Sunday, October 19, 2014

#REVIEW - The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain


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 the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now?  As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family.  Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality, in this engrossing mystery from international bestselling author Diane Chamberlain.
My Take:
5 Stars!
Seventeen year-old prodigy violinist Lisa McPherson is presumed dead by suicide after she had been accused of killing her violin instructor, Steven Davis, by shooting him in the head. Lisa was out on bail, but all that remained of her now was her kayak, frozen, sticking out in the middle of the Potomac and a piece of her coat stuck on a piece of ice the river tore off of her body. Many divers attempted to dive and look for her body without ever finding anything, but the current is so strong there her body could have been taken so far out it would never have been found.
All twenty-five year old Riley McPherson has left for a family now is her older brother, Danny, since their father just passed away. This is one thing Riley never thought would happen. She always thought she would have her father around. Their mother had died years before from cancer, and she was used to that, but her father? No. So Danny is not wanting to help Riley look for their ‘supposedly’ alive sister, Lisa, especially given the source where it came from, claiming she is alive. The source who claims Lisa could possibly be alive was not a good man, and in fact, tried to extort money out of Riley, and also tells Riley another horrible thing she can’t live with. Danny wouldn’t even hear of it. He believes Lisa is dead, and won’t accept it for anything else, especially given the deep, dark depression their late mother suffered from the loss of Lisa when she killed herself. Riley happened to be only be two years old when this happened, so she doesn’t remember much at all. She is relying on her brother to help her out, as he is four years older than she is, and he remembers more of what happened, but he is remaining silent, and this is driving Riley crazy. Riley knows she can’t push him because she is too worried about pushing too hard. Danny owns guns, and you never know with his psychological problems. She does not want to be responsible for anything bad that could happen like that.
Riley is left with the huge chore of taking inventory of the entire house, another thing Danny wants nothing to do with. This is a daunting task she is not looking forward to at all, but, she is finding family secrets through everything that she comes across, and she can’t make heads nor tails of it, and she knows she can’t ask Danny. Thankfully, a family friend, and unbeknownst to Riley, a woman named Jeannie turns out to be not only a family friend, but a romantic interest of her father’s as well. Jeannie has a daughter, Christine, who is about the same age as Riley. The two of them ‘hit the house’ taking over doing most all of the inventory for Riley, that is, until one day when Riley catches Jeannie with a white box after being in her father’s bedroom which she did not like as she heard her rummaging through his things. She felt her father’s things were very personal, and she should be the one to be going through them. So when Riley sees this white box, she demands the box be handed over to her, but Jeannie is afraid to do so. Once she gets it and later that night, she goes through it, it is an entire box of newspaper articles about Lisa. Riley is speechless. She starts to go through them, and can see that there are people who do doubt that Lisa ever killed herself, and others who believe she surely did kill herself. So what is it? Lisa has never been around, so she can’t be alive. Did she or didn’t she do it? She lived her entire life believing she did kill herself, and that is what she is going to continue to believe.
Her father owns a trailer park with a year round resident who her father promised his pipe collection to, which Riley can’t wrap her head around that he did that, but, it is in the Will. He has also been paying him a monthly sum of money? What??? Jeannie arranges appraisers to come and look at this pipe collection and get a value on it. Seventeen thousand dollars is going to a man she hates. Not only that, Riley has the trailer park to sell that this man has lived in the last seventeen years, too. She has to be careful because her brother has taken up residence there, too, and she does not want to have him lose his home. He lives a pretty simple and a very desolate life. He had spent time in Iraq, and has had some psychological problems from dealing with that, PTSD, in addition to being injured and left with a life long limp in his one leg.
What does Riley do? This is where I have to stop! If I were to go on any further, I would ruin the secrets and surprises of this book. This book is full of them, so many secrets, and each one turns to be a different clue about her father and her sister. Is her father really the man she thought she knew him to be? Secrets Riley will uncover one by one, no matter if they are good ones or not. Riley will continue to be surprised, and her life will completely change as this very full and rich novel goes along.
Diane Chamberlain took no shortcuts in this book. She writes with such richness, fullness, description, and a lot of secrecy you will never figure everything out! I can guarantee it! This is a very full story. This author is a masterful story teller. You will be glued to the pages as you continue to turn them learning secret after secret. I found this to be a very full and extremely satisfying read. Diane Chamberlain is known for writing like this. This is not a book you will fly through, nor do I feel it is meant to fly through, but I can say you want to keep turning these pages! You will be taking this book with you everywhere you go even trying to read it as you are moving around! You will find you will want to take in everything about it and it will confuse you, make you angry, happy, sad, and so full of so many different emotions as things are uncovered. It’s amazing what happens when your last parent passes away and the only thing that is left are the secrets left on paper, IF you know where to look! A huge mystery to piece together.
Every book I have read written by Diane Chamberlain has never been a disappointment, but a favorite book of the year! That is true of this one! This is a favorite of 2014 for me! I HIGHLY SUGGEST reading this book! You will NOT be disappointed, I can assure you of that! After you are finished reading this the first time, you are going to want to read it a second time to pick up the little clues you may have missed the first time! This is one of those books. I received this book for FREE from the Publisher, St. Martins Press and NetGalley, in exchange to read and write a review about it. "Free" means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to do so, but to enjoy the pure pleasure of reading it and giving my own honest opinion no matter whether it is positive or negative. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the law set here:, The Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, 16 CFR 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising Federal Acquisition Regulation.

ebook: $12.99
print: $17.07

BEFORE YOU READ "The Silent Sister", may I suggest you FIRST read the above, "The Broken String" by Diane Chamberlain, by the same author. This is a short Novella that really delves much deeper into the relationship between Riley and her brother Danny. I feel this should have been included in the book because we would have understood Riley and Danny's relationship MUCH better than what we are told about in the book as it stands now.
I wrote a review about this book HERE! and I did not understand WHY this was not included in the book itself.
We were lucky in that someone left a COMMENT! I would like to thank Ondbookshelf, another GREAT BLOGGER (you can click on her name to go to her NEW blog, too!) for letting us know how LUCKY she was that she was able to meet this author at an Independent bookstore on the RELEASE DATE FOR THIS BOOK! She further explained that this author told them ANY of the Novellas she has written for this book or for her other books, have ALL been written AFTER the novels had been PUBLISHED! There was NOT a way to include them in the printing of the books. That was VERY enlightening, I thought! It explained everything to me! I am SO thankful she left that comment explaining that to us, it ALL made sense now! 
I HIGHLY suggest reading the Novellas prior to reading the novels! There is information in them that will help tie in the rest of the stories! Here's "The Broken String" for you! Enjoy!

#99cents ebook only


  1. Great review Laurie! I'm starting this today!

  2. I admit that after I read this review I had to pause for a moment and admire the cover. It really just looks gorgeous, right? Glad to see it was such an awesome read as well :D

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