Thursday, October 02, 2014

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

What would you do if everything you thought about your life was based on a lie? What if you spent your entire life living a lie? Diane Chamberlain's The Silent Sister is a suspense novel based on those premises. Riley MacPherson's entire life falls apart after her father's death when she realizes everything she thought she knew about her family was wrong.

Riley was only two when she lost her older sister. She was always told Lisa committed suicide. And, the entire family suffered in ways that Riley never understood. When her father dies, though, she uncovers evidence that Lisa is still alive. Despite her older brother's anger, Riley is desperate to discover the truth, although the truth may destroy the woman Lisa has become.

At forty, Riley's older sister has created a new life for herself, starting from almost nothing. She's no longer the person she was in her youth when she was forced to flee. But, Riley's need for family could shatter Lisa's present life, uncovering the lies she's lived with to protect the secrets of her past.

Chamberlain's latest suspense novel is a complex web spun from lies. To say any more about the plot would ruin all the twists for other readers. I have to admit, though, that Chamberlain's approach, allowing Lisa to tell her own story at one point, made it hard for me to like Riley. Unlike Riley, the reader knows some of the past, and I easily guessed the reason for the lies.  Because of that, I saw Riley as selfish, wanting her own happiness, no matter who else was hurt in the process.

The Silent Sister has some interesting twists, but I found it a little too predictable. I prefer last year's Necessary Lies, with its unexpected ending and links to the country's shameful past. But, if you're looking for suspense, you might want to try both, and see which you prefer.

Diane Chamberlain's website is

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain. St. Martin's Press. 2014. ISBN 9781250010711 (hardcover), 346p.

FTC Full Disclosure - The publisher sent me a copy of the book, hoping I would review it.

No comments: