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The Sisters Montclair

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  844 ratings  ·  124 reviews
The last thing twenty-one-year-old Stella Nightingale wants is a job as a caregiver for wealthy Alice Montclair Whittington. Alice, a ninety-four-year-old Southern grande dame with a dry sense of humor and a wicked tongue, has already run off a long line of caregivers. But Stella, a former runaway from a broken home who's only recently begun to put her life back together, ...more
Paperback, 357 pages
Published August 1st 2012 by Branwell Books (first published July 24th 2012)
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3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  844 ratings  ·  124 reviews

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Jul 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
First, i did receive a copy of this book through a Goodreads giveaway. Second, I think I am pretty stingy with giving 5 stars to books. I am giving The Sisters Montclair 5 stars because it took me to an emotional place and the story hooked me from the beginning. I loved the relationship between the older Alice and the younger Stella. It made me think of my 91 year old grandmother and how I love to spend time with her and hear her stories. The story also is a strong reminder of something I think ...more
Nov 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
Just ok. I thought the secrets were easy to figure out, so really not any surprises. I really liked Alice and her story the best. She was someone I would love to take care of. I thought there were some things introduced but never got the answers for. This was my second Cathy Holton book and like her other novel, I felt like there was something missing.
Jun 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012-challenge
(LT win)

Every Cathy Holton book I have read, I have enjoyed tremendously. This one was no different. By page 13, I was already in love with the characters and couldn't wait to hear their stories. This always bodes well for me when the story draws me immediately and I can connect with the characters right away. I just knew a captivating story was in store.

At 94 years old, Alice, who came from a socially prominent and privileged background, was not happy that her family hired someone to watch ov
Aug 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. I wasn't sure if the dynamic between Stella and Alice would be too cheesy or too forced, but I think the Holton did a wonderful job creating a believable relationship between the two.

Stella is 21, a bit unconventional, and probably not what Alice, a 94 year old woman from the rich part of town, expected as her caregiver. When we meet Stella, she is a bit of a lost soul, living with a boyfriend who is not very nice to her. She doesn't seem
Susan Obryan
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I have long been a fan of Cathy Holton - each novel has touched me in a different way.

"The Sisters Montclair" is among the best of the Holton best, in my opinion. From the first page, I connected with the main characters and couldn't wait to see if they lived up to my imagined expectations for them. They certainly did!

At age 94, Alice Whittington needs help getting dressed, getting around and such. She has caretakers around the clock, but mostly they are just there to attend to her physical need
Aug 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This novel is a fascinating contrast between the past and the present, the old and the young. Now in her nineties, wealthy Alice Montclair needs caregivers so she can remain at home and retain what independence she has. Stella Nightingale, working her way through college, is desperate for a job, desperate enough to tackle a cantankerous grande dame who has run off numerous caregivers. But though they don’t yet know it, these seemingly vastly different women have much in common: both have an inde ...more
Aug 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Two women from opposing economic backgrounds find common ground, comfort and security in each other's presence. Stella is a bright, promising college student struggling with mounting debt and secrets from her bleak childhood. Alice Montclair Whittington is a wealthy elderly lady who is struggling with health issues and declining memory. Alice also has deep, dark secrets from her past. Despite Stella's Goth-like appearance, Alice immediately "takes" to Stella and consents to hiring her as one of ...more
Wendy Hall
Apr 13, 2013 rated it liked it
A simple book, without much twisting and turning of the plot. Had enough foreshadowing that I was easily able to predict any intended "surprises." Demonstrated a nice relationship between a young woman and an elderly lady. Definitely had some redeeming qualities about it, but wasn't one I would necessarily recommend, although it was recommended to me by someone whose choices are usually good ones for me. Just usually looking for something a little deeper or with more substance to it. I was ready ...more
Apr 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5, but I'm rounding up. I knew this was a local author, but didn't know the story was set in my hometown. It was cool and also distracting ... I mean, I go to the same eye doctor as Alice. I could probably have dropped deeper into the story had I not been so busy trying to figure out who the story was about, if that makes sense. Anyway, I enjoyed it and can't wait to loan to my mom, who will have everything figured out within the first three chapters.
Mar 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing, and well-told story!

We all have secrets. It is how you look at those secrets and protect them in your heart which can make them a heavy load to carry. Once the secrets were out, they were able to be viewed in a different light & from a different angle, allowing the freedom of release. Alice & Stella were facinating characters and I truly enjoyed their adventure together. Learing from one another & growing together. I loved this book - fantastic job Cathy Holton!!
Elizabeth Castricone
Tender, funny, poignant.

As a"southern" girl, displaced by many years in New England, it was fitting and comforting to read such a well-written story. One which held me from beginning to end. I associated characters to my life and the author actually was able to allow me to "walk in their skin" for a while.
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was really loving this book until the very end. It's not that I didn't like the ending; it was just rushed. The author took her time telling the story until the last two chapters. It felt as though she was taking SAT tests and time was running out. I would still recommend the book, it's just not as great as it started out to be.
Jul 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This sounds like a fantastic book! I love books with different generations. I work in a nursing home so I love to hear elders stories! You look at them and can't think of the stuff the did but they tell stories and they had incredible lives! Can't wait to read this book!
Kathy Cherney
Apr 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sisters M

Good read. Really more about Stella and Alice who are not sisters. Expected ending in a way, but still a good read.
Mar 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Quick read. Interesting. Good story about a wealthy old lady and her young caretaker. I would read more by this author
Sue Latham
Jul 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I loved this book, the characters and the story. I would have loved to spend an afternoon with Alice.
Shelly N
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

It was like reading about my grandmother. Funny, devilish but she could get the snob on if she had to. I liked it and it had a great ending.
Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
A book about the secrets and guilts we all carry buried deep within. Occasionally someone comes along we know we can share them with, without fear of judgment. Stella and Alice, although having led very different lives, have secrets and guilts to share.
So much unfulfilled potential in this story, and in the characters themselves.
Rachel Hunt
Mar 19, 2017 rated it liked it
3.50 stars to be exact
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: galleys-arcs
The Sisters Montclair: A Novel by Cathy Holton

It’s easy to get swept up in this story. I found it to be a little slow at first, but quickly I became engrossed with both Stella the young caregiver and Alice the elderly woman who needs the care.
This is a story of secrets, some so old and horrible that you might wonder if it really is a good thing to revisit and some secrets so new and horrible that it could send you on a journey you might never recover from.

Stella, a young psychology major in col
Alice Montclair Whittington, age 94, has run off every one of her companions by virtue of the edge of her tongue and high expectations. She is stubborn, opinionated, and not always lucid. Stella Nightingale, age 21, is scratching her way through college, lacking in financial aid, and desperate enough for a job that she takes on the task of seeing to Miss Alice's daily needs -- meals, clothing, light housework -- regardless of Miss Alice's reputation.

Alice and Stella hit it off right away when S
Melanie Coombes
Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
This is a wonderful story of an unlikely friendship that develops between 94 year old Alice and her young caregiver, Stella.
Stella accepts a job as a caregiver at the home of wealthy Alice Whittington. Alice is a feisty, opinionated Southern grand dame who forgets her past. At other times she is quite lucid and begins to share her past with Stella. At certain times she refers to a mysterious woman named Laura. In the next minute, she claims to not know anyone named Laura. Alice struggles to over
Rori Rischak
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
I liked the narrator in this book. I think in a lot of books, the narrator is almost meant to be the universally relatable and likeable character, which means that usually the character is pretty mild-mannered, and not overly confident or ambitious. But this narrator is unusually sharp-tongued, and it was a nice change of pace. She was also rather unmotivated in school, and didn’t seem real appreciative of her boyfriend’s financial support, so I didn’t like that too much, but I guess you can’t h ...more
Aug 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: r-lt
Review first published on my blog:

The Sisters Montclair is the story of the unlikely friendship between ninety-four year old Alice Montclair and her twenty-one year old caregiver Stella Nightingale.

On the surface, the two couldn't be more different. Alice Montclair is a wealthy dame of society and the matriarch of the family. She suffers periods of forgetfulness, dreams of the past, and has run off many caregivers. Stella is a runaway who is barely scrapi
Aug 04, 2012 rated it liked it
This one was enjoyable enough; however, after I especially enjoyed Holton's last novel, Summer in the South, this one was a bit of a letdown for me. The book description sucked me in, hinting at family secrets and such. But the pace of the novel was slow, and you would think given that fact, the story would be full of elaborate description to keep the reader engaged. But I found the character development lacking, especially that of Stella, the 21-year-old. She had some witty, biting remarks that ...more
This novel is about two very different women and the secrets they hold close to themselves.

Stella Nightingale is a young woman who left home as a teenager and through luck and determination, is making something of her life. Alice Montclair Whittington is a wealthy grande dame who has managed to run off a series of caregivers with her dry humor and penchant for wicked comments. The two strike up a friendship as they learn more about one another during the course of Stella's employment. As they l
Jillian Wolf
Nov 18, 2012 rated it liked it
The Sisters MontClair by Cathy Holton is a story of the secrets that a woman, motivated by love, sadness and her own failures, can hide from the ones she loves. Alice is a 94-year-old woman who has achieved many successes, but has few people living who truly give her love, attention and caring. Stella is a hard-working college student who struggles to survive. When Alice needs a new caregiver, Stella steps in to fill the role. As they spend time together, Stella learns more and more about her ne ...more
Jul 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: first-reads
Won this book in the First Reads Giveaways.

After reading the three page prologue, I did not think I was going to like this book at all. In fact, I put it down and read several other before coming back to it. However, when I finally got past the prologue and into the real story, I was pleasantly surprised.

The book is about the unlikely friendship of 21 year old Stella and 94 year old Alice and the secrets they hold. Desperate for work, Stella is forced to take a job as a caregiver for Alice two d
Mar 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
The rich can afford the creature comforts of life but can they extinguish heart ache? Money can't buy everything and just because someone has more than you doesn't mean they don't suffer any less. Alice has more money than she can spend in one life time and she cuts coupons and buys everything on sale! But everything comes at a price. Stella is an abandoned young lady trying to set your life on the right course. She makes a choice - she goes back to school and to help with her financial burdens ...more
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Cathy Holton continues to entertain readers with her stories of strong, intelligent women trying to survive in an often hostile world. The Boston Globe says “Holton has a lively, fluid style that shifts easily among the viewpoints’ of several characters and goes down as easily as sweet tea,” while Entertainment Weekly calls her prose “Sharp, witty, and warm.”

Although grateful for the critical pra