Published: March 22, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Obtained via: Publisher via Edelweiss
Reviewed by name and email address: Gina Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com
Alcyone (Ally) D’Apliese has lived what to some would seem a charmed life. Growing up on an island called Atlantis—not the fabled continent, but the island home of the father she knew as Pa Salt, along with her five sisters, she wanted for nothing. Each sister, named for one of the seven sisters of the Pleiades, each sister was given the support to pursue their talents without being spoiled. For Ally it was a love of the sea and it was on the sea she found her greatest love—her soul mate and her deepest sorrow.
For a long, long time she’d heard and admired fellow sailor, Theo Falys-King. When she meets him she learns that he too has admired her. When he asks her to join his crew for the Cyclades Regatta she is beyond thrilled. The crew is diligent in their practice and before the regatta begins Theo confides his feelings for Ally—and Ally hers for him. They are in love and with their shared passion for the sea it appears they are on the brink of a wonderful life together. But their life together takes a devastatingly sad turn when first they see her father’s boat, the Titan but instead of responding to their message, the Titan leaves the area as quickly as possible. Not long after Ally learns the reason why—her father was buried at sea from the Titan.
Returning to Atlantis to be with her sisters Ally, as do the sisters, receives a parting legacy from her father—coordinates that will lead them to their history…their beginnings. Ally’s coordinates take her to Norway where she discovers a rich past and so much more.
I “discovered” Lucinda Riley when I came across the first book in this series, THE SEVEN SISTERS. I’ve always had a fascination with Atlantis and the Pleiades and while this series isn’t directly about either of those two places, the mystique of them is apparent in the telling of the sisters’ stories. There is something emotionally poignant in the telling of Pa Salt’s burial at sea and his creation of the mystery around it. Each sister reacts in a unique way to his passing. Riley clearly put considerable thought into how each character would develop, confront and embrace her past.
Riley takes her readers more deeply into Ally’s story by telling a parallel story, that of Anna and Jens, decades before. Readers join Ally as she delves into that other story. I had a good idea of where the author was going with the second story and some of the people Ally meets once she arrives in Norway and I suspected the gift Theo would leave with her. Even knowing that was where she was going I still enjoyed the unveiling.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Ally’s travels in Norway—Riley did a fabulous job of making the streets and venues of the other towns come to life. When the true story of what happened with Anna and Jens and how they impact Ally’s life today is revealed it was really well done.
Each book in this series is a stand alone with a complete story being told. Riley herself in her Q&A at the end of the story says the books do not have to be read in order. While that is true I personally think readers will have more enjoyment of the stories if they are read in order. While the series is essentially contemporary fiction, it does have something for everyone – romance, a bit of mystery, and historical fiction. Definitely one you do not want to miss.
This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.