“Spring came early the year the birds fell from the sky.”
That’s the opening line of Karen Katchur’s new novel, THE SISTERS of BLUE MOUNTAIN (ThomasDunne/St.MartinsPress). Suddenly, hundreds of snow geese migrating from Pennsylvania to Canada, are dropping dead all over the property of Linnet Jenkins’ Bed and Breakfast and washing up on the dam. This is at the height of the season when tourists come to stay at the B&B, specifically see the birds, tens of thousands of them fly overhead, creating a snow globe appearance.
Soon the media is all over the small town. Her father, Dr. Henry Jenkins, a well-respected bird expert, past his prime is being hounded by reporter’s questions he has no answers to. A young, ambitious professor from the University is brought in to take over for him. The story goes national and after seeing it in Florida on TV, estranged sister and daughter, Myna comes to town.
In addition to facing the current turmoil in their lives, the sisters are forced to look back and reconcile with a serious mistake that they made together as teenagers. Did they commit a crime? Was it morally wrong? Does the fact they were teenagers make it okay? Was the way they grew up a cause?
Writing a novel about sisters always poses a unique set of possibilities (and potential landmines) for the writer. There’s the shared intimacy, the potential for jealousy, envy, the list goes on, but what I find most interesting is, what is not spoken or communicated. Sisters have a distinct way of “just knowing” that no one outside that bond understands. It’s subtle, but Karen creates it between Linnet and Myna. She walks a fine line, but is able to capture the reconciliation, which I really didn’t think was going to be possible and it’s real.
A lot goes on in THE SISTERS of BLUE MOUNTAIN but the focus for me was the relationship between the sisters and the takeaway was don’t let anything come between sisters.
Karen Katchur holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from West Chester University and a Masters of Education degree from East Stroudsburg University. She is an active member of International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America. She lives in Eastern Pennsylvania with her husband and two children. She enjoys running and tennis and playing with her flat coat retriever, Tucker and her cat, Carly.
We have one copy of Karen’s novel, THE SISTERS of BLUE MOUNTAIN. Just tell us about your relationship with your sister, or brother, or what it’s like to be an only child. We’ll announce a winner Monday. Happy Spring.