Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Silent Sister (Riley MacPherson, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Silent Sister (Riley MacPherson, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Excerpt* *Different edition

The Silent Sister

(Riley MacPherson #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  56,833 ratings  ·  5,505 reviews
In The Silent Sister, Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she's in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary. Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity. But why exactly was she on ...more
Kindle Edition, 353 pages
Published October 9th 2014 by Pan (first published October 7th 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Silent Sister, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Helena It's an adult book, but for the record while suicide and child abuse are adult topics, lesbian couples aren't. Sexual content (for all types of…moreIt's an adult book, but for the record while suicide and child abuse are adult topics, lesbian couples aren't. Sexual content (for all types of couples) is, but the existence of lesbian couples is not inappropriate. (less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Diane Chamberlain If I could write this book over again, I would make it very clear! This is the question I am asked most often, and the answer is in chapter 18. I was…moreIf I could write this book over again, I would make it very clear! This is the question I am asked most often, and the answer is in chapter 18. I was too subtle!(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  56,833 ratings  ·  5,505 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters
Audiobook..... ( gotta love the library Overdrive... keeps improving too)

Easy Listening..... easy to follow ....engaging ... not earth-shattering fantastic....
but I enjoyed turning in to this station. The narrator's voice was 'very pleasant' - and held my attention. I was a happy camper!!!

I guess I'd call this mystery-light! Lisa, a musical prodigy on the violin, age 16, is assumed dead..... having committed suicide many years ago.....after having committed murder, and before her court
Aug 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This sister can stay silent no longer: I LOVED THIS BOOK!

I was THRILLED to receive this book from Goodreads, and here is my honest review:

This was a fantastic book! How is it that I never knew about this author? I'm so glad that I won this book, because who knows how much longer I would have gone without having Diane Chamberlain on my radar? One more day would have been too long. So goodreads, I thank you.

I don't want to give away any of the plot. I will tell
Katie B
This is the type of book that is enjoyable even when you have an idea what is going to happen. You feel invested enough in the story to actually watch it play out even if it is predictable.

Riley MacPherson's father has recently passed and she returns to her childhood home to sort through his belongings. It's up to her to get everything in order because her sister committed suicide when Riley was a toddler, her mother died years ago and her brother Danny won't be much help because he has his own
Lady Vigilante (Feifei)
3-3.5 stars!!


99% of the books I read are strictly romance but sometimes I need a mystery/thriller/suspense to spice things up a bit and The Silent Sister seemed like a good choice. Overall, I was left somewhat underwhelmed, but I had a blast unraveling this intricately-woven mystery!

Riley’s father has passed away and she returns to her childhood home to settle his affairs andclass="gr-hostedUserImg">
Patrice Hoffman
Imagine everything you've been told about you, your family, and your long lost sister are all lies? Well, in Diane Chamberlain's The Silent Sister Riley MacPherson finds that the stories she's been told of her sister, believed to have committed suicide as a teenager, just may in fact be alive. How's that for a huge family secret?

Riley is trying to clean out her father's home when a series of events lead her to believe that she may in fact want to investigate her past. At the age of 25, all
I really enjoyed this book. It kept me on the edge of my seat and some parts were def. predictable but I still enjoyed the journey it took to get there. The ending was rushed and the majority of the secrets and etc spilled out in the last 50 pages which wasn't enough time for me. I would recommend this to anyone who's looking for a good mystery to read.
This is the second book of this author that I finished and once again I am emotionally invested in the deftly plotted, immensely readable, and masterfully executed saga of a family in crisis.

Perhaps the title could have been The Violin named Violet. Mmm...yes, a bit too much, but really, this violin in this tale had this mysterious story to tell: "Hi, my name is Violet, Violet MacPherson, the only member of this family, apart from Lisa who committed suicide at the age of sixteen, who knows
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
I really enjoyed this book. I have read all of Diane Chamberlain's books and was anxiously awaiting this one. I was not disappointed. I read it in a very short time which is unusual lately. However, this book kept me interested. I am excited for her next book!
Feb 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What an amazing book. I really enjoyed this book. I will definitely be looking into more books from this author.
May 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every time I finish a Diane Chamberlain book, I'm reminded why she is at the top of my favorite authors list!! Her stories always have characters I love and care about, and the plot twists are amazing. When I'm reading her novels, I cruise through them, turning pages and finishing chapters faster than I normally do because I have to know what happens next to those characters I adore. This makes for a great read you'll love to curl up with!
I was lucky enough to win an ARC of this book through a Goodreads Giveaway in exchange for an honest review. I want to thank St. Martin's Press for the gift.

This novel was a real pleasant surprise for me. I usually read thrillers, but I entered the Giveaway contest for this book as the plot looked interesting. It wasn't long before I was pulled into the story and was totally engrossed thereafter. I read the book in 4 days which is really fast for me. I will not re-summarize the plot,
Diane S ☔
2.5 When Riley returns home to clear out her Father's house after his death, she finds everything she believed about her family was wrong.

A story about secrets and the detrimental effect on a family. This is not one of my favorites of Chamberlain novels. Although at times the story was interesting I felt the plot was uneven. At times over dramatic and the dialogue forced and stilted. Usually this author does a good job writing women's fiction, aptly straddling the line between wringi
The Silent Sister is a standalone novel written by author Diane Chamberlain. This novel features two parallel storylines: one that reveals a past family drama and one that shows how the present-day family is dealing with slow discoveries related to it. While reading this type of writing style, I usually have a favorite storyline, and “the past” was my favorite in this one. But with both, I was caught up in the intrigue, the mystery, even some light suspense, and I experienced a great amount of emotion on behalf o ...more
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: family-drama, usa
Riley goes back home after her father's death to clear out his house. While there, she gets sucked into the secret past of their family. She discovers that her sister Lisa did not commit suicide as her parents told her, but had escaped a murder trial with the help of their father. The story starts off with a lot of suspense and interest but fizzles out in the middle. The end is a disaster, leaving practically every question unresolved.

Lisa's story could have been intriguing, but I found the wom
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio

3.5 stars

Riley MacPherson returns to New Bern, NC to handle her father’s estate and ends up uncovering long buried family secrets. Everything she thought she knew was wrong. Her sister might not have committed suicide, but may still be alive.

This one took a while to grab my attention. It’s initially a slow burn. This is a steady, not a fast paced book. Chamberlain throws out hints on a regular basis. Chapters are alternated between past and present. And yes, I could see things comin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dale Harcombe
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After the death of her father, Riley MacPherson returns to her childhood home. While clearing out her father’s possessions she finds out more than she bargained for about her father and also the sister who she barely remembers. Lisa was 17 when newspapers reported her death and Riley 2 so it is hardly surprising Riley doesn’t remember her, especially when there seems to be so much mystery surrounding Lisa’s apparent suicide. But could there be more to the story? There certainly is. Some families ...more
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain is a 2014 St. Martin’s Press publication.

I have enjoyed every book I’ve read by Diane Chamberlain, but this is one of those I missed along the way. I recently saw Buzzfeed’s list of the top most suspenseful books and this one was pretty far up on the list. So, I immediately went in search of a copy. (Once more my Overdrive library account proves invaluable!)

Years ago, Lisa, a young musical prodigy with a bright future ahead of her, disappeared and is pres
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible-cd, 2015
Perhaps not my favorite Chamberlain, but another solid and enjoyable read by who I think is one of today's better story tellers. I am always able to connect with most of her characters, as they are "real" people. In this case Riley could be anyone I know....until her father dies and she comes to discover that her life is full of secrets and lies.

Chamberlain tells this story through two voices. The present voice is Riley as she tries to discover if anything she grew up believing is
Initial reaction: Um, holy crud. This was good. I'm trying to decide on a final rating between 4 and 4.5 stars, but as per usual, Chamberlain really immersed me into the plight of the characters and overarching story. I couldn't put this book down, and I"m really glad I had the chance to read it as a galley.

Full review:

"The Silent Sister" was yet another book of Diane Chamberlain's that engaged me from beginning to end. By that I mean it kept me guessing for events for a good part of the narrativ/>Full
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
Riley MacPherson has lost her entire family in one form or another; she heads back to New Bern, NC to wrap up things after her father's death. She discovers a shocking secret, things aren't always as they appear in her family, and her sister-- who committed suicide 20 years ago-- comes back into play...

Can't say too much more without giving away the book! I will say Diane Chamberlain's writing always leaves me wanting more, and I flew through this book because (once again) I HAD to k
Sep 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Once again, fortunately, I began reading this book without remembering much about the blurb. Just something about a dead sister. I may do this on purpose from now on, especially when it comes to mystery/thrillers, and wait until I've forgotten all but a vague idea about the plot and a once felt strong desire to read the book in question.
I really enjoyed this mysterious family drama. There are twists and turns at every step (view spoiler) ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

Three children...and then there were two. All was hush, hush about how that happened, and Riley didn't find out why until after both her parents had passed away.

As Riley was cleaning out her parents' home, talking to different neighbors, and talking to folks her father had left things to in his will, she had her share of surprises and shocking revelations.

THE SILENT SISTER has twists that keep you turning the pages as you learn of secrets that had been kept for years and
Adelaide Swift
Jun 09, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
...has a lot going on for 350 pages, most of which is detail masquerading as substance. Let's explore.

The core of the novel is promising: Riley (our protagonist) is cleaning out the home of her late father and 'discovers evidence' that her sister, who everyone thinks committed suicide, might be alive. She embarks on a journey to discover her family's past.

That tidy little nugget of synopsis is stretched to a degree of agonizing attenuation over the course of the novel. Th
When Riley MacPherson returns home to New Bern, North Carolina following her father's death, she discovers information among his belongings that unveils a lifetime of secrets.

I found this to be an interesting story with an underlying message about the cost of withholding secrets from family for their sake. The toll it took on Riley's self perception and her damaged brother, Danny, was immeasurable. I thought it was an apt illustration of good intentions gone awry.

I liked
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-4
Wow, this book was an amazing combination of family drama and mystery that kept the twists and turns coming with every chapter. 25-year-old Riley returns home after her father's death to settle his estate and starts finding pieces of his life that just don't fit in. She always knew that she had a much older sister who killed herself when she was a baby, but as neighbors let pieces of information slip, and Riley uncovers clues within the house, she discovers that may not be what happened at all, ...more
Frank Phillips
Jun 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I'm a bit embarrassed to admit this, but this was my first DC book! It was great and I'm a fan now! I can't wait to check out my next DC book. Any recommendations?
Jun 02, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 out of 5 stars - "Everyone has a scar."

Riley MacPherson returns to her childhood home to clear out the house and settle the estate of her recently deceased father. Her brother, Danny, injured in Iraq and living in a trailer on the fringe of the RV park the family owns, refuses to help her. He's embittered and angry because of the fallout from their sister's suicide when he and Riley were children and he never got over it. All Riley wants to do is have a relationship with her brothe
Carol Brill
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Within the first few pages of The Silent Sister, secrets and questions start to emerge. The suspense builds and rarely lets up in the page turner.
What was Jeannie’s relationship with Riley’s father, and why is she so eager to remove certain items from the house? Who is Fred Marcus, and what is his connection to Frank? Why did Riley’s father include one of the trailer park tenants in his will, and why was he writing the guy monthly checks? Who can be trusted? And the biggest question of all
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Safe with Me
  • Little Mercies
  • The Stories We Tell
  • What Happened to My Sister
  • Beartown (Beartown, #1)
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette
  • Those Girls
  • The Forgotten Girl
  • Looking for Me
  • The Accidental Book Club
  • When We Were Sisters
  • The Bullet
  • A Long Time Gone
  • What Happened to Hannah
  • The Mourning Hours
  • Accidents Happen
  • Sweet Salt Air
  • The Handmaid's Tale
See similar books…
Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times, USA Today and (London) Sunday Times best-selling author of 27 novels. The daughter of a school principal who supplied her with a new book almost daily, Diane quickly learned the emotional power of story. Although she wrote many small “books” as a child, she didn’t seriously turn to writing fiction until her early thirties when she was waiting for a delayed ...more
“No matter how many people care about you, she thought, if you can't be open with them about who you truly are, you're still alone.” 31 likes
“Growing up in a household where something is terribly wrong, you feel the weight of that mysterious something even though it's unspoken. It eats at you. Confuses you. It leaves you wondering if your view of the world will ever make sense.” 6 likes
More quotes…