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The Chicken Sisters by KJ Dell'Antonia
Contemporary fiction

The Chicken Sisters

by KJ Dell'Antonia

Quick take

Estranged sisters find themselves on opposite sides of Food Wars in this entertaining story of family and fried food.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Romance


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FamilyDrama

    Family drama

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_LOL


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Snarky



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, Food Wars becomes her chance to step back into the limelight. Mae is certain she can make the fading Mimi's look good—even if that pits her against Amanda and Frannie's. With a greedy producer stoking the flames, their friendly rivalry quickly turns into a game of chicken. Yet when family secrets become public knowledge, the sisters must choose: Will they fight with each other, or for their heritage?

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of The Chicken Sisters.

Why I love it

2020 has changed us all. In time we’ll look back and analyze just how much, but there’s one thing I already know and that is that this year—with its isolation and confusion—has made me crave laughter. It has made me ravenous for comedy that rests squarely on real emotion and insight into all that is absurd in our world. The Chicken Sisters, filled with hijinks, community, and just the right amount of inward contemplation, was the perfect bite of humor and drama to satisfy my craving.

The book masterfully turns a spotlight on what’s most ridiculous about our social media-fueled definitions of ourselves. What better way to examine our ability to connect with others and with our own selves than a story about sisters? Mae and Amanda have grown up in the middle of a century-long family feud over two fried chicken restaurants. Their childhoods were the collateral damage of that war and they’ve both found ways to bury it and survive. Or so they believe, until one of them decides to throw it all open in front of reality TV cameras on a cooking competition show called Food Wars.

Dell’Antonia manages to make Mae and Amanda every one of us, tied up in the intense conditioning of our upbringing, held together by it, but also fighting to break away and see who we are outside the comfort and pain it provides. Along the way she urges us to lighten up and to separate the noise from the voice of our hearts—a true gift to help process this unprecedented year.

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Member ratings (3,437)

  • Kathy S.

    Franklin , TN

    I was in the mood for a feel good book and this one did the trick. Still plenty of family drama and a look at how harsh reality shows really can be behind the scenes. I would definitely recommend!

  • Amanda B.

    Hollywood, MD

    I love books about family drama so of course I loved this! I loved the ending because it ends with a meaningful message about family. Wish I ignored the bad reviews & didn’t wait so long to read this.

  • Elissa S.

    Denver, CO

    What a delightful read great for reality TV and Food Network fans alike! I fell in love with the characters in this quirky and charming book, even the ones we weren't supposed to like.Would recommend!

  • Chelsey N.

    Vineland, NJ

    If you love Chopped and you have a sister you've loved and hated over the years, this is the book for you. I felt the family tension and I'm not going to lie, I was on the edge of my seat for a while.

  • Lisa A.

    Long Beach Township , NJ

    A fun story from the start with 2 sisters, misunderstandings, trauma with a hoarder mother, and compromise and redemption for all at the end. Being a lover of food competitions, this 1 hit just right