About this book: (from the publisher) Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she’s in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary. Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity. But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now? As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family. Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality.
About the author: Diane Chamberlain is the international bestselling author of twenty-two novels. She lives in North Carolina with her partner, photographer John Pagliuca, and her shelties, Keeper and Cole.
Genre: Fiction/Contemporary/Mystery/Women’s Fiction
If this book were a movie, I would rate it: R for language
How I’d judge this cover to suit the story: Thumbs up.
Reminds me of… Five Days Left, The Accidents of Marriage, The Husband’s Secret
Will especially appeal to… readers of contemporary women’s fiction who enjoy strong characters and a good dose of mystery woven into the plot; readers who are musicians themselves.
Would I read another by this author? Yes, for her skill as a storyteller, though the values portrayed in her books don’t always match mine.
Why this story matters… for its take on love, loss, and the bond between siblings.
My take: Who doesn’t love a gripping page-turner? I certainly do, and this one is that. Besides, it possesses so many things I enjoy in quality women’s fiction: an appealing main character, for one. Lots to like and identify with in Riley. It’s also inhabited by an intriguing cast of complex supporting characters. Verniece, Danny, Jeannie. Each offer their own surprises, many of them moving in quite unexpected directions. One particular stroke of genius is the addition of Danny, who provides a marvelous dark foil to Riley’s sweetness. Each character bring texture and depth to the story.
Plotting is also top-notch, filled with the twists and turns I love to find in contemporary fiction, the kind where the answer to one mystery pops up questions for more. Again–bravo.
I was disappointed, however, when the story led into one of the main character’s realization she was lesbian. My heart sank as I saw this coming, so tired am I of stumbling over this loaded issue in my fiction. I was also disappointed in the moral squishiness of the ending. I can’t say much more about that without giving it away, but it left me unable to wholeheartedly embrace the conclusion.
Still, The Silent Sister is a riveting read, with enough controversy to generate loads of juicy book club discussion.
Thanks to She Reads and St. Martin’s Press for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
After words: The Silent Sister is the She Reads November pick of the month. See what other reviewers are saying about at SheReads.org.