The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan is about a family coming together at Christmas. While the mom of the bunch hopes for a perfect Christmas, everyone soon learns there’s no such thing.
The story takes place in the snowy Highlands of Scotland. Suzanne McBride’s three adopted daughters are coming home for the holidays and she can’t wait to see them. But tensions are running high.
Workaholic Hannah knows she can’t avoid spending the holidays with her family two years in a row. But it’s not the weight of their expectations that’s panicking her—it’s the life-changing secret she’s hiding. Stay-at-home mom Beth is having a personal crisis. All she wants for Christmas is time to decide if she’s ready to return to work—seeing everyone was supposed to help her stress levels, not increase them! Posy isn’t sure she’s living her best life, but with her parents depending on her, making a change seems risky. But not as risky as falling for new neighbor Luke. As Suzanne’s dreams of the perfect McBride Christmas unravel, she must rely on the magic of the season to bring her daughters together. But will this new togetherness teach the sisters that their close-knit bond is strong enough to withstand anything—including a family Christmas.
With the cozy cover and title, I went into this story thinking it would be fairly similar to a Hallmark Christmas movie: light on conflict but heavy on the Christmas “spirit.” There’s nothing wrong with stories like that, and especially with today’s political climate, it can be welcomed but when I’m reading a story, I do want more than just a simple and an easy story.
So, I was surprised that The Christmas Sisters actually deals with serious topics. Overall, the story has more depth than I expected. For instance, Suzanne and her husband Stewart adopted the three sisters after their parents tragically die in a hiking accident. But the dynamic between adopted parents and children can be complicated. And it’s especially so for Hannah, the oldest child, who remembered life with her birth parents before they passed. Since then, she’s become extremely closed off to not just her family but everyone around her.
While Beth has a great relationship with her adopted parents, she’s feeling stir crazy being at stay-at-home mom. She’s ready to go back to the workforce while her husband wants to have another child. While she absolutely loves her children, Beth is worried she’s losing a part of herself staying at home. I’m sure it’s something many could relate it.
And the youngest Posy is still at home and helping her parents out with their cafe. She feels stifled at home and is ready to explore the world but she’s afraid of leaving her parents behind.
Clearly, these three sisters are in crisis but another problem is they’re not very close. However, a Christmas at home might just do the trick of bringing them together.
Suzanne, the mom, is also dealing with inner turmoil from a past tragedy.
I enjoyed the dynamic between the sisters, especially when it showed the imperfection nature of family relationships. I thought overall the character arc for the three girls and the mom was nicely developed. Behind the family expectations and inner turmoil, there is quite a bit of romance in this one! Even the parents are still madly in love after all these years.