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Sister Dear

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  1,026 ratings  ·  259 reviews
All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start. But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?

Convicted of a crime she didn't commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish; time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughte
ebook, 400 pages
Published April 19th 2016 by Thomas Nelson
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Michelle I'd say not Christian, as there's no religious theme in the book and God is not really mentioned. I'd consider it more a clean read. There is…moreI'd say not Christian, as there's no religious theme in the book and God is not really mentioned. I'd consider it more a clean read. There is discussion of a character having an affair and a little bit of mild language. If you're okay with that, it's an interesting story.(less)

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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,026 ratings  ·  259 reviews

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May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: suspense, netgalley
3.75 Stars (I know, I know-why not just give it a 4 star rating, right?)

I have to be honest-there really isn't anything wrong with this book... It's written well, the pace moves quickly, and I could identify with the characters.

So why not a higher rating?

It's because I've read this storyline before. From different authors. The characters might have different names and live in different towns, but the set up and end result is all basically the same.

3.5 stars for decent writing.
Well, I'm just going to say it...I know that I am one of the few who did not feel this was anything close to being a "nail-biter" or "thriller". There is zero suspense, although the writing style is good, this story is just way too predictable.
Most of the characters were okay to get to know, just ordinary. Even the sister is totally predictable in her twisted way. Towards the end of the story, you do get one little surprise, but even that is nothing to sh
After ten years in prison for a crime she didn’t commit, Allie Marshall was finally paroled and able to return home. Her sister Emma picked her up to begin the long drive back to the small country town of Brunswick in Georgia that they called home; to their parents and Allie’s daughter Caroline. Caroline had been five years old when Allie was incarcerated – now fifteen and not having seen her mother in years, Allie had no idea what would happen when they saw one another again. All Allie knew was ...more
This was a great mind twisty mystery. A bit slow in the first several chapters, but once you get into the heart of the story you'll be flipping pages like nobody's business. A great book for those rainy Spring days.

Note:::Near the end of the book there are one or two instances of mild language.

Note:::I recieved this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Judy Collins
A special thank you to Thomas Nelson--FICTION and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Top 50 Books of 2016!

Talented storyteller, Laura McNeill returns following her sensational debut, Center of Gravity, landing on my Top 50 Books of 2015 “Best Southern Domestic Psycho-Suspense" with a strong followup, SISTER DEAR, an edge of your seat (nail-biter), tension-filled, psychological suspense thriller Top Books of 2016.

From jealousy, greed, betrayal, family, revenge, m
Apr 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
Wow! It's been over a week since I finished reading "Sister Dear" and I still can't get it out of my head! This is a book that will keep you thinking long after you finish it. You'll wonder why didn't I see that or "Really?" Needless to say, I loved this family mystery.

The story is about a young woman, Allie, who is convicted of a crime she supposedly didn't commit. After she gets out of prison, she returns to the town she lived in and encounters a massive amount of prejudice. She, of course, i
Laura Rash
Sep 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Laura McNeill has a knack for weaving an intricate & intriguing family story! Alternating in time makes for a very quick paced & entertaining read. The facets of families & how they deal with secrets, tragedies & hope are all included! Fabulous read!
Jun 03, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining , the perfect holiday read unless you are spending your time with your sister!
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

Two Sisters, one jealous sister, and a trail of unbelievable acts.

Could you really be that jealous of someone and have such a desire for revenge that you would go to any lengths to ruin that person's life?

We meet Allie as she is released from prison after ten years for a crime she didn't commit, Emma, Allie's sister who raised Allie's daughter, and Caroline, Allie's 15-year-old daughter.

Allie was released from prison and returned to her home town in hopes of r
I won a copy of Sister Dear from a Goodreads Giveaway.

I didn't like this book and while I wouldn't say I hated it, I wouldn't recommend it only because you know whodunit by the fifth chapter. When that happens, it makes the book not worth finishing, in my opinion.

The characters are shallow archetypes of exactly the types you would find in these plots:

1. The picture perfect family minus the bratty, younger, wild sister Emma who is jealous of the-

2. Brainy, beau
Apr 28, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is one of those books that just fall into the "there" category. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. I read of lot of books in this genre and ultimately the biggest flaw with Sister Dear is that it is entirely too predictable. I mean, the title of the book alone basically tells you what you need to know. Right from the get go I knew who really killed Coach Thomas, so although there is a small ah-ha moment at
Susan Peterson
Dec 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that will blow you away! A real page-turner, full of secrets, jealousy, and lots of twists and turns! Allie has served 10 years in prison after being convicted of killing a revered high school football coach, although she has always proclaimed her innocence. At the time of her conviction she was the single mother of a young daughter and was about to enter medical school. Allie's sister, Emma has taken care of her daughter, Caroline, while she was imprisoned. Allie has no idea that ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It's no secret that I loved Laura McNeill's highly suspenseful and intriguing debut novel, Center of Gravity. I loved her full-of-secrets sophomore novel, Sister Dear, for all the same reasons. Tight prose where I savor every word, multiple viewpoints told in both the present and the past, fully fleshed out, complex characters; all with a super quick, page-turning pace. I am still thinking about the ever evolving characters, each of whom I would find totally sympathetic, only to change my mind o ...more
Tracy Shephard
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Allie is fresh out of prison after serving ten years of a sixteen year sentence for murder. All she was to do is re-aquatint herself with her daughter Caroline and prove her innocence.

Caroline is beautiful and popular. The last thing she wants is a convict mother spoiling the life she has she doesn't want to explain her mother's release to her friends.

Emma, Allie's sister has been a rock to Caroline, she is the mother Allie isn't and obviously couldn't be, and all Emma wa
Philomena Callan Cheekypee
I've read Center of Gravity by this author so I couldn't wait to read this one.

I didn't read the synopsis before I started this. I've got to say as I kept reading I really hoped it was going to have a big twist that would blow my mind, that would make this stand apart from other stories like this. Sadly it didn't.

Don't get me wrong it's a well written story that I read in a few days and I didn't guess straight off who did it. The ending was also different to what I thought it would happen. All
Kimberly Belle
May 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book! I couldn't put it down. Secrets, tragedies, plenty of sisterly drama... It's all included here, and the alternating storylines, switching between past and present, makes it a quick and engaging read. Five stars!
Apr 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blog-tour
Review over at my blog:
Kimberly Belle
Oct 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Laura McNeill kept me flipping the pages until deep in the night. LOVED.
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, drama, mystery
I am really behind today because I just could not put down this completely engrossing domestic suspense drama. Told from multiple points of views and switching between present and past, all the characters were intricately fleshed out and were totally believable, and the amazing thing was, the author managed to make me have feelings for all of them, even the 'nasty' ones, because they were all portrayed in such a complex way that you could understand what was driving them and why they acted the w ...more
Mrs Mommy Booknerd
Wow, oh wow. This book was so good. I was so caught up in this book that I became emotionally attached. I was not sure who to believe or who to trust. I loved the way McNeill left bread crumbs for the reader to follow and how she slowly lead the reader through the story. Then, as the as the story slowly revealed itself, the suspense and thrill also increased. It was a roller coaster of a ride and the climax made me gasp. Sister Dear is about family, jealousy, justice, redemption, starting over a ...more
Teresa Kander
I was really excited to read this book because of all the publicity it got before it was published. I have to admit that I was disappointed that it did not live up to the hype, at least for me.

The story is very well-written, but there was not, in my opinion, any nail-biting suspense. The plot is overdone and far too predictable. It took almost no time at all to figure out who the real killer had been and why they had killed the person and allowed Allie to take the blame.

I really lik
Cindy Roesel
Apr 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
“All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start. But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever?”

Laura McNeill’s novels keep getting stronger and more compelling. The characters are richer and the plots more sophisticated and layered. Laura’s early novels seemed to focus on family and place. Her central character has always been a strong woman overcoming insurmountable obstacles, but now her storylines seem to have taken a turn toward the p
Review to come closer to publication.

What if.. you made a mistake that cost you 10 years of your life? And then what if the mistake was not even really a mistake, more of being in the wrong place at wrong time?

You get out of jail. You want to be good. To have life go back to normal. But someone out there won't rest till you've paid. And paid. And paid.

What do you do?
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible, kindle, perks-uno
This was a slow build kind of read that was very enjoyable because I liked the main character and felt a lot of sympathy for her situation. Allie was surrounded by all sorts of folks who may not have always been like-able, but definitely made the story more interesting. Laura McNeill's stories are not usually fast-paced but her writing style flows nicely and the story line is typically interesting so its an enjoyable journey.
Great story! However you always knew who and what was going to happen! Sisters are always jealous and always you knew who was in the wrong and who was in the right. I hate the words in my head approach.
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beach-reads-2016
Gone Girl with a Twist

Thank you to Thomas Nelson for giving me a copy of Sister Dear in exchange for an honest review.

I have followed Laura’s career as a writer from the beginning. Her books have always been enjoyable and have been great reads! The story in Sister Dear is different from the past but in such a good way.


Allie Marshall is getting her release from prison, and her freedom back. Once she is out she can go about investigating who really committed the
Bethany Clark
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WOW!!!! AMAZING!!! I can't say enough about this book! It grabs you, pulls you in and has you guessing all the way to the end. I have been trying different genres lately and after having Laura on my blog several times, and reading the blurb about the book I knew I needed to get my hands on a copy!
Laura does not disappoint and I can't wait to read more from this amazing author. Her writing is suburb, her character dimension is amazing and her multiple story lines are perfectly written.

Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad I didn't get a manicure recently because Laura McNeill had me biting my nails while reading her latest novel. Allie's situation stinks all over. She's been in prison for 10 years for a crime she didn't commit, separated from her daughter, and turned upon by everyone in her community. Let's just say she does not get a "Welcome Home" party when she is released on parole. Her family is even keeping their emotional distance and her daughter doesn't want anything to do with her and even resents her ...more
C.J. Darlington
3.5 stars. I enjoyed reading this book quite a bit, and finding a new-author-to-me is a fun thing! McNeill starts us off immediately caring for her main character, who's just getting out of a ten year prison sentence for a crime she says she didn't commit. She doesn't know her now teenage daughter, and that hurts her more than anything. To make matters worse, her daughter has no interest in seeing her, something Ali respects but inwardly weeps over. Her sister, Emma, has been the only one who di ...more
Jenny Belk
May 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having read Center Of Gravity I knew I wanted to read Laura's new book, Sister Dear.
I would not be disappointed. Once again, Laura tells her story with strong, believable characters.
Brunswick, Georgia is the setting.
Opening pages reveal that Allie is being released from a ten year prison sentence for a crime she did not commit. Returning home will be a different type of trial for her. Will her teenage daughter be glad she's home or will she still believe her mother is guilty. Allie's sister
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Jun 05, 2016 03:03PM  

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*Laura McNeill also writes under the pen name "Lauren Clark" (The World Breaks Everyone" (August 2018 release, suspense)*


"A bold and poignant look into an imploding marriage, told in a chorus of assured voices. Center of Gravity is a compelling, fierce, and ultimately hopeful tale, and McNeill is a writer to watch."
- Josilyn Jackson, author of Someone Else's Love Story

“McNeill’s debut is a
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