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Search tags: The-Silent-Sister
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review 2016-09-12 14:27
The Silent Sister - Diane Chamberlain

So, I figured out the entire plot of The Silent Sister by the end of the first chapter. This is a book that spends all of part 1 building up to a big reveal that was given away in the prologue, so it's not exactly written by a master of suspense. If you have read more than one mystery novel in your life and watched a couple of episodes of SVU, you'll quickly figure out each "twist." 

 

The writing is clunky and average. It's littered with exclamation points, and it's the kind of book where chapters end on cliffhangers because one character calls another to say "Come over here right now. I need to talk to you." Hello, you're ON THE PHONE. That's what they're FOR.

 

Both POV characters are idiots. One of them shot a former teacher to death when she was 17, and instead of telling everyone her motive (which any halfway decent defense lawyer would have been able to use to get her acquitted) she sticks to an incredibly unbelievable "it was an accident" story. I can imagine a dumb teen who'd gone through what she did feeling like she'd need to keep everything a secret, but later? When she's an adult she never feels angry at the teacher? She never explains her actions to anyone who loves her and now believes her to be a murderer? Pfffft. People in this novel doggedly keep secrets from each other for no other reason than to keep the plot moving from one discovery to the next. 

 

The main character, Riley, is a counselor for troubled teens, and yet when somebody tells her about a 15-year-old girl who had a baby after being raped by a 40something man, the first words out of her mouth are "They were lovers?" It's concerning that someone who works with teens wouldn't have an understanding of statutory rape. 

 

My main issue with this book is that I thought it was going to be a mystery novel, and so I expected the main character would be in danger and there would be a final climactic scene. Instead, Riley is able to get one over on a couple of people who are trying to extort money from her and there are absolutely no consequences for her actions. There are no stakes. This is a book that talks a big game, but ends up being quite boring. 

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review 2016-02-06 13:04
Definitely need to revisit Diane Chamberlain's books!
The Silent Sister - Diane Chamberlain

It is a while since I read anything by Diane Chamberlain and this book has made me want to go ahead and read more. It is a complex family story of deception and secrets and a really satisfying and enjoyable read.

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review 2016-01-07 21:32
from FictionZeal.com re: The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
The Silent Sister - Diane Chamberlain

What if you’ve been living your whole life believing one thing and come to find out it had all been a lie?  Riley chose a career path as a middle school counselor.  Why?   Because when she was not yet two years old, her seventeen year old sister, Lisa, had committed suicide.  She’d personally seen the devastating effects to the rest of the family and longed to change just one young person from choosing that same path.

 

After the prologue, this story begins with the death of Riley’s father.  With her father gone, her brother who is four years older is the only remaining person in her family.  Danny loves Riley … in his own way.  Danny suffers from PTSD.  Whether he’d like to help Riley or not, he can’t bring himself to go back into that house.  Other than PTSD, he has some childhood issues.  Riley questions him, “… it’s not like you were abused or anything.”  He answers, “There are all sorts of abuse.”

 

As Riley is cleaning out her father’s things, she begins to find discrepancies.  She eventually learns that Lisa had not died.  What really happened?  Where is she?

 

I loved the personality of Riley, our main protagonist.  People can’t help but feel her pain at facing not only the death of her father, but being the only one who can clear out her father’s house of all his collectibles.  Her brother, Danny has become extremely reclusive.  He cannot pull himself together to help her.  Yet, now that Danny’s the only family she has left, she yearns to be near him.  I asked myself, what’s not to love about this book?  It’s intense and it’s exceptionally well-written.  It’s got believable, albeit flawed, characters that are fully developed.  It’s got a wonderful plot and a story line that flows incredibly well.  But, the thing I enjoyed the most – it drew me in emotionally in a way I haven’t been pulled into a book in a long time.  Rating: 5 out of 5.

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review 2015-12-09 01:01
The Silent Sister
The Silent Sister - Diane Chamberlain

This was one amazing read! It was a novel where you felt as if you knew that something was coming around the bend but you just didn’t know exactly what or when it was coming. Layer upon layer the story develops encasing the characters into a phenomenal journey, a journey with multiple twists. I found myself standing in the shoes of the main character many times, wondering how this transformation occurred without my acknowledgement and then just absorbing the sights and sounds around me. Inside her shoes, her emotions seized me many times and I felt pulled as I watched her struggle to unravel the unknowns that had entered her life. Riley only wanted closure when she went home to close out her father’s estate but once she got home Riley realized that there were many more doors that had to be opened before she was finished.

Riley’s brother lives in the RV park that her father owned, living in the far corner near the forest. Living a secluded life, Danny blames his childhood and his time serving his country for his lifestyle and his anger. Danny is content with his simple life and that is all he wants from his father’s estate. Riley is hoping that Danny will assist with their father’s estate but there are too many memories lying within the house, memories Danny does not want to recall. With the reading of the will, the novel begins to twist as Riley begins to discover the individual her father really was.   With a fantastic set of characters, different motives, private conversations and a whisper that I felt humming through the novel, this novel will keep you on edge until the very end.

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review 2015-03-10 00:00
The Silent Sister
The Silent Sister - Diane Chamberlain Predictable, but enjoyable.
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