Review: The Ninth Step by Sissel

Move over, Jodi Picoult, Barbara Delinsky, et al. There's a new women's fiction author in town, and her name is Barbara Taylor Sissel!

I've had a copy of The Ninth Step since it first came out. I read it quickly because I couldn't put it down, but I didn't get a review posted until recently.

Fate intervened, much as it does in this book, and my time was swallowed up by other issues. Finally, I have time to tell you about this book. If you like fiction that hits all the right notes of heartbreak and redemption, while never sinking into melodrama or maudlin sentimentality, this book is for you.

Livie, the heroine, is authentic in her heartbreak, her emotional confusion, and her desperate quest for connection--for closeness--for surcease of pain. I suspect every woman has a bit of Livie hiding inside. Just as Livie thinks she has her life in order, at least her life as viewed by the outside world, the man who deserted her returns, bringing with him a world of trouble.

This is an emotional journey fueled by problems too many people face in real life. If you've ever struggled with an addiction, then you know to what the title refers. This is not a romance novel with the guaranteed happy ending. This is women's fiction where there are always consequences for foolish choices and where character growth is required in order to deliver a satisfying ending.

Barbara Taylor Sissel weaves a gut-wrenching, emotion-drenched tale about a woman to whom you'll probably feel a certain kinship. You'll find the story sticks in your mind long after the book ends. Well done, Ms. Sissel!

Takeaway Truth

A good book is the least expensive form of entertainment. For a few dollars, you can be whisked away to another world.


  1. Thank you so much for this lovely review, Joan. When I came across it, I was reading your blog on my Kindle while riding my stationery bike and when I saw my name and the title of my book pop up as I advanced screens, I almost fell off, it was such a thrill! Good thing I wasn't on the street. I would have wrecked for sure! LOL! It was such a joy ... thank you....

  2. Barbara Sissel ...

    My pleasure, Barbara. Thank you for writing a good book.

    Best wishes,
    Joan Reeves