cover image Della and Darby

Della and Darby

Susannah Lewis. Thomas Nelson, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-785-24828-6

Lewis’s heartwarming latest (Bless Your Heart, Rae Sutton) follows twin sisters as they attempt to find themselves and overcome the past in their stiflingly small Mississippi hometown. Since their childhood, Della and Darby Redd have been polar opposites: Della’s outspoken and eager to win acceptance from her peers, while reserved, even-keeled Darby prefers writing and keeping her own company. Both are haunted by the legacy of their alcoholic mother, who killed herself and four others in a drunk driving accident during their childhood, marking them as town outcasts. Now on the cusp of turning 30, Della works in a medical office alongside several of her childhood tormentors—whose acceptance she still desperately craves—while Darby works at a plastic factory and struggles to return the affections of a coworker. As their birthday approaches and other complications arise (including a subplot involving Della’s boss), the sisters lean on their faith as they reevaluate their childhood, their late mother, and one another. Though Della’s is the meatier story (Darby often plays a supporting role), Lewis captures the vulnerability and humor of their relationship. This light jaunt has surprising emotional depth. (Feb.)