1.17.2021 | Sunday

The Half Sister

category: Book Reviews

The Half Sistertitle: The Half Sister
author: Sandie Jones
published: 16 June 2020
publisher: Minotaur Books
genre(s): thrillers
pages: 323
source: Book of the Month
format: hardcover
buy/shelve it: Amazon | B&N | BookBub | Goodreads

rating: four-stars

the blurb

Her arrival will ruin everything
Kate and Lauren. Sisters who are always there for each other. But as they gather for their weekly Sunday lunch, a knock on the door changes everything.
The new arrival, Jess, claims to be their half-sister, but that would mean the unthinkable . . . That she’s the secret daughter of their beloved, recently deceased father Harry. Their mother Rose is devastated and Kate and Lauren refuse to believe Jess’s lies.
But as the fall-out starts it’s clear that each is hiding secrets and that perhaps this family isn’t as perfect as they appear.
Where there was truth, now there are lies and only one thing is certain, their half-sister’s arrival has ruined everything . . .

my review

This book has all the great elements of a good domestic thriller. Secrets, betrayal, lies, tangled family dynamics, and shocking twists… all of it!

It’s barely been a year since Kate and Lauren’s father passed, and they, along with their mother, still struggle with it, albeit in different ways. Not as close as they once were, each sister had a different relationship with their father. For Kate, it’s as if the person who loved her most in the world had been ripped away. For Lauren, her contentious relationship with him makes the aftermath of his death confusing for her. And Rose, their mother, seems lost without him. And then a girl shows up during their weekly lunch, claiming to be Kate and Lauren’s half sister, the daughter of their father. A match made on a DNA website has just turned their lives upside-down.

Admittedly, the first half of the book was a little slow, told from the shifting perspectives of the two sisters. There was a lot of emphasis on their relationship, probably a bit more than necessary. But a part of that I did enjoy was in the development of their very different relationships with each of their parents, and with each other. Kate had been very close to her father but far less so with her mother. It was hard for her to believe that their father could have had a child with another woman. But it wasn’t a big leap for her to wonder if this mysterious new half sister could be the her mother’s daughter. But Lauren hadn’t been close to her father for a long time, and she never doubted that her father was responsible. Already far from close, these differing perspectives began to drive the sisters even farther apart.

The story really began to unfold in the second half, and I loved the twists and turns as the secrets began to be uncovered. All in all, I enjoyed the story. While I did feel the pacing was off for part of the story, the last half really made up for that. This is a good domestic thriller with lots of secrets to be discovered!

About Sandie Jones

Sandie Jones has worked as a freelance journalist for over twenty years, and has written for publications including the Sunday Times, Woman’s Weekly and the Daily Mail. She lives in London with her husband and three children.

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