Blog Tour: The Sweeney Sisters by Lian Dolan | Review + Dream Cast

Blog Tour: The Sweeney Sisters by Lian Dolan | Review + Dream Cast

Back at it again with another triple tour threat! Yes, I know I have a lot of tours that I sign up for. Yes, I know that sometimes they overlap. Yes, I have no self control. No, I’ll never change!

Just kidding. That may change but we will see.

Thanks again so much to the team at Fantastic Flying Book Club for having me on this tour and for hosting! Be sure to click on the banner for the rest of the tour schedule.

The Sweeney Sisters

by Lian Dolan
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: April 28, 2020
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

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An accomplished storyteller returns with her biggest, boldest, most entertaining novel yet—a hilarious, heartfelt story about books, love, sisterhood, and the surprises we discover in our DNA that combines the wit of Jonathan Tropper with the heart of Susan Wiggs.

Maggie, Eliza, and Tricia Sweeney grew up as a happy threesome in the idyllic seaside town of Southport, Connecticut. But their mother’s death from cancer fifteen years ago tarnished their golden-hued memories, and the sisters drifted apart. Their one touchstone is their father, Bill Sweeney, an internationally famous literary lion and college professor universally adored by critics, publishers, and book lovers. When Bill dies unexpectedly one cool June night, his shell-shocked daughters return to their childhood home. They aren’t quite sure what the future holds without their larger-than-life father, but they do know how to throw an Irish wake to honor a man of his stature.

But as guests pay their respects and reminisce, one stranger, emboldened by whiskey, has crashed the party. It turns out that she too is a Sweeney sister.

When Washington, DC based journalist Serena Tucker had her DNA tested on a whim a few weeks earlier, she learned she had a 50% genetic match with a childhood neighbor—Maggie Sweeney of Southport, Connecticut. It seems Serena’s chilly WASP mother, Birdie, had a history with Bill Sweeney—one that has remained totally secret until now.

Once the shock wears off, questions abound. What does this mean for William’s literary legacy? Where is the unfinished memoir he’s stashed away, and what will it reveal? And how will a fourth Sweeney sister—a blond among redheads—fit into their story?

By turns revealing, insightful, and uproarious, The Sweeney Sisters is equal parts cautionary tale and celebration—a festive and heartfelt look at what truly makes a family.

Lian Dolan is a writer and talker. She’s the author of two Los Angeles Times best-selling novels, Helen of Pasadena and Elizabeth the First Wife published by Prospect Park Books. Her next novel, The Sweeney Sisters, will be published in 2020 by William Morrow. She’s a regular humor columnist for Pasadena Magazine and has previously written monthly columns for O, The Oprah Magazine and Working Mother Magazine. She’s also written for TV, radio and websites.

Lian is the producer and host of Satellite Sisters, the award-winning talk show she created with her four real sisters. On Satellite Sisters, she’s interviewed everyone from Nora Ephron to Madeleine Albright to Big Bird. Satellite Sisters began life as a syndicated radio show and is now a top-rated podcast for women. The recent book by the Satellite Sisters, You’re the Best: A Celebration of Friendship, is popular with book clubs.

A popular speaker who combines humor and heart, Lian has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, CBS Sunday Morning and The Today Show and many local TV stations. She’s been a featured speaker at the LA Times Festival of Books, the Santa Barbara Celebrity Authors Lunch, the Literary Guild of Orange County Festival of Women Authors and dozens of other events at libraries, book stores, schools and women’s organizations across the country. In 2020, she’ll be on the faculty of the Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop.

Lian graduated from Pomona College with a degree in Classics. She lives in Pasadena, California with her husband, two sons and a big German shepherd.

Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club, Netgalley, and William Morrow for this free copy. All quotes in this review are taken from the Advanced Reader Copy and may change in final publication.

Gosh this gives me some Charmed vibes. If Prue was still alive when Paige was revealed kind of vibes, you know? Except for the whole being witches thing and having to save the world every week or so. But the plot centering around sisters and having to learn how to open up your heart to yet another sister that you didn’t even know you had – from another mother – just brings up all kinds of thoughts when you read this.

I could feel the betrayal that Maggie, Eliza, and Tricia felt when they found out that there was a fourth Sweeney sister. One that they didn’t even know existed until after their father died. They already had to deal with their mother passing away, and have all been together learning how to care for one another before their entire dynamic is shifted. Do we honestly expect them to be welcoming immediately upon finding out about Serena? Especially with the circumstances of how they meet? Of course not.

But it’s what happens afterwards that really got to me. Adding in Serena to the sisterly dynamic of the “original” three Sweeney sisters, along with having to deal with other logistics like what this means for the heirs to his… let’s call it a fortune since he’s described as an “internationally famous literary lion.” Not to mention a college professor. While I don’t know what that means financially, there’s still a matter of the will, the legacy he left behind, and something about a memoir that is supposed to tell all. Is he going to tell the world about his affair with Serena’s mother? Is he even going to claim Serena as his own when it seems like he didn’t do so while he was alive?

This book just gets really emotionally intense at times, and I like that this was about sister relationships, not just as a whole but between each sister with one another. It gave me something to look into as I don’t know what it’s like to have my own sisters, and it shows me that there is so much more to the word family than just blood ties. Can these four sisters learn how to be sisters again? As a whole? To one another separately? You’ll have to read it to find out.

Oddly enough, when I was looking at the cover and reading the novel, I already had the perfect cast in mind. The downside was that I used this cast before, because they were just very similar in appearance and honestly I’m going to use them again. I usually try not to repeat actors in my dream cast because it could get old using the same people over and over again – plus there are so many actors out there, just because I’m not familiar with them doesn’t mean that they aren’t around, I didn’t want to look like I favored certain people over others. But in this case, because they just really reminded me of another dream cast I did way earlier on in my blog, I’m going to bring them back. Maybe one person is not the same but the others are.

That was just a mini disclaimer in case you were like “wait a minute… why does this dream cast look familiar?”

And there we have it, friends!

Okay so maybe the dream cast isn’t a complete copy of my previous ones but I have used all of these actors in the past. Hopefully I picked different photos this time though to switch it up a bit.

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