Monday, October 22, 2012

Book Review: Little Sister

By Becky Gulc

Little Sister is the tale of two sisters, Kate and Anya. These sisters are polar opposites in many ways but when a common family tragedy unites them, can the family withstand a further tragedy? Whilst Kate is settled down and recently had her first child, Anya, the younger of the two, is always searching for the next adrenaline rush and despite now being in her thirties shows no signs of aspiring for a life of domesticity. When Anya goes missing whilst cave diving in Mexico, it falls to Kate as the emergency contact to ensure the authorities are doing their utmost to find her frustrating, but much-loved, younger sister. Question is, has Anya been in a diving accident or is there something more sinister going on? And why did she go on the diving trip to the middle of nowhere with a man she’d only just met?

I had read and enjoyed a previous novel by Lucy Dawson (His Other Lover) a few years back so I was pleased to be sent this book for review. The blurb and press release captured my attention and I was looking forward to reading a book which sounded full of suspense and intrigue.

I read this book in just over a day and enjoyed it thoroughly. Whilst the blurb might suggest the story will centre on Kate’s viewpoint, we also know Anya’s perspective throughout; we are cleverly drip-fed enough information from the past and present in order for the reader to care about the characters; understand the family dynamics at play and without spoiling the final outcome for Anya. There were several occasions as a reader I thought Anya’s fate lay in one direction only for it to turn on its head, then back again; this kept it interesting. It’s a book that offers suspense and delivers on it, but not to an extreme level, there was definitely room for Lucy to have pushed this further if she’d wished and if I’m being honest, I think I would have liked it to, but just a bit. It’s also a book that says it will stay with you long after you’ve finished it - I agree this is likely to be the case. I definitely thought I was going to have nightmares after I’d read this, at least in terms of claustrophobia. (Thankfully, I didn’t!) There’s also more of a back-story behind this than the present search for Anya.

The only slight niggles I had were with the apparent flippant changing opinions of the sisters on some things– for example, internal dialogue suggesting one feeling towards a love interest one minute then changing it the next, without any movement in the story to suggest sufficiently why. This is only a minor thing though and just something as a reader I wanted to understand more, particularly in terms of Kate’s feelings. Also I would have liked to see Kate’s viewpoint again at the end of the novel once the outcome for Anya is revealed. I felt like we’d been on roller coaster of emotions with her at the beginning of the novel, the helplessness and desperation to locate Anya, but I felt that I didn’t quite get the closure with this character that I wanted at the end. That said though I thought the closing chapters were strong and they did leave you feeling slightly uneasy which sits well with the book it sells itself as being.

All in all I thought this is another strong book from Lucy Dawson and if you like your chick lit with a dose of suspense and also like books that are a bit shorter in length than some others, this is one for you.

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Kate said...

This book looks so good! When I went to click the link to buy, it doesn't seem to be available yet? The publication date is listed as October 11 but I can't find the kindle version. Help! I want to buy it :)
Kate Moretti

Unknown said...

Kate if you're in the UK it is £4.99 or the US it's $8.18 ~ both on Kindle...