate it and when a local student steps in to help, the mystery only deepens. Why give it to them now? Who are the Japanese people in the faded photos? Why did their mother reveal so little of herself and her past life but save this samurai story for decades? What did she hope her daughters would gain from it?
Alternating chapters on the sisters’ turbulent lives with the compelling twelfth-century tale of real-life female samurai Tomoe Gozen, SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW reveals what happens when modern sisters discover that courage isn’t only for bold warrior women of ancient times, but for them as well.
My Review:
This book took me forever to read. Which is actually good. Let me explain. At the beginning of March I was offered more work with the company I've been working with for the last 6 months. I joyously accepted and am now writing for clients and doing business' social media full-time. Yay, but adjusting meant blogging and reading were put on the back burner. Add to this the decision to do a full gut and remodel of our kitchen, living room, and laundry room and I basically created the perfect storm of upheaval. BUT...I kept coming back to Sisters of Heart and Snow. Little by little I'd grab a few pages before putting it down for days and sometimes weeks! Most books would not have held my attention, but Sisters of Heart and Snow did! I found myself trying to figure out what Hikari's backstory was or what Tomoe would do next. I always love books with strong female characters and I'm not sure you can get much stronger than Tomoe Gozen. I liked author Margaret Dilloway's prose so much that I just put a request in at the library for her previous work, How to be an American Housewife. I think this would be a good choice for book clubs who enjoy discussing marriages, sisterhood, and parenting choices. Dilloway also provides a discussion guide at the back of the book.

Photo Credit: Saflower Photography
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Margaret Dilloway is the author of How to Be an American Housewife, The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns, and a middle-grade fantasy series which Disney-Hyperion is publishing on April 5, 2016 beginning with Momotaro: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters. She lives in Southern California with her husband and their three children.

***Disclaimer:: I was given a copy of this release in exchange for an honest review. I received no additional compensation. ***