Feb 152012

The Sausage Maker’s Daughters by AGS Johnson
Source: Review copy from JKS Communications via Netgalley
Links: Amazon, Goodreads, Author’s website

The sausage maker’s youngest daughter is heading for the fight of her battle-scarred life. It’s the era of the counterculture and Vietnam. But twenty-four-year-old Kip Czermanksi is nowhere near her home in California. She’s in a jail cell in her hometown in Wisconsin awaiting a court appearance in the mysterious death of her ex-lover, who happened to be her brother-in-law. Given her father is the small town’s leading citizen; Kip isn’t overly worried, at first. But the personal grudge the DA holds for all the Czermanskis is about to find a foil Kip. What follows is a wild ride through Kip’s present predicament and her past. She’ll come to regret leaving her life in LA, regardless of the good reason for which she returned, when family dynamics and sibling rivalries, magnified by her counterculture attitudes and feminist beliefs, lay Kip’s life bare before the courtroom. Distrusting her legal team, her rebellious history well known, things both personal and legal spiral out-of-control. It doesn’t look good for Kip Czermanski.

This book was not at all what I expected. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting, but what I got was an intriguing courtroom drama filled with lots of intense family drama.

The Czermanski family is a complex mess. Reading the book and learning their history and relationship dynamics was like watching a train wreck. You couldn’t look away, and yet it felt that you were spying on something personal that you shouldn’t see.

Kip’s personal story was heartbreaking. She had a hard childhood, and complicated young adult life. She was very politically active in college, and while her exploits were revealing in great detail, there was none of the preaching that often accompanies political experiences.

Overall, this was a great book. I would recommend it to fans of both family dramas and courtroom thrillers. There was also a great mystery aspect in the search for her brother-in-law’s killer.

Challenges read for:

2012 Ebook Challenge – book 18

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