Dark Glass Ponderings

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. -1 Corinthians 13:12

Title: Stuck in the Middle
Series: Sister-to-Sister #1
Author: Virginia Smith

My rating: 3/5

I enjoyed Third Time's a Charm (Sister-to-Sister #3) and was really interested in getting the perspectives of the other sisters.  Stuck in the Middle is a fun read that incorporates romance, humor, caregiving...and of course, the adventures of the zany Sanderson sisters.

What I really enjoy about this series is that it manages to be a fun, light read, yet still deals with some heavier issues.  I was devastated as Joan's illusions were shattered about her father, for instance.  I think Allie's knowledge of the true reasons for the divorce and even feeling the need to keep this secret to protect her sisters is typical.  Knowledge can become a burden that's not always so easy to bear for the eldest.  

"Stuck" is an adjective that's so descriptive of Joan's life.  She feels stuck at a dead-end job as a manager of a rental store.  I think so many can relate to this feeling, especially in a less than stellar economy.  Joan feels that she is caught in the middle between her mother and grandmother.  I felt it was unusual for Joan as the middle daughter to be the one in a caregiving  position.  In my family, this role has typically been held by the eldest child, as my father took care of my Alzheimer's-laden grandmother...and my mother grew up with her grandmother living in an inlaw quarter in her house.  She is literally stuck in the middle between her sisters.  And I think most children of divorce must struggle with feeling stuck between two parents, even when one parent is obviously at fault.

Joan also feels stuck spiritually.  She has attended the same traditional church every week of her life, even made the designated altar call.  Yet as she listens to a missionary from the Middle East speak she realizes her faith has not had a practical impact on her life.  I think this is also very realistic, especially in our generation.  I appreciate Joan's surrender which is clear-cut, yet not preachy.

I also appreciated Ken's no compromise attitude in a culture where "missionary dating" is common.  Although Ken was interested in Joan, their first date doesn't take place until after she has surrendered her heart to the Lord.  

On the downside, I wished for more detail in some areas.  I would have loved to see even more development between Mike and Ken.  I have a heart for troubled kids and would have loved to see even a whole book devoted to Joan and Ken working kids from the apartments.  I also wish there was more attention devoted to Joan's relationship with her mother and father. It was clear that the revelations about her father were devastating to Joan and I would have loved more exploration on the impact.

All things considered, I have really enjoyed the Sister-to-Sister series.  It would be fun to read this along with Kevin Leman's Birth Order Book.  I look forward to reading Allie's saga as a stay-at-home mom and eldest child myself.


Sounds like a good book. I've never read anything in this series. Seems very interesting and easy to relate to.

Its a fun series! Thanks for stopping by!

Julia M. Reffner

About Me

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Christ-loving bookworm & homeschool mom of 2 stealing the rare quiet moments to pursue that all elusive writing dream. I also write book reviews for Title Trakk and The Historical Novel Society.


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