Evening Stars-Susan Mallery

Evening Stars
Susan Mallery
Mira, Feb 25 2014, $14.95
ISBN: 9780778316138

On Blackberry Island in Puget Sound, aware of how guileless her mom Bonnie is and how impulsive her sister Averil is, Nina the nurse accepts her role as the responsible adult in the Wentworth family. She assumes she will never marry and have a family of her own as caring for Bonnie (and occasionally married Averil) is a full time emotional occupation. Still she dreams of having a life, which also makes her feel guiltily cruel; as Nina knows that means abandoning her beloved constant screw-up relatives when her mom can’t even get the roof fixed when it leaks and her sister can’t accept she is married to a wonderful man Kevin by taking marital time outs to come home.

To her surprise, two men Kyle and Dylan compete for Nina’s affection as both males make it clear they want her. She likes both of them, but continues to put family responsibility ahead of her personal needs and desires.

The third Blackberry Island contemporary (see Three Sisters and Barefoot Season) is an enjoyable character-driven tale starring a family with crippling codependency as Nina is an enabler allowing her mom and sis to rely on her. Although readers will be frustrated with the behavior of the Wentworth females, Susan Mallery provides a profound portrayal of abnormal caretaking relationships with the romantic subplots enhancing the psychological drama.

Harriet Klausner

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