Author: Rosamund Lupton
Release Date: June 7, 2011
Source: Amazon Vine
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
After her sister disappears in London, Beatrice travels from New York City to try and find out what happened to her. After being brushed off by the local police, Beatrice begins to conduct her own investigation into what happened to Tess.
Sister by Rosamund Lupton is a complicated and intriguing psychological thriller, told as a letter from Beatrice to her dead sister Tess. At the beginning of the book, the reader knows that Tess is dead, and that Beatrice was the one to discover her killer. It is also evident that the police bungled up the case, and as a result, they can’t be trusted. This method of storytelling works surprisingly well; even though the reader has certain information at the beginning of the novel, that doesn’t mean events will play out as you expect. Indeed, knowing these simple facts actually heightens the suspense because the reader is at a loss to decipher how events will unfold to lead to Beatrice’s present situation.
Structuring the novel as Beatrice talking to Tess also serves to increase the emotional impact of the book for the reader. Beatrice is candid about how lost she is without Tess; how guilty she feels that she wasn’t there for Tess - the list goes on and on. It really serves to underscore the close bonds of sisters and shows how much Beatrice adored her sister. I really appreciated this because it made me invested in the book. No matter how ridiculous the lead was that Beatrice was following, I supported her because I understood how much she needed to find the truth about Tess’s murder.
Lupton also takes on some serious issues in Sister, but disguises her social commentary through the suspenseful narrative of the story. Physical abuse, men taking advantage of vulnerability (whether it’s emotional or financial), single mothers - Lupton has a lot to say about how women are treated in society. Her points are well presented and don’t overwhelm the story; in fact, they add to it, seamlessly weaved into the plot. It’s not until after the novel is over and the reader is reflecting that they realize how clever Lupton was.
Sister takes the reader on twists and turns; this is a novel readers will tear through in breathless anticipation, so it’s a good idea to plan on reading it in one sitting. Beatrice is a wonderful, if slightly mysterious, character and a loving sister, and it shows on every page of the novel. It’s difficult to believe that this is Lupton’s first novel, as it is expertly crafted and tightly woven; I’ll definitely be picking up her second novel as soon as it’s released.