‘The Last Summer Sister’ captures the complex dynamics of familial relationships

The Last Summer Sister captures the complex dynamics of familial relationships

Pelham resident Rachel Cullen’s new young adult novel “The Last Summer Sister” delves deep into betrayal, tragedy and begs the question, “are the bonds of love strong enough to withstand past transgressions?” In the novel, Cullen uses her literary talents and creates a story that captures the complex dynamic of siblings and marital relationships.

Written from the points of view of sisters, Jennifer, Lynn, and Courtney Summer, the reader can see through the lens of different characters and truly understand their motives and beliefs.

Jennifer, the perfect oldest sister, uses her facade of maturity to hide the insecurities bubbling under the surface. Lynn, the middle child, is still reeling from her life in LA, one in which she abandoned her Chicago family to obtain, and feels at a complete loss. Courtney, the odd one out, also finds herself off-course, discovering the father she never knew to be dead.

The tragedy brings all three sisters and their explosive, multilayered personalities together, genuinely depicting the notion that no family or person is as perfect as they seem.

Cullen has also written “Only Summer,” set in Rye, NY, and “First Came Us” set in Westport, CT, which, similar in their suburban setting these differ from this Chicago-based story.

“The Last Summer Sister” is a perfect beach read that is not only fun and fast-paced but sucks readers into Cullen’s raw and authentic writing that doesn’t sugarcoat her characters’ ill-placed decisions nor indulges in the lunacy of a perfect family, instead opting for a realistic and messy one instead.