The Sisters of Glass Ferry

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 01 Dec 2017

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The setup for this book seemed very promising.  Flannery and Patsy are twins growing up in Glass Ferry, Kentucky, daughters of a whiskey bootlegger.  They've been inseparable growing up, but now they are growing apart.  Patsy is interested in boys and the idea of escaping Glass Ferry, and Flannery is interested in everything staying the same.

The book goes back and forth in time.  From the time Patsy goes missing, to 20 years later, and then even fast forwards to present day.  The mystery is solved early on in the book, but then it turns into a character study.  The characters were all a bit cardboard, and I never got attached to any of them.  

You could see the outline of a great story, but none of them were given the attention they deserved.  They touched on a rape, domestic abuse, female imprisonment in an asylum, sterilization without consent, murder and then a ghost thrown in for good measure.  I think the author could have cut about  half of these out, and then explored what remained in greater detail. 

The overall storyline was good, it just needed a little more fleshing out.  It almost felt more like reading a really long synopsis.
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This richly detailed novel enthralled me from start to finish.  A+++ 
I highly recommend The Sisters of Glass Ferry to anyone looking to emerse themselves in a well written story.
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This book is set in a small southern American town where everyone knows everyone else. Flannery and Patsy are twins whom we meet in their youth in one thread of this book. In the other thread we meet Flannery later in life,  still waiting for her missing sister to come back.
I really struggled with this and must confess to not having finished it.  I found that the book was rather slow and would have benefitted from some editing. I felt that the story dragged and the characters were not clearly definied enough for me to care very much about them. I didn't particularly like the American small town setting particularly either. In so many ways it didn't really work for me.
The finial straw, however, was the twins thing. There is a far higher incidence of twins in fiction than in reality. This is especially the case at the moment where many authors have jumped onto this band wagon even when twins are not vital for the plot. Siblings would do just as well. This has made me rather "twin weary" which didn't help my enjoyment of this book.
With the exception of a bit more editing, there isn't much wrong with it. The writing is average with reasonable descriptions. This was just not the book for me.
I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.
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Didn't read the book just yet but it is too late oops!!
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This started off really well. I was impressed by the strongly flavored but modern-feeling Southern Gothic. The story was good but I think it just dragged on too long, especially considering the reader basically knows what happened before all the characters find out. So I don't know. Really great writing (especially in the sense of place), but this was one of the rare books I think could have been shorter!
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I could practically taste the whiskey as I read The Sisters of Glass Ferry. Kim Michele Richardson captures small town Kentucky with it’s history steeped in bourbon making and everyday secrets. She alternates between decades and the voices of two sisters, twins Patsy and Flannery Butler. Patsy the oldest by only minutes disappeared in 1952. Her disappearance draws the reader in. Twenty years has gone by and Flannery is left visiting her mother on their birthday, a yearly tradition that involves a cake waiting for the missing Patsy. Richardson turns this novel into something more than just a story about a missing girl. It is about family, little secrets and bigger ones. It describes a whiskey I truly hope is real. Without spoiling anything, you have to read this book. It’s the type of book that stays with you long after reading it. You’ll find yourself thinking of the characters. That is a rare and amazing thing.
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Captivating, suspenseful, entertaining novel! This thriller kept me on the edge of my seat while I was reading it!
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I received an advance copy of this wonderful story and am pleased to review it here. From the opening chapter, "Sisters" grabs and does not let go until long after the reader closes the back cover. 

Twin sisters, born eight minutes apart, live as might any other two girls competing for their parent's attention, for boys, for good grades, for a grand life out of a small Kentucky town (Glass Ferry) in the 1950s. On the night of their high school prom, their futures are forever changed. The older twin and her date do not come home and remain missing without a trace for the next two decades.

In that opening chapter, their widowed mother bakes yet one more annual birthday cake, sure this will be the birthday the missing sister returns. And, as in years past, the younger twin, now an adult, comes home to help momma through the day and through one more lovely cake tossed into the garbage. But on this particular birthday the rest of the compelling mystery unfolds in themes of heartache, revenge, madness and redemption.

Richardson knows the time and place, the ways of small town folk, their meanness and goodness, their closeness to the earth, to their river. Richardson's prose and dialogue always ring true, fit the story, and are a pleasure to read. The combination of characters, story lines, and writing make this more than a mere page turner.
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The Sisters of Glass Ferry is a southern mystery book that tells the story of two twins and the disappearance of one of them. I expected to love this book and unfortunately it wasn't the case. I didn't really enjoy the switch between perspectives and I wanted to care more about the characters, but I felt somehow disconnected and it's a pity because it looked just like my kind of story. The author's writing is flawless and there were many secrets to reveal, which is always interesting.
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Reading Flanerry’s story from a twin’s perspective myself was a bit raw for me. I related to Flannery as the less popular twin, the more responsible twin. Also, the twin the parents’ seemed to expect more from ....which at times, made it feel as if the author was in my own head!
Quite an engrossing tale of family, loss, responsibility, and revenge. I really enjoyed the many twists throughout the story. But I also found the end a bit deflating. It seemed like we were missing a chapter, or so. Not sure if this was intentional and there will be a sequel?
Kim Michele Richardson is a new to me author, and I am looking forward to reading more from her.
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Some books start off in a way that makes you just know that this book will work out very well. And, this beginning of this book with Flannery visiting her mother on her birthday and it's the twentieth one since Flannery's sister Patsy went missing. And, still, her mother expects that she will show up. This is the year, this time will Patsy return. And, yes this is the year patsy comes home, it's also the year Flannery finally will learn what happened twenty years prior, when her sisters Patsy disappeared...

I love reading books set in the American South and this one with two parallel storylines is a fabulous read. The book shifts effortlessly between the 70s and the 50s during the book and I found both storylines compelling. As Flannery learns about Patsy's fate in 1972 do we also get Patsy and Flannery's POV in 1952. It's a captivating and tragic story and I loved how part of me, despite pretty much knowing the outcome hoped that Patsy would come home. The ending of the book also revealed a big surprise that really took me by surprise. This is a book that is sad, but there are all lovely moments and I especially loved the last part of the book because I hoped that Flannery would find some peace and joy in her life.

The Sisters of Glass Ferry is a fantastic book and I hope to get the chance to read the authors other books! 

4.5 stars
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3.5 What I thought I was getting: I felt like reading a good, old Southern novel, maybe gothic in tone, full of Southern charm and mannerisms. I have pretty much quit reading book summaries as they so often spoil the read, give too much away. So...I saw the blurb, sisters, secrets, family, Kentucky and Bourbon, seemed right up my alley. Loved the cover, the lighting, the playfulness of it, so I began reading.

What I actually got:  A cake baked by a grieving mother, hoping her missing child would come home. One of twins Patsy has been missing for many years, her twin Flannery is at home trying to alleviate some of the grief her mother still feels. The next few chapters were very light, two sisters fighting, squabling, and I thought this read might be too light for this reader. Then, the story takes off and the story doesn't get light again. Secrets, terrible guilt ridden secrets held by both Flannery and her mother. A much loved bourbon making father dies, and things are not quite the same again. Under the charming southern veneer, and the bless my hearts, there is a dark grittiness to this book. Some terrible, unforgivable events happen, plenty to keep the pages turning.

The novel goes from the present to the past in alternating chapters. While I can't say I overly cared for any of these characters, I did feel for Flannery. She was carrying such a heavy load. The books end let's a little lightness back in, and I was more than ready for this to occur. So I received not what I thought I was getting but an interesting story nontheless.

ARC from Netgalley.
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I didn't enjoy this book. I don't know if it was just my mood or what but I kept  laying the book down and not wanting to come back to it.
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4.5 stars.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is a powerful story that stays with you for a long time, and although it wasn’t always pleasant reading about what takes place in the novel, I felt this was such an important story that you need to hear, that needed to be told. The main event in this novel can be a trigger for the reader, so I think you should be warned before picking it up that rape and its repercussions is the main theme in this story.
It starts off with two points of view, Patsy’s and Flannery’s, twin sisters living in a small town in Glass Ferry. Despite the third person narration I found the two voices quite distinct, both bringing something different to the story and highlighting how different two twin siblings can be, while the twins dynamics is always interesting to explore in terms of literature. The author managed to drag me into the setting so well, because the atmosphere was almost palpable. I could but see the Kentucky River and the haunted Ebenezer Road and hear the main characters’ heavily accented voices. What I really enjoyed while reading was the fact that although I ultimately knew what happens, the writing style pulled me in so much that I couldn’t stop reading. It is very difficult for a book that is quite predictable plotwise, especially for the first half of this book that is, to be a page-turner, but this one knocked it out of the park. 
This book felt well researched and the mise en abyme employed by the author paints such a vivid picture of the girls’ past, their relationship with their deceased father and how he made a living. I also appreciated how important a fatherly figure is for the girls, because often the importance of father-daughter relationships tends to be neglected in storytelling. 
Fans of character-driven stories about small towns and all that it entails will appreciate this book. In my opinion, people who enjoyed To Kill A Mockingbird, The Kite Runner, I’ll Give you the Sun and Atonement will love this book, seeing that there are common elements between those novels.
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The Sisters of Glass Ferry by Kim Michelle Richardson is set in western Kentucky, bourbon country,  close to Lexington.  It has alternating timelines going back and forth between 1952 and 1972.  Toward the end of the novel the timeline shifts to present day.  Twins Patsy and Flannery are the main characters with Flannery being the narrator.  It is a well written story with the transitions between time seamless.

Early on it is fairly easy to come close to guessing what happens to Patsy in 1952 that leaves Flannery and her mother still devasted in 1972.  However, just because you have an idea of what will happen, you do not know the details and the details are where it is really at in this book.  Richardson excels at details. Not just in the nuances of the characters but in describing the community and interactions among characters.  One part had her describing how the father, Honey Bee, used old broken tombstones to make the floor of their house's cellar.  

This novel has a little bit of everything, the ties that bind families together, love, secrets, mysticism, alcoholism, rape, and death. Thank you so much to the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy of this book.  I truly enjoyed the experience and plan to look for more novels by this author.
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From Kentucky’s finest Southern storyteller, Kim Michele Richardson returns following (2016) GodPretty in the Tobacco Field and (2015) Liar's Bench with her latest gripping mystery (her best yet), crime thriller: THE SISTERS OF GLASS FERRY –Rich in character, strong family bonds, suspense, and dark deeply-buried family secrets with a Southern Gothic twist. 

Set in the southern riverside town of Glass Ferry, in the heart of Kentucky bourbon—a gripping complex multi-generational tale of three families and four generations. Told from two points of view (Flannery and Patsy), and dual timelines.

From 1952 to 1972 and beyond, meet the Butler family. 

Mother Jean, father Honey Bee, and twin daughters: Flannery Bee and Patsy Jean. Their rival, The Henrys. 

Even though wise Beauregard “Honey Bee” (dad) has passed on, his legacy lives on through his daughters. A bourbon distiller, he made sure his family was taken care of and taught his daughters to be strong. 

Teaching them about guns, bullets, driving, and other things a man would teach his sons, and in particular, Flannery – the bourbon business, the river, chores in the barn, and his secrets (including his recipes) as he unburdens his soul to his thirteen- year- old daughter. 

His rules still called from the grave. 

Honey Bee had said, “Kentucky without its whiskey men, its stills, would be like New York City without business suits and buildings.” 

Flannery loved everything about whiskey. Loved that Honey Bee had taught her the secrets of its doings. " She loved the dark earth and the mystery of its scent that tucked itself into a strange sweet growing time." Her sister was more like their mom. 

Patsy had other friends besides her twin Flannery and Flannery felt betrayed and jealous. The mom referred to her husband's business as “the devil’s water.” However, Honey Bee thought his River Witch was respectable. After all, he was licensed and offered a true gentlemen’s whiskey. 

However, there was a payback. They had to keep the sheriff's pockets full of fees (taxes). Sinful bribery by the Henry brood, in more ways than one. Carried down to the next generation. 

However, Honey Bee always reminded his family the business had saved them throughout history, through the Depression and Prohibition. Only four licenses were handed out over the years in Kentucky and he was one. 

Later, in the story we discover there were also twin sons (Paxton and Preston) which died as babies. A big mystery is unveiled near the conclusion regarding a third family and the connection to the Butlers from decades earlier. 

The story revolves around 1952 — the night of the prom. Patsy had a special date with her boyfriend Danny Henry. Danny the younger son. There was also the oldest, Hollis (bad news-troublemaker), and the father Jack which is the Sherriff.

The Henry’s looked down on the Butlers. Some thought being a twin was bad luck. A small town of half-truths, sadness, domestic abuse, rape, cover-ups, corruption, mental illness, and rumors. Spirits of the past. Unfinished business. 

Patsy was the beautiful and curvy sister; whereas, Flannery was the smart one and not so beautiful. Patsy was closer to her mom and Flannery her dad. They were eight minutes apart. Patsy was protective of her younger sister. The girls did not always get along. Sibling rivalry. 

However, prom night. The night it all went wrong – will haunt Flannery the rest of her life. The argument. The night Danny and Patsy went missing. From her mom’s sadness to the guilt of her sister. 

The 1950 Mercury, pearls, prom night, a gun, bullet, two different brothers, twin sisters, Hospital Curve, Ebenezer Road and the Kentucky River. 

The same river that had given Flannery so much would take yet another from her. The night Danny and Patsy went missing. They never made it to the prom. There was also the haunting day Patsy accepted a ride with Hollis three months earlier when Danny was flirting with Violet. 

Now, Patsy is gone and Jean still makes a cake each year for Patsy and Flannery on their birthday. However, this year, a car was found in the muddy Kentucky River and the secrets of the past begin to unravel. They had all hoped the two runaway lovers had been living a secret life; however, a tragedy. 

Two different twin sisters cannot seem to escape their tragedy and loss. Regrets. Secrets. One after another, trapped with no seemingly way out. 

“Reckoning Day was why Flannery stayed precisely eight minutes ahead, looking over her shoulder for those lagging minutes when the devil might try to collect." 

Flannery had the pearls. Her mom wants desperately to find the family pearls. Flannery would have to tell everything – both her secrets and Patsy’s. Flannery could only think of getting miles away from Glass Ferry. From her mom’s sadness, the rumors, and her guilt which only pushed her into yet another nightmare relationship. 

Now twenty years later she returns. 

What would Hollis do? A pact with the devil. The Henrys and their hold on this family, throughout generations. Precious moments lost. Brokenness and drowning misery. Is history repeating itself?

Flannery has to do something to help clear her sister’s reputation and name. The strong urge to avenge her sister. Will she have the courage, to tell the truth, or seek revenge? Justice. 

In the background, there is also another intriguing mystery (icing on the cake). The long-dead midwife Joetta, alleged to have been a witch and a murderess. Does her spirit still haunt Ebenezer Road?

However, the parents kept one big secret which is yet to be unveiled. An old family matter. A secret box. A diary. Holding the key to the past. (A nice twist)!

Will the spirits of the past, continue to hover over the lives of this family? How far will a sister go to protect her secrets and seek justice for those she loves.

Riveting. Emotional. Compelling. Haunting. Beautifully written. A mix of psychological, domestic suspense, crime thriller, mystery, historical, and Southern Gothic. 

A tale of heartbreak, and the strong bonds of family, balanced between destruction, regret, and redemption. The dark consequences that reverberate through the lives of three families, who will never be the same again. Love and loss. 

Richardson’s best yet! Once you start reading, you will not be able to put this one down. These families will draw you into their web of secrets and lies across generations, keeping you turning into the night. 

For fans of David Joy, Wiley Cash, Joshilyn Jackson, and Ron Rash. If you enjoy authentic Southern Gothic family mysteries, this one is for you. Ideal for book clubs (discussion guide included). My mom was a twin and come from a long line of family twins- always find them intriguing. 

Highly Recommend! Have read all her books and a huge fan. Anxiously awaiting the next book. I enjoyed reading what’s next for the author: Add this one to your TBR list. 

“I am currently working on my next novel The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, and have spent countless hours researching and exploring the Pack Horse Library Project of 1935. It is a fascinating tale of tribute about the fearsome librarians who traveled on horseback and mule to provide books to the poor and isolated communities in Kentucky.”
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A special thank you to the author, Kensington, and Netgalley for an advanced digital and print copy. I have also pre-ordered the audiobook narrated by Marguerite Gavin. 

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This is the first book I have read by this author.The story line intrigued me from the back blurb.  The book did switch time perioids a lot.  From childhood to the 20's, childhood to the 40's, etc.  At the end she was close to  70.  The story line was confusing and I confess I could not understand the ending.  Kept needing another chapter to finish explaining what what JoLynn knew.
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Review will be posted on my blog, Goodreads, and associated social media pages on November 25th.

I was drawn in to this story as I wanted to find out more about Patsy's story and what happened to her.  The story slowly unfolds as it goes between the past and the present (although the present is still in the past).  The reader finds out about the dynamic of each member of the Butler family while waiting to find out what Patsy's fate was.

Although I found the story overly descriptive at times in my need to find out what happened, it was told in a way that allows the reader to really know each of the characters, the town, and the era in which the story takes place.

To be honest, at first I thought Patsy's fate was revealed too soon.  I wondered how there could be so much book left once the secret was revealed.  I didn't think there would be enough to hold my interest.  Then....bam, something else happened and more secrets were revealed.  I then began invested again.

While overall I was conflicted with the character of Flannery, finding her perhaps not as strong as she was intended to be portrayed, I still enjoyed the story.  As a twin myself, any story revolving around twins tends to be of interest to me.  While not an overly fast moving story, this was an enjoyable read to me.
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Let me start off with The Sisters of Glass Ferry pulled me in from the start. This book had everything a great book should have.My heart is so full right now , all these emotions that are flowing through me.

This book started off in a southern style feel in the 1950's. You are introduced to twins Flannery and Patsy, Patsy being the eldest of the twins is given the family pearl necklace, which of course makes Flannery a little jealous. Patsy then is invited to the Junior Prom, leaving Flannery having to take her shift at the local diner hot spot. which in return leaves her a little jealous. The sheriff's two sons come escort Patsy to the prom. One being her boyfriend, and the other is his older brother who is driving. Which btw both brothers are known for a little trouble, mainly the other one (which i wont go into detail and spoil it for you). Unfortunately, Patsy and her boyfriend never come home. Which then leads us to "What happened?" , "Is the other brother involved somehow?", "What is Patsy hiding?", "ARE THE STILL ALIVE?"

Then you come to the sad opening in the 1970's with every year on the twins’ birthday, Flannery’s Mom makes a birthday cake for Patsy in hopes that she will return, because for one we don't know if she is dead or just up and ran away with her boyfriend that night.. Years pass and Flannery is still looking for answers all while holding some guilt of that terrible night.

This was such a great book, i was left at the end going NOOOOO, never end!! I loved how the author jumped in time bringing us into the present of what is going on. This gave me the closure i needed all while wanting it to continue forever. I got all the "feels from this! Thanks again for this wonderful treasure.
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