Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Released: June 27th 2017
The Sisters Chase is a fun play on words, as the story is about the Chase sisters living on the road and on the run after their mother’s sudden death. It’s a deeply emotional telling about the lengths Mary will go to in order to keep her little sister Hannah comfortable and safe (and most importantly, to Mary at least, with her). Their story is one that makes you question right versus wrong, the truth versus a lie. Everything is so blended together it’s hard to clearly define what is what.
The Chase sisters seem to get more than their fair share of bad luck, orphaned at a young age (Mary at eighteen and Hannah at four) they’re left destitute with very few options to choose from. They end up on the road for several years, hopping from campsite to hotel and back again. She tells Hannah wild stories to keep the travels interesting and fun (as opposed to scary and depressing).
It’s pretty clear right from the start that Mary will do just about anything for Hannah’s sake. This includes resorting to less than legal actions (such as blackmail). Her loyalty is fierce and unwavering, at, once earned that is. Mary doesn’t seem to like too many other people, and appears at her most content when it’s just her and Hannah. Their love of water and beaches is truly iconic, and something I think will be remembered anytime I think of the book.
I actually had to take a few days between finishing the novel and writing the review – it was difficult finding the right words to say. Clearly Healy wants the reader to form an opinion of Mary, and let that opinion set the tone of the novel. There are twists and turns that occur in the novel, where the reader’s opinion of Mary will color Mary’s actions (Were they right? Were they wrong?). I think many of the events that occur are ambiguous enough to reaffirm the reader’s opinion, regardless of what they actually feel about Mary. I can’t quite say I’ve ever read a book that handled that so subtly and carefully. Knowing that, I don’t want to say anything to influence anybody’s opinions. Reading the Sisters Chase was an experience, and while I didn’t end up loving it, I truly do not want to deprive anyone else of that.