Cover Image: The Island Sisters

The Island Sisters

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Member Reviews

Thank you to Netgalley and BHC Press for sending me a digital arc in exchange for an honest review. 

I first off want to preface that my rating has nothing to do with the topics discussed. Micki Berthelot Morency handled the subject of abuse with care, showing the horrors and the different faces it can take with care and compassion for the survivors. 

At it's core, The Island Sisters is about love — sisterly love throughout the years together, encompassing the characters as they each go through their own struggles and tribulations. It's the good and the ugly that comes with friendship, the unconditional love along with the jealously and frustration that you feel towards your best friends, your sisters. 

The biggest reason I gave the novel 2 stars is the writing. It's not that Berthelot Morency is a bad writer, but she's not my kind of writer. It was a little choppy, a little too simplistic. I often felt like instead of showing us the scenes, she was telling us. I don't know if this is just her style that I didn't enjoy or if it could have used a bit more fine-editing, but either way. It definitely hindered my enjoyment.

The plot was interesting and I did truly grow to care about the characters, but I couldn't get fully invested because of the writing.
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From the start, author Micki Berthelot Morency makes it clear her novel focuses on women and domestic violence. Readers will need to be patient to sort the characters and their stories in the early chapters as the four main characters meet at a a college abuse counseling session.
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What an emotional gut punch this delivers. Typically I don’t go for these intense depressing stories but typically they aren’t done as well as this. I was completely immersed in these women’s stories and the environments they inhabit(ed). At times it was hard to put down and that says so much for this type of book.
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Great, multi-faceted characters. Very interesting plot. Vivid descriptions. I felt every emotion. Kept me intrigued from the first page to the last. Simply a GREAT read!

*I received a complimentary ARC of this book in order to read and provide a voluntary, unbiased and honest review, should I choose to do so.
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First I would like to say thank you to BHC Press for the digital ARC in exchange for an honest review. If you want to scream the entire time you read, then this book is the book for you. These poor women connect in a group therapy meeting during their first year of university as they look for healing from their various childhood traumas. Unfortunately for them, instead of being able to break the cycle, they get caught in a continuous loop for over a decade with the horrid men in their lives. When I say this is a hard read, I mean it and it should come with trigger warnings on the first page. While the formatting made the story feel felt disjointed at times, I found it hard to put it down as I was deeply invested in each woman's story and safety. While I don't think this book is a standout for me, it definitely reiterated a feeling I've alway known. "Never trust that man" Word to sister Janet.
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Abuse is a difficult subject matter no matter how you look at it, and this book has its share - this was really well done and not gratuitous. I appreciate the simultaneously delicate and powerful writing and the deep family by choice female friendships and resilience in this novel. 

Thanks to Netgalley for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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They say many of our life long friends we meet in college, this is the case for the Island Sisters.  Lanie, Ella, Monique and Ceecee become loyal friends and continue their friendships over the course of their lives.  

These forever friends experience and grow through hardship and circumstance, their bond never shaken.  All have left the islands of Haiti, Guam and St. Thomas.  Coming from dictatorship (at that time) regimes sets the back drop of the events.

Hard subjects like rape, physical and psychological abuse, murder, racism, manipulation and control by the people we love and trust has life long implications and devastation.  Experiencing these women grow stronger and overcome adversity is astounding.  Four very smart and motivated ladies change the course of their lives.
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I received a free e-arc of this book through Netgalley.
The relationship between the 4 main women is beautiful in it's sisterhood. I liked that counseling and having someone to talk to is also a focal point in the book. The rest of the book is hard to take. It's a LOT of domestic violence and abuse and could definitely be triggering for anyone who has been in a similar situation. It feels like things that could and do really happen to women I know as well as around the world. A powerful read.
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I could not put this book down. The characters drew me in and held my attention. This is a story of generational trauma, hardships, and the perserverance of the human spirit. I loved the way the book told the story from the four viewpoints of the Island Sisters, which made the chapters easy to digest. I was rooting for all of the sisters and I enjoyed the way the stories unfolded.
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This was a great read! Can't wait for others to read it as well! Four women from Haiti, St. Thomas, and Guam meet at a college counseling session for first-year students and learn they have a shared history of abuse. Dubbing themselves the “island sisters,” their unyielding friendship is their touchstone across oceans, through labyrinths of forced marriages and violent men, motherhood, and their dreams of freedom.

Strong-willed and hot-headed Monique, quiet and romantic Cecilia, devout Lanei, and determined Ella are four friends who seem to makeup for what the other lacks. But no matter what is happening in their lives or the struggles they face, they share an unbreakable bond of friendship that serves as their anchor, helping and supporting each other through and through.

To succeed, each woman must make choices that will challenge her long-held cultural beliefs, choices that will come with consequences, in the pursuit of her own individual freedom.
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The Island Sisters by Micki Berthelot Morency is an interesting story of four women from Haiti, St. Thomas, and Guam that first meet during therapy. 

Monique, Ceclia, Lanei, and Ella are each very different characters that are well written and fleshed out. 

The story deals with the bond the women share. 

I do wish there had been a trigger warning about the abuse that was discussed in the book. 

Overall, a good read with good character development.
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“Island Sisters” *****

I have read many ARC and I have to admit, I was a bit hesitant to read this one. But as an Island Sister myself how could I turn this down? I was not disappointed! 

There is so much to unpack in this book, so much! I believe every woman should read this book. It’s a work of fiction but I believe that every woman who’s been in an abusive relationship will learn so much from the book.

It was a page turner. There are two authors that I stay up to read, James Patterson & David Baldacci. I can add Micki Berthelot Morency to this list now. I stayed up until 2 am reading because I just needed to know what was happening next to the ladies. I like the way the suspense built up as the author didn’t just tell the story of what woman continuously but told us a little of their stories in different chapters. I wanted to skip so badly to see what was next when I ended the chapter on one woman or the other.

Take away, just because the abuse is not physical doesn’t mean it’s not abuse. As the book came to its climax, I did not expect that twist of Elle dying at the hands of her “never put his hands on me” husband. I wanted an ending where they all had survived and the abusers got punished, but the truth is in an abusive relationship someone dies.  This really hit home for me because just late last year a 35-year-old family friend was shot to death by her abusive estranged husband leaving her two young kids.

Please do a sequel. I want to know what happened to Kevin, Julien, Bernard & Orson! I want to see Elle’s kids grow up.
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3.5/5 rounded to 4
Chronicles of 4 women, eponymously named The Islander Sisters. A deeply bonded friendship through the shared experience of being abused (content warning). 

Realistic portrayal of the unique ways in which defense mechanisms from emotional and physical abuse can manifest themselves

Instances of abuse described are powerful without being gratuitous. As bleak as it can be at times there was an undercurrent of hope through their friendship.

Took a minute to distinguish each of the four main characters, I consciously had to stop and recall details about each of them to make sure I understood whose perspective I was currently reading. I wish we’d spent a bit more time with each character in their respective chapters, especially at the beginning.

That said, the characters were all well developed. Their personalities complemented each other very well.

Multiple storylines run the risk of having some them not being as engaging as others, but overall it felt balanced.
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I was pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed this one and I'm so glad that I got the chance to read it! It was an overall good read and I think most people will enjoy it as well once they get a chance to read a copy. I enjoyed the characters and enjoyed the writing by this author. I'm excited to see what the author comes out with next. Thank you to the publisher for my early copy of this book!
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The Island Sisters follows four women bonded by the struggles they face and the love they have for one another. Morency's debut is a book that does not shy away from hard truths. Though heartbreaking to read about the many adversities Monique, Cecelia, Lanei, and Ella face, I did enjoy reading about each of their distinct personalities, cultures, and how they stay true to their friendships over the years.
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