cover image Dysfunction Junction

Dysfunction Junction

Robin Pearson. Tyndale, $29.99 (364p) ISBN 978-1-4964-5376-1

In this textured family drama from Pearson (Walking in Tall Weeds), three adult sisters are drawn back into one another’s orbit after their mother’s death. Frankie, Annabelle, and Charlotte could hardly be more different: pragmatic Frankie has four kids and often served as a stand-in mom for her siblings, but is slowly cracking under the weight of familial obligations; gentle and reticent Annabelle struggles with self-esteem issues; and “workaholic” psychologist Charlotte is single, successful, and expert at keeping others at a distance. When their domineering mother Mayhelen dies, the three reunite to make funeral arrangements and determine the fate of their childhood home. In doing so, they come face-to-face with memories of the woman whose “hold on them was as firm as it was painful.” Charlotte, who’d been their mother’s favorite, must reconcile her memories with the painful stories her sisters have shared, while Annabelle, who’s pregnant with her first child, begins to view Mayhelen in a more sympathetic light. As the sisters ricochet between grief and bitterness, they grapple with the meaning of forgiveness and the limits of family duty in a narrative that’s empathic, energetic, and nuanced. The result is a heartfelt tribute to the bonds of sisterhood. (Feb.)