Review & Giveaway: A Family of Strangers by Emilie Richards

Thanks to the publisher for sending me a free copy of the book.

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Could a lifetime of memories…be a lifetime of lies?

All her life, Ryan Gracey watched her perfect older sister from afar. Knowing she could never top Wendy’s achievements, she didn’t even try. Instead, Ryan forged her own path while her family barely seemed to notice.

Now, Wendy shares two little girls with her perfect husband while Ryan mourns the man she lost after a nearly fatal mistake in judgment. The sisters’ choices have taken them in different directions, which is why Ryan is stunned when Wendy calls, begging for her help. There’s been a murder – and Wendy believes she’ll be wrongfully accused.

While Wendy lays low, Ryan moves back to their hometown to care for the nieces she hardly knows. The sleuthing skills she’s refined as a true-crime podcaster quickly rise to the surface as she digs for answers with the help of an unexpected ally. Yet the trail of clues Wendy’s left behind lead to nothing but questions. Blood may be thicker than water, but what does Ryan owe a sister who, with every revelation, becomes more and more a stranger?

Is Wendy, who always seemed so perfect, just a perfect liar – or worse? 


Full disclosure: as much as I love a good mystery/thriller (and this synopsis was screaming those words at me), I’m to the point where I go into them with minimal expectations. Anyone else? I’ve read too many, and the genre is starting to feel like a recycling grounds. So I went into this one not expecting a whole lot. However, Richards did a fantastic job of taking this mystery/thriller storyline, and mixing it with a heavy hand of family drama. And it turned out to be a much more engaging read than I had hoped for.

Regarding the sleuthing into Wendy’s mysterious situation, I appreciated the timeliness infused into the story with Ryan’s true crime podcast experience. Personally, I’m not a podcast person, but I know a lot of people are. I also haven’t noticed a lot of books focusing on these podcasts, so I thought this was a creative way to make her story stand out from the others.

But the biggest draw for me, personally, was the dissection of the family dynamic. This is a family with a significant age gap between everyone. You find out right away that Ryan was an “oops” baby, arriving very late in her parents’ lives, as well as her sister’s. So the connections are. . . different. Obviously I’m not going to say anything to spoil the plot. However, watching the effect that these relationships had on the way everyone interacted with each other was incredibly fascinating.

Aaaand now I’m done. Now it’s time for you to dive in and explore the world of the Gracey family and Wendy’s disappearance for yourself. And I hope it makes a great addition to your beach bag.


I’m excited to be partnering with TLC Book Tours and Mira/Harlequin Books to share a copy of this perfect-for-summer read with one of you! To enter is simple: let me know in the comments what genre you love to read in the summer. I love getting a feel for the kind of books different people consider “beach reads. I’ve got the giveaway up on my Instagram page as well, so feel free to head over there for extra entries. Giveaway is limited to US addresses only, and will close on Sunday 7/14/19 at 11:59 PM CST. I’ll contact the winner early next week via email or Instagram DM depending on how you entered, and you’ll have 48 hours to get your mailing info to me or I’ll move on to the next name drawn. Good luck!

Author stats: WebsiteFacebookInstagramTwitter

Book stats: paperback, 491 pages, Mira Books, June 25, 2019

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for organizing this tour. Follow the rest of the tour stops Here.


Add yours →

  1. I would pick some light reads (women fiction or rom-com).
    Great review!! This one sounds so exciting:)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was on a kick where a lot of the books I was reading were all kind of the same trope and that’s such a bummer. But I love when I’m reading a book and the author does a full dissection of characters. I really like that because I really like to know why a character is doing what they’re doing. Always interesting. Thank you for being on this tour. Sara @ TLC Book Tours

    Liked by 1 person

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