Wednesday 15 October 2014

Book ~ "The Silent Sister" (2014) Diane Chamberlain

From Goodreads ~ 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.

Lisa was a child prodigy violinist.  In 1990, when she was 17, she was depressed and committed suicide.  Her sister, Riley, was two at the time and didn't remember her sister.  The life went out of their parents and their brother, Danny, began getting into trouble and eventually served in Iraq, from which he never recovered physically or emotionally.

About 25 years later, their mother has been dead a few years and their father has just died.  It's up to Riley to clear out his house, deciding what to keep, what to sell and what to throw out.  As she does this, she starts discovering that the life she thought they had was actually a lie.  Lisa is alive and her father knew all the time.

I've been meaning to read a book by this author for a while and I am happy I finally got around to it as I enjoyed this one.  I liked the writing style.  I thought it flowed well and it kept me interested in wanting to know what was going to happen next.

It is written in first person perspective from Riley's point of view and third person perspective from Lisa's point of view (in addition, the chapters are labelled so you know whose voice it is when the points of view change).  Plus it jumps back and forth in time but the chapters are labelled so you know what the time period is.  I found this worked for me as it built up the suspense.  Quite quickly I figured out a couple of the twists but I was okay with them.  As a head's up, there is some swearing.

I liked the characters.  The author did a good job in letting us feel Riley's aloneness and feeling pressured.  Her parents are dead, her older sister who she never knew is dead, her brother is happy being on his own in his trailer in the woods and not bothering with her, and she's just broken up with her boyfriend of two years because he was still hung up on his wife who he was separated from.  As the book goes back in time, we get to know Lisa, why she did what she had to do and how she tried to make a new life without her family.

I look forward to reading others by this author.

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