Robin W. Pearson’s writing sprouts from her Southern upbringing, her belief in Jesus Christ, and her love of her husband, seven children, and their dog, Oscar. Her novels are “rooted in the soul of the story” and include her Christy Award– winning debut, A Long Time Comin’, as well as ’Til I Want No More, Walking in Tall Weeds, and her latest, Dysfunction Junction. Robin has corrected grammar up and down the East Coast in her career as an author, editor, and blogger and in her calling as a homeschooling mama of many.

In this interview, Robin talks with us about her latest book, Dysfunction Junction.

FF: What inspired this story?
When I was four years old, a neighbor nearly ran over me with his station wagon, and my sisters, parents, and I each tell a slightly different version or part of the event we think we all witnessed. Such is life, where factors like relationship—to one another and to God—age, maturity, and feelings impact our perspective. And such is Dysfunction Junction, in which my characters have unique ways of viewing and handling their shared life experience. But how they see things doesn’t mean that’s how it was. Or how it has to be.

FF: What messages or themes do you focus on in this book?
In this story, I show how God can reveal, restore, and recover what’s broken, whether it’s an old house, relationships, a fragile faith, or lies disguised as truth. The women in Dysfunction Function explore what love really means and see how God continually meets their need for relationship, family, and community in unexpected ways—through adoption, the bonds of sisterhood and friendship, multigenerational interactions, and marriage.

FF: How does faith play a role in this story?
The story takes shape around the passage from Psalm 27:10, “Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.” Through the lives of my characters, I show how God’s love is unfailing, even when others let us down. He makes provision for our need for love, truth, and shelter, even when we are unaware He is working on our behalf.

FF: What do you hope that readers learn from Dysfunction Junction?
I hope readers see that truth doesn’t necessarily have an “s” and that the God of all truth will open our understanding if we seek Him. Through this book, I encourage them to explore heart-related issues related to sibling dynamics and birth order, forgiving someone who hasn’t asked for it; and loving in spite of, not because of. When people read Dysfunction Junction, I want them to search their hearts and lives for evidence of their own dysfunction and seek God for healing and restoration.

FF: What did you hope to communicate about mother-daughter relationships through this story?
Frankie, Annabelle, and Charlotte discover in Dysfunction Junction that mother-daughter relationships take work, and they don’t always look the way you want them to or expect. “Mothering” doesn’t come naturally to some; it takes God to move the heart. A nurturing relationship can occur between siblings and by others in the community, and the absence or the abuse of this crucial connection can impact a family for generations.

FF: What do you find to be the most challenging part of the writing process? What advice would you offer young writers?
It’s so challenging to “just keep swimming,” like in Finding Nemo—to avoid the distractions of social media; celebrate, not imitate, other authors and their stories; and ignore that voice that whispers worries and what ifs. What helps is to focus on what God has called me to do, to courageously and faithfully “do the work” (1 Chronicles 28:20).

FF: Which books and authors have shaped you most as a writer?
The Bible forms the basis of the truth in my fiction, so it’s the book I open first. While I love Christian authors, I also enjoy Maeve Binchy’s impactful stories about families in small towns, Liane Moriarty’s way of crafting mystery and interesting characters, and Bebe Moore Campbell’s use of compelling dialogue and contemporary settings.

FF: Do you have any other writing projects planned?
I’m currently researching a novel that explores the idea that “your sins will find you out.” It’s set in a family-owned bookstore in a (you guessed it!) small, North Carolina town. Also, I’m blogging about what God has taught us during our recent renovation and in our continued adventures as a homeschooling family.

Dysfunction Junction
Robin W. Pearson
Tyndale House
Genres: Contemporary, Southern Fiction
Release Date: February 6, 2024

ISBN-10: ‎1496453778
ISBN-13: ‎978-1496453778

Book Summary:
When three women receive an unexpected phone call that leaves them reeling, they have no other choice but to reckon with a lifetime of memories they’ve long tried to bury. Only in facing the past will they find their path forward.

Frances Mae Livingston’s firm grip of her family’s destructive history makes her hold her husband and four children even closer. But she’s losing bits of herself while proving to everybody and her mama that she’s enough. There’s no way she’ll repeat her mama’s mistakes, even if it kills her.

Annabelle McMillan didn’t have trouble kicking the Eastern North Carolina dust off her feet. The tough part was replanting herself in familiar soil. Now she’s blending her old life with her new husband, stepson, and unborn child. And battling old memories of abandonment and new fears of rejection.

Dr. Charlotte Winters has built a career around helping others sort through their emotional baggage. She’s also spent a lifetime refusing to unpack her own. So what if Charlotte doesn’t recall all that her mama did to her and what her daddy didn’t do for her? Her only mission is to help others help themselves…until the women from her past and the man in her future undo her well-sewn life.

At the junction of healed and hurting, broken and whole, and past and present, three women wrestle with their inability to forgive and forget in this riveting Southern family drama about sisterhood.


Buy Dysfunction Junction from the FF Store HERE!


Buy Dysfunction Junction from Amazon HERE!

Check out more great articles