Elizabeth, Ginger, Christina, and Rachel are four strangers who share one thing in common: Jessie Reed is their father. While Elizabeth and Christina have vague memories of the man who abandoned them as young children, Ginger was adopted and Rachel believed he never wanted her. Decades later, all four women receive a letter from Lucy Hargreaves, Jessie’s lawyer, informing them their father is dying and wishes to see them one last time before it is his time to go.
When each woman accepts the first class plane ticket to Sacramento, they are unaware of each other’s existence. The knowledge that they are all half-sisters further increases the hatred, betrayal, and anger that nearly all of them feel for their father. Despite the fact that their meeting is something they never wanted, Elizabeth, Ginger, Christina, and Rachel learn that they need one another more than they could ever have known.
The question I kept asking myself while reading The Year Everything Changed was “why haven’t I heard of Georgia Bockoven before?” I was completely caught up in this tale of unlikely sisters bonding and healing after so many years of pain and resentment for a father that they had never really known. In each of the women, I saw a little bit of myself, but I felt that I most identified with Ginger, who was in love with a man that could never love her the way that she loved him. My heart went out to Rachel, who discovered her husband was cheating on her the exact same day that she finds out about her father. I even liked Jeff, Rachel’s cheating husband, and was rooting for them to find their way back to one another.
Elizabeth and Sam are happily married, and would do anything for their children. Unfortunately, their youngest daughter, Stephanie, has a strong sense of entitlement and has never lifted a finger to accomplish anything for herself. Christina is the hardest to relate to because she is so abrasive and mean-spirited, but underneath that tough exterior she is pretty soft.
I enjoyed sharing these women’s struggles and their triumphs, and will definitely read anything written by Georgia Bockoven. The Year Everything Changed is a book you don’t want to miss–but when you read it, make sure you have tissues nearby!
Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.
Review copy was provided free of any obligation by William Morrow Paperbacks. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.