Review: Sister

If you are looking for a smart page-burner, Sister is for you!  Rosamund Lupton spins an enthralling yarn about a sister who leaves her yuppie life in New York to head back home to London to find her younger sister, who has suddenly vanished.  Your heroine is Beatrice, whose determination to find her sister Tess will have you reading well into the night.  I can’t write too much about Beatrice’s search for Tess, because I don’t want to spoil anything.  I will say, however, that the more Beatrice digs into Tess’ past, the more she discovers that she didn’t know every aspect of her sister’s life, as she had always assumed.  Her sleuth work flies in the face of the police, doctors, friends, her fiancé, and even her mother.  But Beatrice carries on, because she cannot give up on Tess.  While she pushes forward to find out the truth about her beloved sister, she inadvertently winds up on a profound path of self discovery, which adds even more humanity to the story. 

The way the book is written is interesting, as it’s in the format of one long letter from Beatrice to Tess.  It took a couple of pages to get the hang of this style, but once you realize that the story will unfold this way, it takes off like a shot.  When you see everything through Beatrice’s eyes, you quickly begin to appreciate her heartfelt observations: 

“I remember word for word your seven-year-old reply to my fragmented homesickness and that your writing was invisible until I shone a torch onto the paper.  Ever since, kindness has smelled of lemons.”

“I get up and pace the room, as if I can leave my guilt behind me.  But it tracks me as I walk, an ugly shadow made by myself.”

Wonderful writing.  Impressions that leave a mark!

The book’s characters are beautifully developed, from the anguished mother of Beatrice and Tess, to the kindly neighbor who looks after Tess’ potted plants.  The story’s dark twist will have you scrambling to turn the pages, as it truly is a terrific whodunit.  4 stars, and I’ll be adding Rosamund Lupton’s Afterwards to my to-read list!

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