Sisters With A Side of Greens

Sisters with a Side of Greens

by Michelle Stimpson
Setting: Texas
Genres: Fiction / African American & Black / Women
Published on March 5, 2024
Pages: 368
Format: eARC Source: Netgalley

Rose Tillman and her sister Marvina Nash haven't spoken in decades—not since Rose sent Marvina $40 to register their business, and Marvina used that money for her own personal purposes. Now retired, Rose wants to open the restaurant they'd once dreamed of. But, to her horror, Rose realizes she's forgotten their mother's secret spice mix recipe, known to only one other person in the world. With no other option, Rose embarks on a two-hour drive to Marvina's house back in Fork City, TX. Marvina has her own version of what caused their falling out, and it's a far cry from what Rose recalls. Marvina, skeptical and still indignant, but incurably polite, figures she'll give Rose a chance to speak her piece, before closing the door in her face.

As the sisters fight their way to forgiveness, they unpack their complicated past, form an unexpected alliance with a young mother-to-be, and reconnect through the tantalizing aroma of chicken dinners that hold the power to heal—or divide—a community.

In a tale rich with Southern charm, Rose and Marvina discover, through fussing, laughter, and tears, that the secret ingredient to a bright future might just be found in facing who they are today—and in forgiving the past to embrace a second chance at sisterhood.

Let’s start off this review with the understanding that there are no greens in this book and that annoyed me. It should be called Sisters With a Spice Mix or something. Other than that, I can say that I absolutely loved this book.

Rose and Marvina have been misunderstanding each other for years. It is described as one having read the book of their lives and one having seen the movie. The characters are the same but the story is slightly different.

Each is carrying deep resentment and mistrust of the other’s intentions. Marvina is a widow with an estranged son. She has fully submersed herself in her church without being able to see the damage that has done in her life until the church turns on her. I appreciated this aspect of the story. I’ve read a lot of stories from Christian authors that show deeply dysfunctional relationships in the church but they aren’t called out as wrong.

Rose has stayed away from her hometown to avoid Marvina and her highly judgmental ways. Now she needs her sister’s help but knows that it is going to be a fight the whole way.

I love books with older female protagonists. Rose and Marvina are in their 50s. They are looking to start new chapters of their lives after widowhood, retirement, divorce, etc. But first they have to figure out how to move past all the problems of the first part of the lives.

This book pulled me in from the beginning. I really enjoyed it even without greens. The only thing that would have made it better was a recipe for the spice mix.