Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Book Review Club (June 2013)

Welcome to the June meeting of our Book Review Club! And look to the left to left to see who is here to review for us.  It's KELLY HAYES, one of my Denny's Chicks critique partners. Kelly writes a well-honed, insightful review.  We're lucky to get her. (I was expecially lucky, given my upcoming deadline!) Take it away, Kelly!

Sister, by debut author Rosamund Lupton, is a unique book. I’ve never read anything quite like it. It’s a psychological mystery with a big twist at the end. Don’t worry, there will be no spoilers in this review. I wouldn’t want to detract from the pleasure of such a good read.
 Sometimes, at the library where I work, when I use the word ‘literary’ to describe a book, I’ll see the patron’s eyes glaze over. I can tell they’re thinking, I don’t want literature, I just want a good read.  Well, this book happens to be both.
            Sister opens with Beatrice, an expat Brit living in New York City, who is informed that her younger sister, Tess, is missing. Beatrice catches the next plane to London to find out what’s going on. Even though an ocean separates them, they’ve always been close, emailing and talking on the phone regularly.   Beatrice has been living a successful, regimented life with her boring, but dependable husband. While beautiful Tess, a poor art student in London, leads a Bohemian lifestyle, tending bar at night to pay the rent.
            Upon arriving in London, Beatrice reveals to the police what she’s known for months: her sister was pregnant with her married art professor’s baby. Then Tess’s body turns up in a derelict public restroom with slashed wrists, but Beatrice refuses to accept the investigator’s pronouncement of suicide.  She knows her sister, the eternal optimist, would never take her own life.
            Beatrice’s quest to find the truth about her sister’s death becomes a journey of self-discovery, as she stays in her sister’s flat and takes up her job at the bar. She gets more and more enmeshed in Tess’s life even as she draws closer to the secrets surrounding her death.       
            What makes this book so unique in its first-person perspective delivered as if Beatrice is talking to her absent sister, while at the same time relating the case, point by point to a lawyer. I know, it sounds strange, not to mention confusing, but it is neither. What you get is an intimate knowledge of Beatrice’s thoughts and feelings and her deep bond with her sister. All I can say is that it works on a deeply visceral level.
            I chose this book for our library book club because I’ve read it before and I knew it would provoke a good discussion. Being a writer myself, I also wanted a chance to dissect it to a certain degree, to discover the point at which the author deftly weaves the twists and turns into the plot. And I have to tell you, I cannot spot a seam or a loose thread anywhere. All I see is a moody, compelling thriller, with a haunting emotional intensity at its core.

Thank you, Kelly, for an insightful and masterful review. Of course, we expect no less!

And, now, it's onto this month's AMAZING AND THOUGHTFUL reviews! With summer reading just around the corner, you won't want to miss a single one.


 Ellen Booraem of Freelance Ne'er-do-well: HUCKLEBERRY FINN by Mark Twain
                                                                     (middle grade/young adult)

Sarah Laurence: A CORNER OF WHITE  by Jaclyn Moriarty (young adult fantasy) 


                                                                                        by Mignon Ballard (mystery)

Linda McLaughlin: SEDUCTION: A NOVEL OF SUSPENSE (The Reincarnationist #5)
                                 by MJ Rose (paranormal)

Patti Abbott: PINES by Blake Crouch (crime fiction)

Prairie Rose of Prairie Rose's Garden: THE SUPREMES AT EARL'S ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT
                                                              by Edward Moore


 Jenn Jilks of Cottage Country: UNBRIDLED: A MEMOIR by Barbara McNally


Lucy Sartain of Ranting and Raving: EASY SEXY RAW  by Carol Alt (cookbook)

                      by Larry Tye

Note to Reviewers: Any errors (broken link, missed review, etc), just shoot me an email or leave a comment. Thank you so much for your reviews!


  1. Thanks, Kelly, for a great review! A psychological mystery is just my cup of tea, and the "literary" description makes it even more appealing.

  2. I've heard other positive reviews of this book--my have to find it!

  3. Rose: That Kelly does write a mean review!

  4. Green Girl: I've about 1/4 into this book (as per Kelly's suggestion). It's not disappointing!

  5. Aargh, my review failed to publish at 5AM PDT as scheduled, but it's up now. Blogger!!!

    Thanks to Kelly for the thoughtful review. This sounds like a uniquely written book, one worth checking out.

  6. Barrie, I tweeted your post. Do we have a Book Review Club hashtag? Just wondering.


  7. Linda: I guess we don't have a hashtag because I don't have a twitter account. Although maybe I need one...?

    And re blogger and scheduled posted. ARGH!!

  8. Wow, this book sounds like it would make a very compelling movie as well!

    Excellent review! :)

  9. Kelly, great review! That does sound like a fresh POV. Funny how slashed wrists are fine but "literary" is horrific.

    Barrie, thanks for hosting! I'm mostly offline this week due to my son's graduation, but I'll be back to blog visits by Sunday I hope.

  10. Ooo, this sound scrumptious! I love a "literary" mystery, and the first-person set-up sounds very enticing. Thanks for letting me know about this!

  11. It seems to be interesting! I must check this book at my favorite online bookstore..


Comments are always welcome!