Sins of the Parents

A Shady Corners Tale

Children - Coming of Age
254 Pages
Reviewed on 09/27/2021
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Author Biography

A lifetime ago, I walked away from the comfort of a home I’d known for more than twenty years. My own adventure began in the United States Air Force, which I firmly believe brought out my dream of one day becoming an author.

After leaving California, I only returned for visits. The itch to discover places I’d only read about needed scratching. After my time in the service came to an end, I met my soul mate and we’ve settled in Northwest Georgia, where I plot out stories for teens.

These stories are products of my very overactive imagination, some of them based on the myriad of people I’ve met over the years.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Grant Leishman for Readers' Favorite

Sins of the Parents: A Shady Corners Tale by K.C. Sprayberry is an absolutely delightful coming-of-age novel set in the small Georgian town of Shady Corners. Luci and Skye are cousins, who remarkably look like twins and were born on the same day. They have been inseparable from birth and do everything together. Just as they are about to graduate from middle school and look forward to the excitement of attending high school together, their collective world falls apart. Skye's and Luci’s parents are grifters whose expertise has always been phony and failing investment schemes that invariably leave the investors broke and destitute but enrich the parents. When they pull just such an investment scheme in their hometown and bilk the locals out of their shirts, things turn nasty for Luci and Skye. Everyone wrongly believes Luci and Skye must have been part of the elaborate scam and with their parents conveniently disappearing, they turn en masse against the girls. Without the pair’s loving and respected grandmother, things would have been unbearable for the two. Even with her help, the cousins find themselves separated on opposite sides of the country, lost and bereft without each other, feeling a deep sense of unfairness, knowing they had done nothing wrong to deserve this terrible scenario.

Sins of the Parents was a truly delightful read for me and I am as far removed from author K.C. Sprayberry’s target demographic as one can get. Initially, I thought this would be just another tale of teenage angst and perceived injustice but it was so much more than that. The author did a wonderful job of developing the depth of character in these two young girls and dragging the reader along with deep empathy and rooting for their success, despite all their travails. I particularly enjoyed the character of Gran, from the deep South, a strong, fearless, and commanding figure, who nonetheless had to admit to having had a blind spot, especially when it came to bringing up her two boys, Luci's and Skye’s fathers. The plot was at times predictable but had enough little twists in it to keep any reader interested. What shone through the most in this story was the determination of the two girls not to allow the actions of their parents or indeed the unfair ways they had been treated, especially by the town, to cloud their moral judgment or to influence their unwavering resolve to return what money they could to the poor citizens of Shady Corners and to wherever possible help out those less fortunate than themselves. This is a wonderful story, full of great moral lessons and a real pleasure to read for any age, not just young adults. I can highly recommend it.

Pikasho Deka

Sins of the Parents by K.C. Sprayberry is a young adult coming-of-age tale about two fourteen-year-old cousins who become the subject of harassment and ridicule after their parents scam the inhabitants of Shady Corners and lose their money in a Ponzi scheme. Luci and Skye Hartshaw are cousins by blood and inseparable best friends in general. Their humdrum lives turn upside down when all of their neighbors and acquaintances lose their life savings due to an illegal scam run by their parents. Circumstances force Skye and Luci to separate as Skye moves to California, where she spends the next four years. While Luci remains in Shady Corners with her grandmother, Skye and Luci vow to reunite and rebuild the town from the ground up. However, a dangerous stalker complicates their lives further.

Author K.C. Sprayberry spins an engaging yarn about growing up under unforeseen circumstances. Sins of the Parents deftly showcases the devastating impact on the lives of children who unfairly suffer the consequences of crimes committed by their parents. The plot is well-paced, with enough twists and turns to keep you hooked throughout the pages. You can't help but root for Skye and Luci, and their relationship is the primary driving force of the narrative. I immensely enjoyed their friendship and their relationship with their grandmother. It felt tragic the way people blamed the teenagers for the actions of their parents. If you love coming-of-age stories that contain mystery and suspense, Sins of the Parents is the book for you.

K.C. Finn

Sins of the Parents: A Shady Corners Tale is a work of fiction in the coming of age subgenre, and was penned by author K.C. Sprayberry. Centered on the theme of parental neglect, we meet cousins Skye and Luci, who are inseparable best friends, brought together by their parents’ terrible attitudes and the stigma that follows them. With parents who are scam artists and don’t care about the impression they’ll make on their children’s futures, Skye and Luci suddenly find themselves separated and desperate to be back together for support. A stalker adds more trouble to the mix by sending mysterious, threatening messages, and soon it becomes a race against time to reunite and recover what they’ve lost.

Author K.C. Sprayberry presents an interesting child-focused story that shows young people’s resilience against difficult circumstances. Though the young protagonists felt authentically portrayed for their ages, I had trouble reconciling whether this was a story for young people or adults, but it certainly covers a lot of ground that could be useful talking points for real-life situations. The highlight of the tale for me was the craftsmanship in the bond between the two girls, Skye and Luci, whose love for one another radiates from every page and presents a really positive model for how to support someone else, even when your own life is difficult too. Overall, I would recommend Sins of the Parents to readers seeking teenage social issues fiction and compelling interpersonal drama, whether they are from the YA or adult readership.

Vincent Dublado

Sins of the Parents: A Shady Corners Tale by K.C. Sprayberry is a coming-of-age story that draws your attention in all the best ways. Skye Hartshaw and her cousin Luci are among those children who are not blessed with heaven-sent parents. Their folks are all about get-rich-quick schemes, not bothering to hold down any real jobs they deem are beneath them, but their sins are about to fall on their kids. Skye and Luci face an angry hometown that their folks have recently swindled. People hold the cousins equally responsible for the scheme even though they have nothing to do with it. Still, their parents refuse to stop making money by illegal means and don’t care who gets hurt or if any of their duped investors commit suicide. Skye and Luci will be separated as their parents try to pull a scam somewhere else. Just as things couldn’t get any worse, they receive threatening messages from a stalker.

Reading Sins of the Parents gives you a more thrilling and more satisfying experience that you won’t get from other young adult tales that simply ride on the bandwagon of popular themes. The reliable and alternating narration between the cousins in their angst-ridden tones emphasizes the emotional moments. All the symptoms of growing pains are there, and K.C. Sprayberry amplifies it by infusing it with her own unique brand. She writes with a fondness for characters demonstrating opposite ends of the moral spectrum. You can clearly distinguish Gran as the contrasting persona to the scheming parents. While you might find nothing sympathetic about the parents, it’s a blast to hang out with the cousins. Sprayberry creates a reassuring vibe around them that says everything will be all right in the end. Sins of the Parents is a must-read—an exploration of the angst of dealing with parents that are difficult to reason with and the measures one is willing to take to make it all better.