Lauren Bailey's Reviews > Sister

Sister by Rosamund Lupton
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's review
Feb 24, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction

Beautiful, controlled writing. There are so many themes here: grief and the relationship between sisters Tess and Beatrice on the surface, as well as threads (free spiritedness vs. stoicism; the science of genetics; class differences; an American mindset vs. a British one; safety vs. spontaneity) woven expertly throughout. I was impressed by how much author Rosamund Lipton was able to comment on in under 300 pages, especially given that its main subject, the disappearance of Beatrice's sister Tess, is a lot to tackle on its own.

The novel is epistolary, with Beatrice addressing Tess as "you," but goes back and forth between present-day Beatrice's conversations with lawyer Mr. Wright, and Beatrice-from-two-months-ago's recollections without the benefit of hindsight. Again, I'm astonished by how clear and controlled Lipton's writing is, considering the novel's innovative structure and myriad themes.

Once the story began to unfold, I couldn't put this book down until I reached the gasp-worthy ending. Not hyperbole. I gasped. The only reason I gave "Sister" four stars instead of five is because I think Lipton uses her shocker of an ending in order to explain away some earlier plot holes, although in her defense, the ending certainly DOES explain the holes. That being said, I highly recommend this novel. It seamlessly marries the genres of mystery/suspense and literary fiction, and is one of those books that makes me hesitant to start a new one, lest I distance myself from Beatrice and Tess and Rosamund Lipton's beautifully-crafted portrayal of their bond.

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