Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

Sister Sister Review

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Alice: Beautiful, kind, manipulative, liar.
Clare: Intelligent, loyal, paranoid, jealous.
Clare thinks Alice is a manipulative liar who is trying to steal her life.
Alice thinks Clare is jealous of her long-lost return and place in their family.
One of them is telling the truth. The other is a maniac.
Two sisters. One truth.

We start the book with Clare, successful solicitor, mother of two daughters and wife to a stay at home dad and artist. She has the perfect little family, perfect big home, her mother on the scene acting as a live-in babysitter and she works with two close friends. Perfect life, eh? The only thing that could complete Clare's life is if her long lost little sister would come home. 

When Clare was seven her father took her sister Alice on holiday to America and never came home. The story follows the families heartbreak over losing Alice, the shock over receiving a letter from her twenty years later, and the struggles that come with having Alice back in their lives again. 

Clare's struggles, everyone else loves Alice. 

This is the first book by Sue Fortin that I have had the pleasure of reading, and it certainly won't be the last. Sister Sister is a psychological thriller of the highest calibre with enough twists and turns that you'll be questioning what Clare, as the narrator, has been telling us. 

The relationships between characters in this book really cement the writing. Clare and her husband Luke have the most wonderful relationship at the start of the book, to witness it fall apart because Luke refuses to believe Clare doubts, it's genuinely upsetting. So much so that when she is driven into the arms of business partner and ex-boyfriend, Tom, I found myself enjoying the moments they shared as a jab at Luke. 

It isn't just Luke who won't believe Clare, her own mother, Marion, refuses to acknowledge that something may be wrong on Alice's part, instead putting it down to her older daughter being under workplace stress, blinded by joy of having her youngest back home after so long. We get the impression that Marion and Clare have had a good relationship, strained at times from the constant search for Alice and secrets withheld about their father, but otherwise close before the events of the book take place. 

Reading Clare's descent into madness is interesting, all of the little things that the solicitor in Clare picks up on and the cross examination of her family in order to have all the facts, it's frustrating to know that everything makes sense but none of the other characters can see it. Evidence of good writing. 

It's a slow walk for the first couple of chapters but the time is used to explore relationships and characters, by the end of the book you'll be sprinting towards the finish line as the story builds to a conclusion that I did not predict at all. 

The truth comes out in the end but not after Clare's family is torn apart, lies are told, betrayals are made and lives are turned completely upside down. This book is a complete page turner and if you second guess and guess again don't feel bad, I certainly did.

1 comment

  1. What a cracking review - I'm thrilled you enjoyed it so much. Thank you! Sue :0)


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