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Why is it so fun to read about seriously screwed up families? Why am I drawn in like a moth to flame when by rights I should be repelled? Why do I love Tiffany Reisz’s books so much?

You know what? Upon reflection, let’s leave those depths unplumbed, shall we? If you like a little tawdry in your reading life, you will not want to miss The Lucky Ones.

Allison just got out of a long-term relationship (which was messed up in its own way, but let’s leave that aside for now). Out of the blue, she gets a package in the mail from her foster brother, Roland, who she hasn’t seen since she was a child. She left the foster home suddenly and on bad terms, and now as an adult she can’t even remember all the events that led up to her being taken from the home to live with her elderly aunt. She has fond memories of Roland, though, so she actually considers the request in his letter—he wants her to come back to Oregon because their foster father is dying. Deciding it wouldn’t be the worst thing to get a little closure, and since her life is in upheaval anyway, Allison flies back to her onetime home—where a whole attic full of deep, dark family secrets is waiting.

Their foster father, Dr. Capello, is a pediatric surgeon who took lots of kids over the years into his sprawling house on the Oregon coast. He’s seen as a noble, self-sacrificing hero, and Allison finds it surprisingly easy to fall back into the role of his daughter, but (you knew there would be a “but”) maybe, possibly, something’s not right. Everyone in this family keeps secrets, and some of them are JUICY.

If you’re the kind of reader who clutches your pearls at the slightest provocation, this is not the book for you. If, on the other hand, you’re like me and no amount of scandal is too much scandal, I also recommend Reisz’s equally fantastic book The Bourbon Thief and Amy Engel’s darkly disturbing novel The Roanoke Girls.