I've loved Joshilyn's work from the beginning, and yet The Almost Sisters still amazed me with its thoughtful consideration of the importance race plays in modern life, especially in the South. Leia has an interesting mix of acceptance and acknowledgement of her own point of view versus that of those around her. And speaking of those around her, Leia also vacillates in her feelings towards her step-sister, Rachel. They share a long and complicated history as all sisters do, but their differences frequently keep them on opposite sides.
Yet the real almost sisters referenced in the title are Leia's grandmother Birchie and Birchie's, well, everything, Wattie. Best friends since they were little, Birchie and Wattie now live together, protecting each others as sisters would do. That relationship is drawn to be one of the loveliest I've seen in a long time.
As I expected, these are people and a place I didn't want to leave. Those who love fully-fleshed, multi-leveled, neither good nor bad characters who, like the rest of us, are a bit of both, will love the honesty that Joshilyn uncovers in how we think about who we are and what we do.