When two strangers are linked by a mail-in DNA test, it's an answered prayer—that is, for one half sister. For the other, it will dismantle everything she knows to be true. But as they step into the unfamiliar realm of sisterhood, the roles will reverse in ways no one could have foreseen.
... a thrilling story of what happens when a long-held family secret comes to light ... This is not your typical story of discovering a long-lost family member. The intricacies of the character's lives are fascinating, their secrets unpredictable, and the challenges they face infinitely complex. With this story, Strawser reveals just how complicated life can be. Through these dynamic characters, she shows that no one is ever truly a villain or a hero, but instead, we are all a beautiful and messy mix of both.
It’s a decent book, though occasionally its narrative meanders a bit into dull minutiae ... A Million Reasons Why is best when it focuses on Sela and Caroline’s familial relationship, which works realistically and beautifully as they become friends and then sisters. The book’s biggest problem is when the narrative spins its wheels, trying to shock the audience with new and ultimately unimportant narrative twists ... The more interesting personal journey goes to Sela, who gets to bloom and grow here, becoming a new, more thoroughly healed woman. I wish Caroline had had more development along those lines. I liked the complicated, angry relationships that exist between Sela and her ex-husband, and between Caroline’s parents, who have to acclimate to a new truth ... her kids alternate between being very spot-on and a little bit cardboard. On the other hand, the Kentucky backdrop of the story does a good job coloring the characters and their worlds, and you can smell the smoke in the air. Also kudos to Strawser for writing a smoothly-written tale that’s very well-researched when it comes to the process of kidney donation. And the plot, while a little soapy, never fully gives in to the possibility of it turning to pure cheese.