Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: 11/1/2016
My Rating: 5 Stars +++
A special (big) "thank you" to Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Sooooo Good!
Life is the process of becoming. "It starts with your first breath and stays with you until your last. Just think of the power of it being able to continually reach toward the light. The possibilities are infinite.”
Talented storyteller, Dianne Dixon returns following (2013) The Book of Someday with her best yet, THE OTHER SISTER!. The puzzling, the beautiful concept of forgiveness.
Action-packed, beautifully written, compassionately told, and relentlessly suspenseful!
From saints to sinners, narcissists to decent and caring, love and hate—a wide range of emotions and contrasts; with one of the most profound and stunning journeys of two sisters and the people who come in and out of their lives. Evil versus good. Violence to peace.
A page-turner with all the ingredients to become a bestseller and a box office smash hit!. An emotional, thought-provoking, chilling psychological thriller.
Set in Providence, Rhode Island, a disturbing glimpse into the darkness that can cling to the underside of love. The opening, a mysterious Newport cliffside mansion. A wedding.
In years to come, seemingly random events taking place in the mansion that night would lead to brutal, unexpected violence—and to the discovery of something so bizarre it would be heart-stopping. No one could have known.
Someone would shatter Ali’s life. What would be less painful—to find out it was a stranger or someone close? Someone she loved. Ali was stuck with a lifelong guilt of her sister Morgan’s loneliness.
We hear from alternating POV: Morgan, Ali, Matt There is also another mysterious evil voice sprinkled throughout; however, the reader is kept in the dark until the identity is unveiled with the explosive conclusion (in a highly creative manner).
Ali, the pretty one- marries Matt. There were parts of him that he kept private. Hurts that she assumed were connected. Places no one would ever be allowed to go. Places that were closed and locked. She wanted to own a restaurant to carry out her grandmother's wishes. A husband, family, and a baby.Life gets complicated. An ex-boyfriend Levi. A tragedy. A professional hockey athlete. A dreadful past.
Morgan, an art curator at a museum. A devious selfish miserable witch, living in her sister's shadow. Full of insecurities, blame, spite, bitterness, and evil. She was ordinary. Ali and Morgan were not identical. Fraternal. Two people who shared a womb. Living in her sister's shadow. She seeks justice, revenge, and thinks this will bring balance.
Two sisters. Now age twenty-seven. A complex relationship. Morgan loves her sister. She would kill and die for her, and at the same time furious she even exists because she makes her invisible. Soulmates; thorns and comfort.
Ali has always carried Morgan. However, by Ali turning her back on Morgan, could Morgan possibly see her mistakes and view their relationship from a different perspective? When there is more to show the world than the injuries.
Morgan receives a mistaken text from a mysterious sender. She now calls Sam. He is like a therapist on call. She has never met him; however, his words will change her life. Sometimes the wrong person can turn out to be the right person. Sam was unlike anyone she had ever talked to. Never judgment or criticism.
From Maine, a place called BerryBlue Farm, where two young girls had spent the best time of their lives when they were kids. Not far from the quaint town of Kennebunkport, a loved grandmother’s death.
Memories. Love of cooking. Passions. Family. A sister’s relationship of love and hate. Secrets. Grudges. Guilt. Always a dance between exasperation and delight. From Rhode Island to California—an unleashing; a chain of events spiral out of control. Readers meet a variety of characters, connecting the twin sisters. The mysterious brown suitcase.
There is SO much here beyond the surface. Not only is this a mysterious, domestic suspense, and delicious crime thriller; it is deeply psychological, thought-provoking, and soul-searching. There is tremendous growth from the characters from the beginning of the book to the ending. Wisdom. Faith. Forgiveness. Atonement.
“The place where you don’t forget the hurts, but you let go of them and hold on to the love.”
What sets THE OTHER SISTER apart, is the HOOK! It is bold, engrossing, spellbinding. Character and plot-driven! Dixon never strays with needless side stories. The entire book is heart pounding, not knowing what is coming next. You are glued from page one to the final ending.
Engrossing! An emotional roller coaster of suspense that will keep you guessing until the final page is turned. Even at 94% to the Epilogue, Dixon continues to add compelling twists and turns and many surprises. There is nothing ordinary here, and cannot adequately describe the uniqueness of her writing.
I loved the texting, which again continues the theme of contrasts: revenge texts which destroyed. Mistaken texts, which come to heal.
"Life is a test and we are not here primarily to be happy. Maybe happiness isn't about never having problems. Maybe it's about learning from them."
I would encourage readers to review Dianne Dixon’s blog post-"the inspiration" behind THE OTHER SISTER. My New Book Solved an Old Mystery. (thanks for sharing). It is powerful and a takeaway message for all. An ideal choice for book clubs!
There are many red herrings; however, each and every one was worth the ride. Matt and Sam were the most mysterious of all with the unknowns. (I could almost see another novel featuring Sam's life; intriguing). You root for Ali, and despise Morgan; however, Dixon allows readers to view these characters from the "inside out," and below the surface. The heart of the matter.
Unforgettable characters captivate as they confront their hidden pasts and build upon their futures with faith, love, and grace. People can grow and change. They can keep on giving to each other, no matter what life throws at them. Every moment is a new opportunity to grow and change—the possibilities infinite.
If you appreciated this story of forgiveness, recommend reading Charles Martin’s (2016) Long Way Gone. “The Prodigal Son” retelling with a modern-day twist and Water From My Heart (2015).
THE OTHER SISTER is absolutely amazing! Brilliantly crafted, crossing many genres, making "My Top Books of 2016." Move this one to the "Top" of your list! Trust me, when I say, "it is like no other book I have ever read." Blown Away and stays with you, long after the ending.
Fans of Heather Gudenkauf, Diane Chamberlain, Jodi Picoult, Lisa Scottoline, and Mary Kubica will appreciate the writer's ability to cross several genres, with highly charged emotional topics.
A suspenseful, yet moving tale of lost dreams, unending love, truth seeking and in the end, inspiring redemption and discovery. This one is not to be missed!
Bill Youngblood Photography