Tuesday, September 1, 2015

SEVEN SISTERS by Lucinda Riley

Publisher:    Atria   
Published:   May 5, 2015
ISBN:       978-1476759906
Genre:    Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction
Format:   Print   
Obtained via:  Library   
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina  Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com



Some twenty-five to thirty years ago a man adopted six daughters and named them for the seven sisters of the Pleiades.  They called him Pa Salt and as children, living on his estate called Atlantis situated on Lake Geneva, they wanted for nothing.  When asked about the seventh sister they were told he never found her.  Each sister, you see, was adopted from a different place—a different country.  Growing up secure in his love for them the sisters never questioned their beginnings.  And then one day Maia, the eldest receives a troubling phone call from Pa Salt’s long time housekeeper, the woman who was always there for the girls—Pa has died. When Maia arrives at Atlantis she learns for the first time that her father is not only dead, but already buried, in a lead coffin at sea.  As the sisters gather the story of his demise is shared and each reacts according to their own, unique, personality.  But their father did not die and leave them to simply cope with his passing—he left them one last gift.  Each received a key to their past. What, when and if they will take the gift is left to each sister.  It is Maia who, rather than deal with someone from her past, who is the first to pursue her more distant past.  But it is not merely here past she finds herself making peace with—it is the past of someone more like her than she could ever have imagined.

I don’t often find myself reviewing books borrowed from the library.  With an intense day job and striving to write objective and impartial reviews from books sent from various publishers reading a library book, is for me, like taking a mini vacation.  When I saw the blurb for the Seven Sisters I was intrigued, intrigued enough to read Lucinda Riley’s first book, THE ORCHID HOUSE.  I became an instant fan and eagerly awaited the arrival of the SEVEN SISTERS.  I could hardly put the book down, staying up later than I should at night reading “just one more chapter”, finding hidden corners at work to read during my lunch, not participating in carpool conversations because I simply had to follow not only Maia’s journey, but that of her great grandmother, Bel.  Now I find myself waiting, not at all patiently, for Ally’s story in the second book, at this time called simply THE SECOND SISTER.

Riley takes her readers from the safe and secluded Atlantis to the steamy and colourful streets of Rio, not only in the present day but in the early days of the 20th century.  We are beside Maia as she learns of Bel’s struggle to be a good daughter and at the same time seeking out the man she will always love.  Torn apart by distance and culture Bel and Laurent tell their story through their letters, letters left to be found by Maia.  Through them she finds who she truly is—not only about her birth parents, but her much more intriguing and poignant history. 
This talented author takes her readers not just to the various locales of her books, but through her words you feel the heat of the summer streets, the cool breeze while crossing the lake to Atlantis, the bite of the special Rio brew and the heartbreak of saying goodbye to the one you love.

I could go on and on about this fabulous story but it would be only more of what I have already said.  Riley is an amazing, talented author.  I’ll be reading her entire backlist while I wait, not at all patiently, for the next book in this series.  This is one book you do not want to miss.

This is an objective review and an endorsement of this book.

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