Leah's Reviews > The Night Sister

The Night Sister by Jennifer  McMahon
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it was amazing

Sometimes there are books that I love so much I can barely even articulate why I love them. The Night Sister is one of those books! I love mysteries that span multiple generations, and I love flipping back and forth between timelines while the answers are uncovered. I love not knowing whether or not the truth will be real world or supernatural. The unbreakable bond of friendship. The fragility and vulnerability of first love. The complicated relationship between sisters. A family-owned motel in small town Vermont. Family secrets. Letters to Alfred Hitchcock. All of these elements (and more) are why I am so enthusiastic about this book.

The atmosphere in this story was near perfect. When Piper was walking into Alice's house to grab some clothes for Lou, I was on the edge of my seat. I didn't even realize how anxious I was until I caught myself willing Piper to get outta that house already! There was a subtlety reminiscent of M.R. James, who happens to be one of my favorites when it comes to a slow burn style of mystery-horror. I wouldn't say this is a fast-paced story but it moved along fast enough for me. Then again, I was hooked from the first page; I liked the characters, I liked reading their multiple POVs, and I liked the switch between 1955/61 and 2013. I was not expecting the story to end how it did but I loved the ending too.

I hesitate to offer comparisons to other authors' works because then readers attach their own expectations and biases based on either their experience with or their preconceptions of those other authors. That's not my intention. I merely want to convey the vibe one might get when reading a certain book. For example, anyone who's read Stephen King knows how well he captures that feeling of summertime in a small town, being 12 or 13, hanging out with your friends, doing nothing really but it feels like the best time ever, reveling in the ecstasy of limitless possibilities. He also knows how to capture the power of curiosity and rebellion, but also of loyalty, friendship and family. His ability to thrust characters with such fundamentally human qualities into situations with varying degrees of fantasy and horror is why he's been a favorite author of mine for 25 years. For me, Jennifer McMahon is one of the rare authors who has those same abilities.

After reading The Winter People last year, I had a feeling McMahon was going to be a must-read author for me. After The Night Sister I'm sure of it.

4.5 stars
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Reading Progress

July 15, 2015 – Shelved
July 15, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
August 21, 2015 – Started Reading
August 22, 2015 – Finished Reading

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