The Chicken Sisters (Paperback)

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The Chicken Sisters By KJ Dell'Antonia Cover Image

The Chicken Sisters (Paperback)


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December 2020 Indie Next List

“I am charmed by The Chicken Sisters! Family fights, fried chicken, a dog and her puppies, mental illness, a shaky marriage, a potential romance, and a reality show taping all combine for a great small-town story. Generations of feuding sisters with competing chicken shack restaurants hash it out for the cameras, their loved ones, and themselves. The Chicken Sisters is a delightful read.”
— Susan Williams, M. Judson Booksellers & Storytellers, Greenville, SC

Staff Reviews

“It starts out as Food Wars, but it comes down to family wars, every time” - Sabrina, show host.


I don’t know why I want to describe a dysfunctional family story about sister rivalry and restaurant feuds as charming, but I do. Lives and family are messy. You can try to make them appear perfect and organized for public consumption, but once you relinquish the spotlight and storytelling to someone else, it is impossible to keep the dirty bits hidden. One of the dominant themes is emphasizing the hidden pitfalls and costs that come with being an influencer and public figure as you strive to turn your life into a desirable brand. It also gives you a delicious peek at what it might be like to participate in a reality television show with the filming of a fictional restaurant wars television show. It is a sharp reminder that perceptions are rarely reality when others have the ability to manipulate and shape the story. It also explores the stress and unexpected pleasures of returning home to a small town alongside facing the past traumas and experiences that shape who we become as adults. Does attention, fame and money always come at great cost? Are there second chances and opportunity for reconciliation after betrayal? Is maintaining tradition or making changes better? I guess you will have to read or listen to find out.  As an audiobook, I found this had great pacing with dual narration alternating between the two sisters. They were both flawed but likeable characters that I wanted to face their realities while also cheering them on in pursuing their dreams and finding their purpose.

— Cori



"A charming, hilarious, feel-good story about the kind of bonds & rivalries only sisters can share. Also, a great present for your sister for the holidays!!"--Reese Witherspoon

Three generations. Two chicken shacks. One recipe for disaster.

In tiny Merinac, Kansas, Chicken Mimi's and Chicken Frannie's have spent a century vying to serve up the best fried chicken in the state--and the legendary feud between their respective owners, the Moores and the Pogociellos, has lasted just as long. No one feels the impact more than thirty-five-year-old widow Amanda Moore, who grew up working for her mom at Mimi's before scandalously marrying Frank Pogociello and changing sides to work at Frannie's. Tired of being caught in the middle, Amanda sends an SOS to Food Wars, the reality TV restaurant competition that promises $100,000 to the winner. But in doing so, she launches both families out of the frying pan and directly into the fire. . .

The last thing Brooklyn-based organizational guru Mae Moore, Amanda's sister, wants is to go home to Kansas. But when her career implodes, helping the fading Mimi's look good on Food Wars becomes Mae's best chance to reclaim the limelight--even if doing so pits her against Amanda and Frannie's. Yet when family secrets become public knowledge, the sisters must choose: Will they fight with each other, or for their heritage?
KJ Dell'Antonia is the former editor of Motherlode and current contributor to The New York Times, as well as the author of How to Be a Happier Parent. She lives with her family on a small farm in Lyme, New Hampshire, but retains an abiding love for her childhood in Texas and Kansas.
Product Details ISBN: 9780593085141
ISBN-10: 0593085140
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication Date: December 1st, 2020
Pages: 352
Language: English
A January 2021 Country Living Front Porch Book Club Pick

The Chicken Sistersby KJ Dell’Antonia is a delightful look at sibling relationships and the unbreakable and bonds of family.”—Real Simple

The Chicken Sisters is a pitch-perfect book with which to begin the New Year, when the spirit of starting anew and putting aside baggage (no matter how many centuries old it may be!), is exactly what we need. Well, that and a plate of fried chicken, of course.” —Country Living

“If you prefer your family secrets served with a side of fried chicken, we highly recommend The Chicken Sisters…[a] funny, heartfelt book…”—Hello Giggles

“A charming first novel about family, regrets, and second chances. Dell’Antonia deftly deals with issues of mental illness, marriage troubles, and dreams deferred, all the while telling a funny satire of reality TV. An utter delight from start to finish.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Mae and Amanda are spirited characters, and their foibles are told with care and humor. Recommended for Food Network and HGTV watchers, this first novel is plucky, heartwarming, and a welcome distraction from the news of the day.”—Library Journal 

“Be warned: you’ll crave fried chicken throughout.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Dell’Antonia writes convincingly and sympathetically about complicated family relationships, giving Mae and Amanda each relatable flaws. The Food Wars scenes are a fun peek behind the curtain of the reality TV world, and the small-town warmth of Merinac is comfortingly quirky. A charming and satisfying story about family bonds that will make meat eaters everywhere crave fried chicken.”—Kirkus Reviews

"Nobody knows the humor and pathos of complicated family relationships better than K.J. Dell’Antonia, which is why this story about sisters and fried chicken and reality TV is such a satisfying read. It’s like the comfort-food of novels: warm, memorable, and wholly original. I loved it."—Laura Zigman, author of Separation Anxiety