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Sisters Of Mercy

3.55  ·  Rating Details ·  441 Ratings  ·  85 Reviews
Sisters of Mercy by Caroline Overington is the haunting story of two sisters - one has vanished, the other is behind bars...

Snow Delaney was born a generation and a world away from her sister, Agnes.

Until recently, neither even knew of the other's existence. They came together only for the reading of their father's will - when Snow discovered, to her horror, that she was n
Paperback, 302 pages
Published November 1st 2012 by Random House
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(showing 1-30)
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Jan 15, 2016 Suzanne rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, aussie-author, aww
Due to my association with this site, I read too many reviews of books I've not yet read. Not always a bad thing but often I know too much going in. So I'd read too many on this one, and knew straight away this book would be finishing on a vague note, lacking resolution. This was the case but I still throughly enjoyed it. I think this author is one talented lady, covering her field of expertise with talent and poise. I enjoyed our protagonist, Snow, a troubled woman who'd survived a fractured up ...more
Dale Harcombe
Jun 06, 2016 Dale Harcombe rated it did not like it
Snow Delaney wants to set the record straight. Imprisoned for child abuse and neglect, Snow wants a chance to tell her side of the story, so she writes to Jack Fawcett a newspaper journalist offering her version of events. As a result much of the story is told through letters. Jack meanwhile, continues his research into her life and also and that of Agnes. Agnes had always believed she was an orphan until her father died and the truth was revealed. She was excited to learn she had a sister in Au ...more
Nov 29, 2012 Charley rated it really liked it
Loved this book from start till the last page.. SPOILER!

I cannot stand books where there is no definitive answer at the end and this is the only reason this is not getting 5 stars. Concluding a book and still having not a single clue what happened to one of the central characters is a little ridiculous. In Overingtons other books the conclusion is always hinted at but here it was just laid out what a crap person Snow was... but that doesnt mean she killed anges. Im a little disappointed because
Snow Delaney had been sentenced to several years in prison for child abuse and horrific acts of neglect. She started writing to Jack Fawcett, a newspaper journalist, from prison, protesting her innocence, and telling Jack he had his ‘facts’ wrong in the articles he was reporting about her, and the case, and she would set him right.

So began a year long correspondence between Snow and Jack, with him doing a lot of research on the story, and her continuing to add information and detail about her li
I'd like to rate this as 3.5 as it's more than a 3 but not quite a 4. I enjoyed the book very much but found the ending just too frustratingly open-ended without some hints of what might have happened. The main character, Snow Delaney, is in prison charged with child abuse and neglect. A qualified nurse she had been fostering severely disabled children in a large house belonging to an elderly women who was a close neighbour and surrogate aunt of her partner Mark. Mark has a gambling addiction an ...more
Laura Burleigh
Jan 05, 2013 Laura Burleigh rated it did not like it
I’ve never felt so cheated by a book before in my life. Caroline Overington’s Sisters of Mercy promised crime, mystery and intrigue but it was none of that - the plot was boring in parts and I found the description of how the children were treated disgusting to say the least!
Monique Mulligan
Nov 25, 2012 Monique Mulligan rated it really liked it
Engrossing yet discomforting, Sisters of Mercy by Caroline Overington had me hooked from start to finish and offered a truly chilling character that rivals Annie Wilkes in Stephen King’s Misery.

Presented as the haunting story of two sisters, one who goes missing and the other who is behind bars, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s a simple whodunit/mystery. The tagline on the cover suggests as much: How can one woman simply disappear? Through brilliant characterisation, it soon becomes cle
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

"Some people might be wondering what exactly Snow hoped to gain by writing to me, bit I reckon it was pretty obvious: I'm a reporter, and she wanted to convince people that she's innocent of everything she's ever been accused of doing."

Snow Delaney begins a year long correspondence with journalist Jack Fawcett from her prison cell shortly after being convicted on multiple counts of child abuse. Incensed by what she perceives to be sensationalist reporting on her life in his newspaper feature, '
Hayley Waterhouse
Feb 28, 2013 Hayley Waterhouse rated it really liked it
I thought this book was great. Reading other reviews I was warned that this book doesn't tie up loose ends so was prepared for that (otherwise I too may have been disappointed). I still felt satisfied at the end of the book and I guess real life doesn't always finish neatly. A journalist provides commentary around a sequence of letters he receives from a woman (Snow) in gaol with whom he is corresponding. For me, the book's value lies in Snow's psyche. Reading the perception of the journalist (m ...more
Dec 18, 2012 Brady rated it did not like it
I expected a lot from this author, yet I was deeply disappointed. The style was off, language was juvenile, characterisation mediocre at best, and the story was just unbelievable at times. Just goes to show that you don't actually have to be a talented writer to get published, you just need friends in the industry.
Helen McKenna
I have come to expect (and really enjoy) Caroline Overington's unique storytelling style and was definitely not disappointed with her latest novel Sisters of Mercy.

Snow Delaney has been jailed for a series of sickening crimes against the children entrusted in her care and after reading a newspaper article about her case she begins a correspondence with the journalist Jack Fawcett. Although unorthodox (and possibly unethical)he continues to stay in touch with Snow, hoping to also get to the botto
Jan 19, 2013 Rebecca rated it did not like it
I found this very lazy story telling. Lots of stereotypes and disappointing ending. Sensationalist child abuse storyline.
Dec 25, 2012 Rachel rated it really liked it
The end was disappointing, but I really enjoyed the reading of this book.
Bree T
Nov 13, 2012 Bree T rated it really liked it
Snow Delaney was born a generation apart and half a world away from her older sister, Agnes. Until the death of Snow’s father, she never even knew that Agnes existed. Agnes was born in England, placed in an orphanage during the Second World War when her father was off fighting and when her parents came back for her at the end of the war, she had vanished. Agnes’ parents moved to Australia and many years later, along came Snow.

When Snow’s father dies, years after her mother, she discovers that sh
Feb 24, 2014 Marg rated it really liked it

I was introduced to Caroline Overington's writing last year when I read No Place Like Home and was impressed by it. It has taken a while, but I have finally got around to reading another book by her, and I was once again impressed.

On it's surface, Sister of Mercy tells the story of two sisters who learn of each others existence late in their lives. Agnes was a war baby who was separated from her parents during the war years and was never reunited with them. She was sent to Australia as part of t
Nov 01, 2012 Kj rated it liked it
Three stars but I would've given it four if there wasn't a glaring factual error. Prisoners can not take personalitems into remand with them! And I'm confident that's not just the particular jail in this book. Caroline Overington writes well, I've enjoyed her three books but every single one has had an error like this and it gets in the way of me truly enjoying them. More attention to detail from the author AND the editing team would help.
Mar 07, 2013 Laureen rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
Not 4 stars but more than three. I like Caroline Overington very much but I was so disappointed in the ending of this novel I couldn't give it the 4 star rating. Nor am I sure of the story development. Interesting topic but it didn't ring realistic to me. I do understand the purpose for the ending - it is just frustrating!
Nov 19, 2014 Jess rated it really liked it
I loved this book from start to finish and couldn't put it down. I was hooked from the first paragraph, the only thing that disappointed me is the fact that you are left still asking questions but that's also how the family would of felt as well. I think this book is truly amazing and once again I had to keep reminding myself that this was a book of fiction
Dec 10, 2012 Kathy rated it really liked it
An incredible, gripping page-turner from Caroline Overington again. I loved the settings in Melbourne and Sydney as Caroline has the ability to take you right there with her descriptions. Some highly emotive topics were covered and I would have given this book 5 stars except we will never know what actually happened to one of the main characters….very thought-provoking and a great read.
Jan 23, 2014 Faye rated it it was amazing
Great story, sadness where the children were concerned, however, that part does not happen till the last 50 pages or so. Different ending than I expected, left me thinking did this happen or that happen. Don't want to spoil it for anyone intending to read this novel. Will continue to read more of this author, hope her stories are all different as they appear to be.
A very interesting story. Enjoyed the structure of the story, something a little different. Nice to have the settings so familiar, she used both Sydney and Melbourne to great effect. Also enjoyed her descriptions of the houses in the story. Could have been describing my own family abode. Oddly comforting.
Feb 27, 2013 Deanna rated it it was ok
Disappointed to say the least. What promised to be a great read was poorly written, to the point of being annoying.
Nov 07, 2016 Kristy rated it liked it
I really wanted to give this 4 stars because I couldn't put it down! That ending was just so unsatisfying
L.E. Truscott
Oct 16, 2015 L.E. Truscott rated it really liked it
It’s a little spooky-strange-coincidental that I read Sisters of Mercy straight after reading Amnesia by Peter Carey. I wasn’t planning to. In fact, I had five other books sitting on my bedside table that I was planning to read before tackling this one. And the reason it’s a little spooky-strange-coincidental is that Sisters of Mercy is the book that Amnesia could have and should have been.

The similarities:
*Both books contain a Sydney-based journalist looking into the alleged crimes of a woman w
Apr 20, 2013 Simone rated it really liked it
When journalist Jack Fawcett writes and article about Snow Delaney, little does he expect to receive a reply from her, let alone begin an ongoing correspondence. Jailed for a series of horrible crimes against the children she and her boyfriend "cared" for in their home, Snow refutes the charges against her and corrects some of the facts mentioned in Jack's articles. Although unorthodox Jack maintains the letter writing, hoping to also get to the bottom of the mysterious disappearance of Snow's s ...more
Jul 23, 2016 Caitlin rated it really liked it
Shelves: australian
Two sisters - separated by decades and secrecy - one has disappeared, the other is serving serious time for a serious crime. What has happened to the missing woman? How can it be that the sister who grew up in care wound up okay but the one who lived with the parents wound up in jail? And who's to blame for all of this?

This is the fourth Overington book I've read - and I've found her stories consistently compelling reading. Her background as a journalist has allowed her an ability to create grou
Feb 17, 2014 Bernadette rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 03, 2013 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Even the first 10 pages were a relief from 'A Casual vacancy'!! Here's hoping!

Well I finished Sisters of Mercy, I couldn't put it down. I got so caught up with the characters and story, I was feeling sorry for Snow Delaney and wondering why she was in prison? Near the end I found out why!! Shocking and discomforting .. I'm hoping the ending letter was able to bring the closure that was needed (not wanting to spoil by going into names or detail)

I've just bought "Matilda is Missing" an earlier boo
Lizzy Chandler
Nov 05, 2012 Lizzy Chandler rated it really liked it
Snow, the central “character” of the Sisters of Mercy, is a trained nurse who finds herself in charge of a house full of handicapped children – or “handi-capable” as Overington’s PC characters are reported to say. So cold and detached from reality is Snow, she appears to have no conscience; more, she lacks the barest insight into the heinousness of her own behaviour. Her lack of empathy is psychopathic, and all the more chilling as she sees the people she houses, not as victims, but rather as a ...more
Sallyann Van leeuwen
Intriguing story of a journalist and a lady named Snow, who is behind bars. Snow hasn't had an easy upbringing, growing up in a dysfunctional family. And then she finds out that she has an older sister, who was left back in an orphanage in the UK. Her sister flies out to Australia to meet Snow, but never returns...

I really liked the factual journalist point of view, compared to Snow's subjective letters, and wondering what to believe. Not all the loose ends are tied up, but that's what imaginati
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Caroline Overington is an Australian author and journalist.

She has worked for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald, and is is currently a staff writer for The Weekend Australian Magazine.

Caroline is a two-time winner of the Walkley Award for Investigative Journalism. She won her first Walkley for a series of articles about a literary fraud, and her second for a series about the AWB oil for food
More about Caroline Overington...

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