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Friday, January 27, 2017

The Inspiration for Sisters One, Two, Three by Nancy Star + Giveaway (US/Can only)

Sisters One, Two, Three
Nancy Star

After a tragic accident on Martha’s Vineyard, keeping secrets becomes a way of life for the Tangle family. With memories locked away, the sisters take divergent paths. Callie disappears, Mimi keeps so busy she has no time to think, and Ginger develops a lifelong aversion to risk that threatens the relationships she holds most dear.

When a whispered comment overheard by her rebellious teenage daughter forces Ginger to reveal a long-held family secret, the Tangles’ carefully constructed web of lies begins to unravel. Upon the death of Glory, the family’s colorful matriarch, and the return of long-estranged Callie, Ginger resolves to return to Martha’s Vineyard and piece together what really happened on that calamitous day when a shadow fell over four sun-kissed siblings playing at the shore. Along with Ginger’s newfound understanding come the keys to reconciliation: with her mother, with her sisters, and with her daughter.

At turns heartbreaking, humorous, and hopeful, Sisters One, Two, Three explores not only the consequences of secrets—even secrets kept out of love—but also the courage it takes to speak the truth, to forgive, and to let go.

How I Came to Writing About Family Secrets

My novel, Sisters One, Two, Three, isn’t only about secrets. It’s also about the tightrope parents walk between balancing their desire to protect their children and their need to let them go; and the complicated relationship between mothers and daughters; and rivalries and rifts among siblings. But at the core of the novel, and of the Tangle Family, there is a secret.

The truth is that every novel I’ve ever written starts from the same place: curiosity. Something I’m curious about captures my imagination; I mull it over, trying to understand it. Eventually— sometimes suddenly—a story takes shape. In this case my curiosity was about why so many people keep secrets from family members, and what happens when they do.

Sisters One, Two Three was directly inspired by a moment when a family secret—not my family’s secret, but someone else’s—was revealed in my presence. The secret was shared at a dinner party at the home of someone I barely knew. The hostess was casually telling a story about something that happened during her first marriage when we heard the sound of footsteps; her fifteen year old was coming down the stairs. The hostess froze for a moment and then urgently explained her child didn’t know anything about her first marriage. She made us promise we wouldn’t tell.

To be honest, I was flabbergasted she’d told us this secret, and so casually, when she hadn’t told her teenage child. It was some time later that I took that real event, a teenager almost overhears a family secret, removed one word, almost, and got to work! You can find the result in the prologue of Sisters One, Two, Three. It’s the moment when Ginger Tangle’s seventeen year old daughter, Julia, accidentally overhears the secret her mother has kept from her for years.

Since that dinner party I’ve learned being married before is a commonly held secret. From what I gather, parents decide to keep this a secret because their child is too young to understand. But by the time the child is old enough to be told, the secret has begun to feel like a lie. What starts out with the best of intentions ends up putting parents in a corner!

Of course family secrets come in all flavors. They can be mild, like the secret of a first marriage, or intense, like the secret held in the story of the Tangle family. But what I wondered was why so many people are fascinated by family secrets even when they don’t have personal experience with one.

What I came to understand was that we all have experiences with family secrets because, in a way, every family is like a little secret society. As children we start out assuming all families are like our own—until one day we go to eat dinner at a friend’s house and we find out, oh, this family eats in the dining room and they don’t talk. Or we go on a sleepover and we find out, oh, our friend has no bed-time, or our friend has something we don’t, a step-father. Part of growing up turns out to be this de-coding of our own family’s secrets.

The truth is that as both writer and reader I’ve always been a sucker for a story with a secret, which works out, because we humans seem to do an excellent job of supplying raw material!

About the Author

Nancy Star is the author of four previous novels: Carpool Diem, Up Next, Now This, and Buried Lives. Her nonfiction writing has appeared in the New York Times, Family Circle, Diversion magazine, and on the web. Sisters One, Two, Three, published by Lake Union, made Publishers Weekly’s list of Top Ten Print Book and Amazon Kindle Bestsellers of 2016.

Before embarking on her writing career, Nancy worked for more than a decade as a movie executive in the film business, dividing her time between New York and London. She has two grown daughters and a son-in-law (all of whom, according to her, are wonderful humans!) and now lives in New Jersey with her husband.


Books à la Mode is giving away one print copy of Sisters One, Two, Three—yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is answer Nancy's question in the comments below:
Growing up, did your family have any routines you assumed were common until you found out they were actually unusual?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Nancy and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the tour publicist and publisher—a huge thank you to the lovely folks at TLC Book Tours and Lake Union Publishing!
Giveaway ends February 10th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US and Canada residents only. Sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!