Sisters With a Side of Greens
Grade : A

Sisters with a Side of Greens sparkles with personality and wit. The chronicle of two sisters who have nothing (but really everything) in common, it captures two personalities at loggerheads who crackle and clash in beautifully realistic ways.

Years ago, Rose Tillman and Marvina Nash planned on opening a soul food restaurant – a plan that died in its infancy when Marvina used the money they planned on using to register the business for personal reasons. The sisters have been estranged since that day. Though they have not spoken to each other for decades, Rose suddenly needs something from her sibling.

Rose has finally retired from her decades-long position at the postal service – and, being divorced, has no family, not even a pet, with which to while away her golden years. She decides to subvert her colleagues’ whispers about her stock-solid dependability by doing something unexpected, so returns to her old dream of being a restaurant owner. Her plan to lean on her much-missed mother’s recipes is thwarted when she tries to mix up a sample batch of her famous fried chicken and cannot recall the blend of spices she used.

Only one other person knows what went into her mama’s chicken except for Rose, and that’s Marvina. In the years since they parted, Marvina has become a church lady with fading vision, cooking their mama’s chicken every Sunday after services and still jealously guards her mother’s recipes. She begrudgingly agrees to speak to Rose when she drives two hours to see her.

Unfortunately for Rose, her already-injured knee gives out on her, and Marvina plays a semi-unwilling host. Left with no other option, the women parse out their completely different points of view on their mother and childhoods, and the grudge between them might yet dissolve. Then they catch a pregnant, homeless teenager named Kerresha trying to break into Marvina’s house. Given a new purpose and drive, Marvina and Rose find themselves making room in their hearts for the possibility of new love

This is a terrific set of dual character portraits that works beautifully. Knowing and yet open-hearted, Sisters with a Side of Greens reminds us of what sibling bonds can do. It reminds us of the healing power of cooking, and it has a sense of humor as well as a big heart.

Neither of the sisters are perfect people, but they’re both quite likable, and the reason for their estrangement makes complete sense. Stimpson does a great job painting this southern world from which both women emerged.

Kerrsha happened to be my favorite character in the entire book – imperfect, scarred, but trying to do what she needs to do to survive. The complicated sisterhood soon opens to include her as well.

Tangled, funny, warm, sweet and filled with spirit – that is what Sisters with a Side of Greens is, and it comes highly recommended.

Reviewed by Lisa Fernandes
Grade : A
Book Type: Women's Fiction

Sensuality: Kisses

Review Date : March 25, 2024

Publication Date: 03/2024

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Lisa Fernandes

Lisa Fernandes is a writer, reviewer and recapper who lives somewhere on the East Coast. Formerly employed by Firefox.org and Next Projection, she also currently contributes to Women Write About Comics. Read her blog at http://thatbouviergirl.blogspot.com/, follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/thatbouviergirl or contribute to her Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/MissyvsEvilDead or her Ko-Fi at ko-fi.com/missmelbouvier
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