The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
Pub. Date: October 7, 2014
Source: ARC via publisher (Thank you, St. Martin’s!!)
Summary: Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. Now, over twenty years later, 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 trust, she must decide what the past means for her present.
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Recommended for: Curious readers who love their drama in spades!
Is it just me or is Autumn the best time to curl up with a good mystery? There’s something about the red and orange leaves, the chill in the air, and early nights that leaves me craving fuzzy blankets, hot cups of tea, and a Who-Dun-It. When I first heard about The Silent Sister I immediately perked up: a sister long-thought to have committed suicide is actually alive and well? Oh, that I needed to read! And read I did.
Twenty-five-year-old Riley has just returned to her childhood home. Her homecoming, unfortunately, was brought about by an unhappy circumstance: her father unexpectedly passed away. With her mother already gone and her brother less-than-helpful, it falls to Riley to empty the house and sort through his belongings. It’s while she’s going through his personal items that Riley first begins to wonder about a truth she believed for the past twenty-three years: her older sister took her own life. Growing up, Riley and Danny were never allowed to bring up Lisa, never allowed to discuss their sister. Suddenly Riley’s not so sure – could it be possible her sister is still out there? Is it possible her father knew all these years?
This is a difficult review to write. There’s so. much. to talk about and discuss, but it’s all one gigantic spoiler and it’s killing me to keep quiet! Throughout the novel there are scenes from twenty years ago. Little glimpses into Lisa’s life as a child prodigy. Her time spent at recitals. The dreadful night when her life changed forever. Once Lisa leaves home, The Silent Sister essentially breaks off into two stories: Riley’s in the present and Lisa’s two decades earlier. A dye job, a new name, and a one-way ticket to California. I found Lisa’s perspective absolutely fascinating – I wanted to know more! I needed answers! What really went on that night? Eventually I had my suspicions and turned out to be correct, but even though I guessed at the Big Reveal, it was still one hell of a ride and I loved every minute.
Back in the present, Riley’s quickly discovering that people know far more than they’re letting on. Little old ladies aren’t nearly as sweet as you’d expect and why was her father paying a man $500 a month with no explanations? As the reader I saw the answers before Riley and the ones I didn’t I easily guessed at. Still, nothing prepared me for the tail end of the novel. In those final few moments, Ms. Chamberlain pulled all the stops. Nothing was sacred, nothing was off-limits. Toward the end, The Silent Sister read like a Lifetime Movie – in the best of ways! Drama galore, one thing right after another, anything – anything – that could happen did.
In keeping this review spoiler-free, I feel like I’m leaving out so many talking points. Trust me, though, you’ll be glad I did! The Silent Sister reads like a movie, has all the ups and downs of a soap opera, and the thriller at the heart of it all left me breathless. This is one you definitely do NOT want to miss!
The release of the Necessary Lies paperback coincides with the The Silent Sister release in Hardcover and to celebrate, St. Martin’s is going to give one lucky winner BOTH BOOKS!
All you need to do is fill out this form – easy peasy!
US Residents only and I’ll announce the winner 10/19! Good Luck!