Title: Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters
Author: Natalie Standiford
Concepts: privilege, wealth, money
Review: Mrs. Louisa Beckendorf, known as Almighty Lou, had been born into wealth and become even wealthier over the course of her five marriages. By serving as a city leader, influential hostess, and philanthropist, she has built herself a rock solid reputation as the grand dame of Baltimore. Not surprisingly, Almighty Lou had a strong personality, and anyone who crossed her the wrong way would inevitably pay a high price for their wrongdoings.
Thus when someone in her son's family offended her deeply, Almighty Lou announced on Christmas day that she had cut the entire family, including all six grandchildren, out of her will. Only if the perpetrator came forward with a confession by New Year's Eve would she consider reinstating the family in her will. Because the three granddaughters had recently gotten into all sorts of trouble that must have offended Lou, the burden fell on each of their shoulders to compose a confession letter and restore the family to its good standing with the Almighty.
Cleverly woven into the storyline is a set of lessons related to wealth - how wealth is obtained and how it serves as a major incentive in the way people treat others. Along the way readers are offered three juicy stories involving a romantic liaison with an older grad student, a sordid blog of family secrets, and close encounters with death. This light-hearted novel about family relations and high society should entertain a wide range of young adult readers.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children