“Indiana Sister” Pens Historical Fiction at its Best

I first met author Lynn Cullen at FoxTale Book Shoppe outside of Atlanta when she was on tour for Mrs. Poe. By the end of her signing, we were off to have dinner. Turned out both of us had grown up in Indiana. Lynn’s latest book, The Sisters of Summit Avenue is about two sisters, opposite in many ways, rivals in fact. It’s about Ruthie and June’s mother, too—and a painful secret she never tells them, but one that affects the girls all the same. I loved the 1930s Midwestern setting. I loved the way the story slipped back and forth to an earlier time of mother Dorothy’s traumatic past. I loved the depth of the sibling rivalry—with a man both sisters love—and the characters’ voices (especially snarky sister Ruth). And June came right out of Betty Crocker’s early test kitchens. (I still have my own 42-year old Betty Crocker cookbook!) The characters’ motivations, yearning, flaws, lies, love, secrets, and yes, heroism, together with a historic dust storm brewing make for great tension and an emotional read. Beautiful writing. I sped through the final chapters as fast as my eyes could take me.

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