Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters – Natalie Standiford



From the author of HOW TO SAY GOODBYE IN ROBOT, the story of a fractured family and three sisters’ secrets

The Sullivan sisters have a big problem. On Christmas Day their rich and imperious grandmother gathers the family and announces that she will soon die . . .and has cut the entire family out of her will. Since she is the source of almost all their income, this means they will soon be penniless.

Someone in the family has offended her deeply. If that person comes forward with a confession of her (or his) crime, submitted in writing to her lawyer by New Year’s Day, she will reinstate the family in her will. Or at least consider it.

And so the confessions begin….


This book felt like three separate short stories. Naturally, I felt much more drawn to one than to the rest. I loved Norrie’s part, and ate it up. But Jane and Sassy’s portions dragged a bit for me. They were much less relatable and their voices seemed less genuine.

The Sullivan family was interesting. It seemed almost farcical — this outlandishly rich and pompous “old money” family in Baltimore lived at the mercy of the Almighty grandmother. I liked seeing how the same scenarios impacted each of the sisters differently due to a mix of self-absorption, perception on life, and the people they interacted with. For example, the main “meat” of Jane’s story was only briefly mentioned in passing by Norrie. I liked hearing different accounts of the same thing.

The problem with each side story was that I never felt that connected to any of the characters — mostly I read about them from the outside-looking-in for the rest of the book. I also felt like there were a lot of issues brought up but never addressed, like their parents’ co-dependency and lack of affection for their children.

Additionally, the ending/epilogue fell short to me. I had a feeling none of the sisters had cause for concern, but the Takey thing seemed really out-of-place. I also disliked how Standiford “prioritized” the girls’ sins. Surely it would’ve made (one of the sisters) feel even worse about her actions.

I left the book unsatisfied because it merely showed how shallow and selfish people can be. Is money the only true motivator? Now that’s an unfortunate thought.

Related Reading

  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks – E. Lockhart (similar voice — but better)
  • Love Story – Jennifer Echols
  • Anything about extravagant debutante life (think TLC shows)

Final rating: 3.5/5


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