First off, this is the second book in a series, but don't let that stop you from reading it. I did not know that before I started it, and it did not take away from my reading experience. Carre Armstrong Gardner portrays an authentic everyday American family including the beauty of strong relationships and the sorrow of broken ones. This story focuses mostly on sisters, Amy and Seraphina and some major changes in their lives, but there are many characters and a number of other stories are touched as well. While it is not essential that you read the earlier book, I wanted to go back and read it to hear more about this family. I would also like to read the next story because I did get attached to a couple of the characters.
Solid writing, Authentic characters, good theme. I would give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.