"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

31 August 2015

2015 Book Review #31: The Silent Sister

One thing about being away on vacation, is that I have more time to just sit and read.

Although this was a kayaking and hiking vacation, I did do a lot of reading in the late evenings and very early mornings....so I finished another book from the library. 

This author is a fave of mine although it had been quite a while since I read one of her books.


The MacPhearson family consists of Riley, age 25, and her older brother Danny.  They are all that is left of the family.  Their dad recently died and their mother died of cancer while Riley was in her last year of high school.  Their older sister, Lisa, committed suicide at age 17.

Lisa had been a violin prodigy.  She had a stunning career as a classical violinist before her.....yet...something went horribly wrong and she shot her violin teacher when Riley was just 2 years old.  Riley has no memory of that.  All she knows is that Lisa committed suicide due to depression.  All these years, Danny and Riley have believed the lie that Lisa was depressed.  This is what they were told. 

Riley has spent her whole life believing the lie about Lisa.  It shaped her and Danny's views of their family, their own childhood, and their family dynamics.  Riley only remembers her mother as being utterly sad and quiet.  She does not remember her dad as being fun and playful  although they had a very good relationship and she loved him dearly.  Now that he is gone, she has been assigned, by him, as power of attorney over his belongings, house, and the RV park he owned and operated.  Danny gets to keep some of the land where his own RV sits and where he lives.  He prefers to stay out of Riley's way as she prepares to sell the family home and go through their father's belongings and papers.

And then she discovers the truth......Lisa is still alive!  She is alive and lives under a new identity.

Now Riley wants to know why she was on the run for the last 20 years??  What really happened with Lisa?  What secrets are still being kept?  What will those secrets reveal about their family?  And is Riley really adopted like the strange woman her parents knew claims or is that another lie??

Riley begins to uncover the truth, along with some help from people her parents knew, and what she learns begins to make her question her own existence and the very things she held dear to her heart about her family.  What will this truth be like for her in the future?? and how does it impact her present as she faces the past??


Well, this book was a tad bit predictable or else I'm just a good guesser but I totally guessed, and got correct, the puzzle about Riley and her parents ( I don't want to say what it is as I don't want to spoil this story for you!).  I also guessed correctly the reason Lisa killed her violin teacher.  There was a twist to it though that went back to when Lisa was a small child and it broke my heart.  A very powerful plot for sure!

I connected with the Lisa character right away....I just felt for her.  I also loved the portrayal of Riley as being so alone...the author did a marvelous job tugging at the readers' heart strings over each and every character.  You can just feel the overwhelming confusion and sadness emanating from Riley and Danny.

Once the truth comes out, you begin to cheer Riley on.......and although rather predictable, this story is still exciting, fast-paced, and powerful.

The main themes in this story are the bonds between siblings, love for family, and loss.

I don't agree that living a life of lies is the best way to live but it works for this story....thank goodness it's fiction!! (and that makes me NOT want to give it a 10).

 Honesty, in my opinion, is still the best policy.  And yet...I get why the author wrote the story in the way that she did.  It Is very powerful and thought-provoking.

In my opinion, this book is appropriate for ages 14 and older.

On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest, I rate this a 9.


Melanie Lopata said...

This looks great!!! Im going to put it on hold at the library. I wrote down a few others from your reviews as well!

Susanne said...

This is on my list as is the book you're now reading. How do you beat me to them all the time?

Melanie Lopata said...

I just finished this book and I liked it. The story line was good and I loved the characters. The only thing I didn't like about it was the Lord's name being "taken in vein" ugh why do they have to do that so much?? I hate seeing G-D and Chr****. I'd rather see F***. But other than that it was a good book.

The Silent Sister is next. Already have it on my bedside table :)