Friday, June 28, 2019

Review - A Family of Strangers

Title:   A Family of Strangers
Author:  Emilie Richards
Genre:   Women's Fiction
Publisher:   Mira
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:  491
Date of Publication:  June 25, 2019
My Rating:  5 Stars

Could a lifetime of memories…be a lifetime of lies?

All her life Ryan Gracey watched her perfect older sister from afar. Knowing she could never top Wendy’s achievements, she didn’t even try. Instead Ryan forged her own path while her family barely seemed to notice.

Now Wendy shares two little girls with her perfect husband while Ryan mourns the man she lost after a nearly fatal mistake in judgment. The sisters’ choices have taken them in different directions, which is why Ryan is stunned when Wendy calls, begging for her help. There’s been a murder—and Wendy believes she’ll be wrongfully accused.

While Wendy lies low, Ryan moves back to their hometown to care for the nieces she hardly knows. The sleuthing skills she’s refined as a true-crime podcaster quickly rise to the surface as she digs for answers with the help of an unexpected ally. Yet the trail of clues Wendy’s left behind lead to nothing but questions. Blood may be thicker than water, but what does Ryan owe a sister who, with every revelation, becomes more and more a stranger?

Is Wendy, who always seemed so perfect, just a perfect liar—or worse?


Ryan Gracey was never close to her much older sister Wendy. So, when she gets a desperate plea from Wendy for Ryan to take care of her daughters, needless to say, Ryan is shocked. Even more shocking is the reason that Wendy needs Ryan's help. Wendy tells Ryan that there has been a murder and that she might be the most likely suspect, so she has to disappear. What else can Ryan do but tend to the girls?

Ryan is much more than an aunt. She is acting as a stand-in mother. The girls father works at sea, and Ryan and Wendy's father is recuperating from surgery, so their mother needs to care for him. Ryan isn't content just to care for the girls. She wants answers from Wendy, but those answers do not come easy. Ryan is a a true-crime podcaster and excels in investigative skills. This comes in handy as she seeks to discover Wendy's whereabouts and what mystery and secrets that Wendy might be hiding.

What an excellent story. There are a lot of dynamics explored here. Not only does Ryan get to know her nieces, but she gets a chance to reconcile with her parents. She also learns something about her past that is truly shocking. Ryan's friend and partner in the podcasting was a nice addition. Another nice layer to this story is that Ryan meets up with an old beau and sparks begin to fly again. 

This is the first book that I have read by Emilie Richards and I must say that I am impressed. A Family of Strangers masterfully delivered mystery, secrets, romance, family atmosphere and a touching conclusion. 

Many thanks to Mira and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.


I'm the author of seventy-something novels, including romance, women's fiction and mystery. When We Were Sisters debuted in June 2016, a stand alone novel about two foster sisters traveling back into their past together. I loved writing it and love the cover my publisher chose. 

I'm also excited about my recent series, Goddesses Anonymous, which started with One Mountain Away and was followed by Somewhere Between Luck and Trust. The third book in the series, A River Too Wide, came out in July 2014. The Color of Light debuted in August 2015. Will there be more? We'll see.

I'm also putting up my newly edited romance backlist and love re-reading and updating them a bit.

Last year my husband and I moved from Virginia, to Osprey, Florida, the state where both of us were raised, met, and married. In the summer we live in Chautauqua, New York. I'm a quilter, knitter, kayaker, and the mother of four children, whom I regard as my greatest creative endeavors. And now there are four wonderful grandchildren to spoil.