Review by Amy Atzert, collection development librarian
Siblings Henry, Kate and Martin have gathered together at Martin’s house for the Christmas holiday after the loss of their mother. It is the first time their families won’t be gathering in their mother’s Florida home. Their mom and that house were the glue holding the siblings together; they just didn’t know it. Their first Christmas without her is filled with past resentments, judgements, and misunderstandings. Without their mom to smooth out their frustrations and help them look beyond their own needs this family gathering is anything but peaceful.
As it sometimes happens with siblings, not all of them are on the same page. They need to make a decision about what to do with their mother’s house. It is their only inheritance. It is obvious to Henry and Martin that they should sell it, but Kate has a different idea altogether. She wants to live there with her husband and children. She thinks it will help her heal from the terrible pain the loss of her mother has caused, plus she needs this house. Her family is struggling financially to make it while both of her brothers are secure financially. Isn’t that what their mom would want? Wouldn’t she want her sons to help their little sister? Kate has to hope she can convince them.
An outside crisis in the local area involving a missing teen forces the siblings to look outside of what is happening in their own family. They band together to help their neighbor and put their own problems aside. As someone with two big brothers the characters and their struggles felt familiar, genuine and well portrayed. An enjoyable story of hope and compassion emerges after the dust of sibling rivalry settles.