Very good book about love, family, healing, and acceptance. Three eccentric sisters live in the tiny (population 95) town of Rooster, Texas. They've never married and still live in the house they grew up in. Betsy, Connie, and Kate live their lives according to their mama's rules, the first of which was "Never turn away a stranger."
Nineteen-year-old Ginger arrived in Rooster with no money left and nowhere to go. She's eight months pregnant and trying to escape the bad memories she left behind in Kentucky. A chance encounter with Connie gives her a roof over her head and a chance to get back on her feet.
Sloan is the sisters' handyman. Twenty-four years old, Sloan returned home from the army, discharged with PTSD, and wracked with guilt over the death of his team. He's protective of the sisters, but they are the only ones he's allowed himself to get close to.
I loved the three sisters. They are feisty, independent, loving, and loyal. Each of them has a fascinating past that has made them who they are today. I certainly did not expect to find that Kate makes her own moonshine, bartering it for goods and services the sisters wanted. Betsy does the cooking for the family and grows a little weed on the side, also trading it with friends and neighbors. Connie is in charge of the house, a cleaning whirlwind. They bicker like sisters do, but their support of each other is as solid as the foundation of their home. I laughed out loud as they told Ginger of the house's history as a brothel and their interactions with some of the more judgmental townspeople. The scene with Edith when she disrespected the sisters' mother was a riot. Something about Ginger spoke to their hearts, and it wasn't long before they made her part of the family. It was also fun to see their machinations as they pushed Ginger and Sloan together whenever they could.
Ginger made my heart ache for her. Raised from birth in the foster care system, she had little experience with what family really meant. Her search for love and belonging ended up with her being pregnant and alone. She didn't know quite what to make of the Carson sisters and their open-hearted acceptance of her. She didn't intend to stay in Rooster, but the longer she waited, the harder it became to think about leaving. She was afraid to believe it would last, but couldn't deny the hope that grew daily as she worked with the sisters.
I enjoyed the development of the relationship between Ginger and Sloan. It got off to a bit of a rocky start, as Sloan was suspicious of Ginger. He feared that she was running some sort of scam that would hurt the sisters. Ginger sensed his distrust and tried not to let it bother her. With the sisters' help, it didn't take long for the distrust to evaporate. I liked seeing the friendship between them develop first. Ginger's resilience and ability to overcome her painful past impressed Sloan. He quickly found himself feeling as protective of her as he was of the sisters. He also discovered that she was easy to talk to and shared the events that haunt him with her. Ginger's past made it easy for her to connect with Sloan. I loved seeing her help him face his past. In doing so, he learned some things that completely changed his outlook. Ginger had no experience with a man as good as Sloan, and it took some time for her to believe that he meant the things he said. The love between them grew slowly, and it took a while for them to recognize their feelings, even though others saw it clearly. I loved how they came together at the end. The epilogue was fantastic.