The Silent Sister

October 18, 2014 Fiction, Review, Thriller, Women's Fiction 9 ★★★

The Silent SisterTitle: The Silent Sister
Author: Diane Chamberlain
Source: NetGalley
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads

Summary: This was a fun, fast-paced read, but the mystery was a bit predictable and the I didn’t find the characters emotionally engaging.

Riley and her older brother grew up in a family shocked by their sister Lisa’s death. Riley has always been told Lisa committed suicide, but when her father dies twenty years later, she finds hints in his belongings suggesting that Lisa might still be alive. As she digs deeper, the secrets she discover will challenge everything she thought she knew about her family.

This is a book I picked up because it was one of the She Reads Books of Fall selections and like every other book they pick out, it sounded like my kind of book. Ever since reading The Husband’s Secret, I’ve loved books which combine the tension of a thriller with the events of daily life. Unfortunately, this particular book fell a bit flat for me. I think a big part of the problem was that the mystery and excitement all involved Riley’s sister, Lisa, but Riley felt like the main character. Even when we learned about Lisa’s life through flashbacks from her perspective, I felt more distanced from the events taking place because they were happening to someone other than Riley and were happening in the past. This made the thriller part of the story less exciting and the daily life bits less emotionally engaging. I also found the mystery predictable.

Although I liked Riley, I still found it difficult to connect with her emotionally. The secrets she finds out and the way they turn her life upside down was something I couldn’t imagine living through.  I don’t know if the author needed to do more to explain how Riley felt or if the events were just too unbelievable, but I didn’t feel like I got even a glimpse of what this experience was like. Despite its flaws, this was a fun book, very easy to read (although not light subject matter) and very fast paced. If you share my love of this type of book, you might want to give it a try, but I’d definitely recommend checking out some of the earlier She Reads selections first.

9 Responses to “The Silent Sister”

  1. Jennine G.

    The premise sounds amazing! It’s too bad that it doesn’t quite click always…even if it’s still good, that’s disappointing.

    • DoingDewey

      After I wrote my review, I checked out what other people had to say on Goodreads, because even though I had some ideas about what made me feel disconnected from this book, it was a bit intangible and I wanted to know it wasn’t just me! And it wasn’t. Some people loved it, but other people wrote reviews that captured my feeling that it was just missing…something. I might be willing to give the author a second chance though, because the idea sounded amazing to me too 🙂

    • DoingDewey

      I wish so too! Hopefully you’ll enjoy it more than I did. I always feel like it’s harder to be enthusiastic about starting a book after reading a negative review, so I hope I didn’t jinx it for you!

  2. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    Although the mystery does sound really interesting, I feel like I would be disappointed by this, but it was great to read your thoughts. It’s too bad the author couldn’t make the main character more engaging!

    • DoingDewey

      If this type of mystery sounds interesting to you, I’d much more highly recommend Big Little Lies or The Missing Place. Both had really interesting mysteries and were so engaging, I couldn’t put them down!

  1. The Missing Place - Doing Dewey

    […] I ended up finding The Silent Sister a disappointment, I was a bit worried that domestic thrillers like this didn’t have much more […]

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