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The Sisters of Glass Ferry
Cover of The Sisters of Glass Ferry
The Sisters of Glass Ferry
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Through generations of a Kentucky bourbon family, this novel of sisterhood, secrets, regret and absolution "is rich with drama and family intrigue" (Publishers Weekly).

For the Butler family of Glass Ferry, Kentucky, bourbon has been a way of life for generations. Beauregard "Honey Bee" Butler, was known for making some of the best whiskey in the state. Only one person was entrusted with Honey Bee's secret recipes before he passed on: his daughter Flannery.

But Flannery is harboring other secrets too—about her twin sister Patsy, older by eight minutes and pretty in a way Flannery knows she'll never be. Then, on prom night, Patsy disappears along with her date. Every succeeding year on the twins' birthday, Flannery's mother bakes a strawberry cake, convinced that Patsy will finally come home. But it will be two tumultuous decades until the muddy river yields a clue about what happened that night, compelling Flannery to confront the truth about her sleepy town, her family's past, and the choices she and those closest to her have made in the name of love.

Through generations of a Kentucky bourbon family, this novel of sisterhood, secrets, regret and absolution "is rich with drama and family intrigue" (Publishers Weekly).

For the Butler family of Glass Ferry, Kentucky, bourbon has been a way of life for generations. Beauregard "Honey Bee" Butler, was known for making some of the best whiskey in the state. Only one person was entrusted with Honey Bee's secret recipes before he passed on: his daughter Flannery.

But Flannery is harboring other secrets too—about her twin sister Patsy, older by eight minutes and pretty in a way Flannery knows she'll never be. Then, on prom night, Patsy disappears along with her date. Every succeeding year on the twins' birthday, Flannery's mother bakes a strawberry cake, convinced that Patsy will finally come home. But it will be two tumultuous decades until the muddy river yields a clue about what happened that night, compelling Flannery to confront the truth about her sleepy town, her family's past, and the choices she and those closest to her have made in the name of love.

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About the Author-
  • Kim Michele Richardson is the award-winning, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Southern fiction, including The Sisters of Glass Ferry, Liar's Bench, GodPretty in the Tobacco Field and The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, which was a LibraryReads selection, an IndieNext Pick, a Books-A-Million Best Fiction selection, an Oprah's Buzziest Books pick and a Women's National Book Association Great Group Reads selection. Born in Kentucky and a part-time resident of North Carolina, she is a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and an advocate for the prevention of child abuse and domestic violence. Please visit her online at KimMicheleRichardson.com.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    October 9, 2017
    Richardson (Liar’s Bench) brings to life Glass Ferry, Ky., in this multigenerational tale about the bond between sisters, family secrets, fine bourbon, and the lingering price of loss. Flannery Butler grew up in rural 1950s Kentucky under the shadow of two kinds of secrets: the secret whiskey recipes her father entrusted to her, and darker secrets about her twin sister, Patsy, who disappeared the night of their 16th birthday. Two decades have passed since then, and the Butler family is tied to their traditions—from the burning pleasures of whiskey to the sweet strawberry cake that Flannery’s mother, Jean Butler, bakes yearly and sets on the window sill for her daughters’ birthday. When the pie Jean cooks on Patsy’s birthday in 1972 finally stirs up the truth behind her disappearance, Flannery must confront her past. Told in flashbacks spanning over two decades—from 1952 to 1972—the story is strongest when it focuses on the relationship between the sisters and how it slowly becomes colored by ominous portent. Elsewhere, Richardson’s writing feels stilted—particularly the dialogue, which unsuccessfully attempts to differentiate the characters and falls flat throughout. Despite this, Richardson’s bourbon-infused saga is rich with drama and family intrigue.

  • Library Journal

    November 15, 2017

    Born to a successful whiskey man in a small Kentucky town, twins Flannery and Patsy Butler did everything together. However, when the girls' father dies and they reach their teenage years, Patsy goes her own way, dyeing her hair and chasing boys. Flannery feels betrayed and jealous of Patsy's new path. On prom night, Patsy and her boyfriend go missing. Their mother suspects the kids ran off to get married, and holds out hope for their return. Twenty years later, Flannery, now a teacher in Louisville, returns home on her (and Patsy's) birthday. A recent drought has lowered the Kentucky river just enough to reveal clues to the couple's disappearance. Flannery begins to put the pieces together about the night the kids went missing, as well as deal with her guilt over being jealous of her sister and starting a fight the night before she disappeared. VERDICT Richardson's (Liar's Bench) dark and immensely readable novel of jealousy, betrayal, abuse, and secrets in small-town 1950s Kentucky builds a satisfying mystery, while showing how difficult life was for young women, especially when faced with controlling men.--Brooke Bolton, Boonville-Warrick Cty. P.L., IN

    Copyright 2017 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    November 1, 2017
    The Butlers had whiskey in their blood, just like generations of families did in the tiny town of Glass Ferry, Tennessee. The twisting, turning Kentucky river was perfect for imbuing the locally crafted spirits with fire and heat, and Beauregard Butler had perfected a recipe that gave him a certain amount of celebrity in town. Tragically, Beauregard passed away before his twin girls were old enough to take over the business, but his reputation still carried weight. Tomboyish Flannery and delicate Patsy aren't very much alike, but their bond is unbreakable. When Patsy and her boyfriend fail to come home on prom night, Flannery is petrified to realize she knows more about the night of their disappearance than she should. Richardson's novel is a southern gothic treat, as dark and complex as a good glass of whiskey. Richardson uses Flannery as the central narrator pre- and post-disappearance, allowing the tension to build over decades. Fans of Mary Kubica and Emma Cline will enjoy this tender story of family legend, loss, and redemption.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

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