Book Review: From May to December

Two sisters come to terms with each other in this sweetly told story of connectedness in the face of adversity. Even knowing how small minded and wrong it is, older sister Jen has plenty of resentment toward her sister Lolly who lost a leg to childhood cancer. She has always seen Lolly as responsible for their father’s desertion and being the “special” member of the family. Thanks to a grant, Lolly’s writing workshop with female inmates of the Florida penal system turned into a fourteen week drama class and who better to assist her then Jen. Unlucky in love, having difficulties finishing her dissertation and trying to live down the stigma of performing in a porn flick, Jen is less then thrilled to help out but needs the paycheck. As she begins learning about the women, Jen finds herself having to resolve several lingering issues, especially when Lolly confides that the cancer has returned. Lolly does not want the women she works with to know of her illness yet it is an inmate, out on the work release program who becomes her caregiver. The tight-knit tale comes full circle as Lolly and those who love her, face the endgame even as Jen and many of the program enrollees make a fresh start and embrace their futures.

MacEnulty has created a warm, believable cast of flawed, utterly human characters for this “feel good” tale that points out the consequences of drugs, misplaced love and bad choices while showing the power of love.

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