cover image Dear Sister: A Memoir of Secrets, Survival, and Unbreakable Bonds

Dear Sister: A Memoir of Secrets, Survival, and Unbreakable Bonds

Michelle Horton. Grand Central, $30 (352p) ISBN 978-1-5387-5715-4

Horton’s incendiary debut catalogs her efforts to get her sister released from prison. In 2017, Horton was stunned to learn that her younger sibling, Nikki Addimando, had been arrested by police in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., for fatally shooting her boyfriend, Chris Grover, with his own gun. During a phone call with Horton following the arrest, Addimando admitted to the killing, claiming Grover had brandished the firearm and threatened to kill her first. She also revealed to Horton that Grover had been brutally abusing her for years, including while she was pregnant with their daughter, Faye. Despite ample evidence of Grover’s abuse, Addimando was convicted of second-degree murder in 2019 and sentenced to 19 years in prison (reduced to 7.5 years in 2021 under the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act). Horton recounts her desperate attempts to convince the prosecutor not to pursue the case and the toll it took on her own son, Noah, when she assumed responsibility for Addimando’s two children. With Addimando still behind bars, Horton’s narrative offers little comfort, but it serves as a powerful testament to the tenacity of sisterly bonds, a scathing indictment of the legal landscape for abused women, and a wrenching exploration of the shame that allows abuse to remain hidden. This is difficult to forget. Agent: Eve MacSweeney, Calligraph. (Jan.)