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June 2017: Coming of Age > The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley, 4 stars

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message 1: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8277 comments The Shadow Sister is book three in the series by Lucinda Riley, the Seven Sisters Series. In the opening book, the Seven Sisters, we meet a family with Pa Salt at its helm, and six adopted daughters, found at the four corners of the earth, each named after the Seven Sisters, a group of stars. The opening of the first book is the death of Pa Salt, where each of the sisters are given a set of coordinates, a figurine or a scrap of something, and a clue to their true heritage. Book one starts with the oldest, Maia, who traces her history back through Brazil, Paris, and Greece. The subsequent books each profile a different sister, at the same exact time that each is tracing their roots. This book, features, Star (Asterope) who lives in the shadow of her sister Ce Ce, who will be featured in Book four, which is being written as we speak. The books are told in two alternate points of view, one being 100 years in the past, one being the present search and newly unfolding events.

So in order to enjoy these books, you have to entertain a certain amount of suspension of disbelief, or you will be extremely unhappy. And its actually the parts that you have to suspend your belief for, which is the hook that engages you, and would make you want to read all seven books. Let me further explain in greater detail. The first suspension of disbelief is that this family lived happily together, and no one ever asked their father about their adoption and culture, or that of their sisters. Everyone just accepted it. No one asked where these babies came from or were found. The death itself is a murky unclear thing, that doesn't seem real, but preceding the death, Pa Salt had the foresight to write beautiful letters to each of his six daughters, giving them the clues they needed to uncover their histories. Naturally, through each of these journeys, a new love interest is developed that allows each to grow in unforeseen ways. You have to forget how crazy it is, that Pa Salt seems to know each and everyone of these stories of where these girls came from, and laid his hands on the shard, or fabric, or figurine, and had been prepping the kids towards their history and future all along. Its clear he could not have known, what is eventually discovered. And then there are the journals, the letters, the art left behind, so well the trail leads to the truth. Pa Salt seemingly having known it all. I must say, he has found each of these infants, and so far in the three books, they each are connected to someone extremely famous, some kind of royalty, or talent, or known historical figure - this you just have to kind of go with. But the big hook that keeps one (me) going through Book Seven is this. Who was Pa Salt, and where the heck is Merope, the Seventh Sister, who he never got around to finding? Do you see what I mean, that the suspension of disbelief is also the hook that keeps you going? I think I need to know about this seventh missing sister, and how this all came to be. Plus the books are actually enjoyable, even if they follow the same formula. Lucinda Riley also has on her website a neat video of the Seven Sisters of the Pleiades, which inspired this series.

So - Book three, Star. I enjoyed the read, as per usual, more the historical fiction part than the present day. But still... Its really beautiful watching these young women find their families and themselves and fall in love. All the while interacting with their sisters, who you get to remember a piece of. Star's journey takes us to the countryside of England, to London bookstores, to old manors, and old aristocracy. It actually was a beautiful story, which I enjoyed. Her sister Ce Ce, under whose shadow she has fallen, is probably the most difficult sister to like and relate to, so I am looking forward to book four explaining this challenging personality, and deepening her. It was a lovely past paced read, and I think I am going to finish out the series, as quickly as she writes them. To me, it would definitely also be classified as coming of age.

Now reading Revolution, which I think may also have this dual time/point of view component, with a 100 yer span of the two protagonists. I'm also sorry to read that exact formula twice in a row, but maybe I will get wrapped up in the tale. Next up after Revolution is Ready Player One.

message 2: by Joi (new)

Joi (missjoious) | 3782 comments Amy wrote: "The first suspension of disbelief is that this family lived happily together, and no one ever asked their father about their adoption and culture, or that of their sisters.."

I don't think I could read any books in this series because of this.

message 3: by Nicole R (new)

Nicole R (drnicoler) | 7692 comments You lost me at "series"....

message 4: by Amy (new)

Amy | 8277 comments Jolene introduced me to the first book, for a challenge for the historical fictionistas that featured Brazil, due to the timing of the world Olympics. So having read the first, I can see that it was easy to get hooked into the series. I noticed that Jolene put book two, the storm sister, on her prosperity challenge list. I'll tell you what – someday when I get through book 7, I will reveal all of the secret mysteries, so that you don't need to endure it.

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