AS CLOSE AS SISTERS

Colleen Faulkner

Since the age of twelve, McKenzie Arnold has spent every summer at Albany Beach, Delaware, with her best friends Aurora, Janine, and Lilly. The seaside house teems with thirty years of memories—some wonderful, others painful—and secrets never divulged beyond its walls. This summer may be the last they spend together, as Janine contemplates selling her family cottage.

For now, all four enjoy morning beach walks and lazy evenings on the porch, celebrating Lilly's longed-for pregnancy and offering support during McKenzie's greatest crisis. It's a time for laughter and recriminations, a time to forge a new understanding of a long-ago night when Aurora sealed their bond with one devastating act.

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Since the age of twelve, McKenzie Arnold has spent every summer at Albany Beach, Delaware, with her best friends Aurora, Janine, and Lilly. The seaside house teems with thirty years of memories—some wonderful, others painful—and secrets never divulged beyond its walls. This summer may be the last they spend together, as Janine contemplates selling her family cottage.

For now, all four enjoy morning beach walks and lazy evenings on the porch, celebrating Lilly's longed-for pregnancy and offering support during McKenzie's greatest crisis. It's a time for laughter and recriminations, a time to forge a new understanding of a long-ago night when Aurora sealed their bond with one devastating act. And as the days gradually shorten, events will unfold in ways that none of them could have predicted, to make this the most momentous summer of all.

In a deeply moving novel filled with heartbreak and warmth, Colleen Faulkner explores the complex ties between four very different women as they move through life together, and apart.

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  • Kensington Books
  • Paperback
  • October 2014
  • 288 Pages
  • 9780758255716

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About Colleen Faulkner

Colleen Faulkner lives in Delaware where her family settled more than three hundred years ago. She comes from a long line of storytellers and spends her days, when she's not writing, running the family farm, reading, and traveling the world. She's still married to her high school sweetheart and has four children and two grandchildren.

Praise

This deeply moving story of maternal love and renewal will touch your heart. It's a celebration of the capacity of the human heart to heal itself and embrace change, beautifully written with rare insight.“—Susan Wiggs, # 1 New York Times bestselling author

Be prepared to weep tears of sorrow as well as tears of joy. This is a novel you won't soon forget.”—Holly Chamberlin

Discussion Questions

Would McKenzie, Janine, Lilly, and Aurora have continued

to be friends beyond middle school had it not been for

Buddy’s death? Why did they grow closer together, rather

than further apart?

What do you think of the way McKenzie is handling her

terminal diagnosis? Do you think it’s realistic? If you were

McKenzie, how would you respond differently?

Do you think that Janine has recovered from the sexual

abuse by her father or does that abused child still live in

her? Did what Aurora did to Buddy really save Janine?

What are your thoughts on McKenzie’s relationship with

her ex-husband, Jared? Is he a good father?

Do you think it’s odd that Janine chose to be a police officer

like her father? Do you think it gives her the control

she didn’t have as a child? Is law enforcement something

that’s “in your blood”?

Why do you think Lilly was a part of the group? What does

she add? Is she in the inner circle? Were you surprised by

her secret that only McKenzie knew about? Is it always

better to share secrets with those you love?

Do you think Aurora is a brave woman? Is she selfish or

unselfish? Do you think her strength is real or a facade?

Do you know someone with similar characteristics?

Did you think McKenzie’s daughters, Mia and Maura, behave

selfishly? Did you think they’d be okay after their

mother’s death?

If you could choose two of these women to spend a girls’

weekend at a beach house with, which two would it be?

Why?

Do you think what happens to Aurora is an accident? Why

or why not?