Monday, November 15, 2021

Book Review and Giveaway: My Secret Sister

By Sara Steven

How far would you go to save your child?

Claire is living every mother’s worst nightmare. Her daughter, Jess, has been diagnosed with a rare illness and desperately needs a bone marrow transplant. With no match on the registry, Claire turns to a charismatic geneticist for help and embarks on a Genetic Journey to seek a familial match for her daughter.

On the other side of the country, Marianne suffers her eighth miscarriage. Her perfect life is rotting underneath, but she is determined to do whatever it takes to have a baby.

When DNA test results reveal that Claire and Marianne are half-sisters, Claire must face the dark lies of the past and make impossible choices about the future. Is her secret sister the answer to her prayers, or will she cost her everything? (Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads.)

My Secret Sister reminded me of the late evening true-life mystery shows you might see on tv; Dateline, or 48 Hours Mystery. The type of story that seems almost too unbelievable to be true, but yet it can happen, and it does happen. Most of my time spent reading about Claire and Marianne was in a constant state of “Whoa.” To discover that you have a half-sister somewhere would be mind blowing enough, yet the way Lauren Westwood depicted it, particularly by bringing in special charm bracelets that at first elicit mainly emotional significance and then later showcases so much more beneath the murky surface of what is really going on, I mean--my mind is still blown by all of it. 

Claire’s story, particularly where her daughters are concerned, was incredibly touching and deeply tragic. Claire would do anything for Jess, absolutely anything, and I could completely identify with that emotion. That’s why Marianne felt like such a lifeline to Claire at certain times, but when more is revealed when it comes to Marianne’s intentions, the end goal becomes blurry. There seems to be a lot of sacrifice from everyone involved, and it’s hard to know what the right or wrong thing is anymore. 

I loved how everyone was flawed and multi-dimensional. I could understand why each character wants what they want, at times seeking out destruction in order to achieve that. No one was the obvious protagonist or antagonist, because those characteristics melded together in every single person, which made for a really deeply involved read. Who do you side with, who do you root for? I think I rooted for or pushed against all of them at some point in time, hopeful there would be some sort of resolution in the end. 

With the ending--I had a feeling it would happen the way it did. I saw it coming, but that didn’t diminish from it. It fit in well with the flow and progression of the story, giving me what I wanted. Who needs television? A true-life mystery was revealed to me right here on the written page, and I more than enjoyed it. A well-written five-star read.

Thanks to Rachel's Random Resources for the book in exchange for an honest review.

Purchase My Secret Sister.

Author Bio by Lauren Westwood:

My books explore the darkness and the light of the human spirit, and take you on an emotional journey. My Sister’s Secret is a tense and emotional drama about a mother’s race against time to save her daughter’s life. My Mother's Silence is a gripping and romantic drama about homecoming and family secrets set in the wild Scottish highlands. It was shortlisted for the Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award 2020. The Daughter She Lost is a dark journey of self-discovery and overcoming the secrets of the past. My holiday romance Moonlight on the Thames is a love story to classical music and the healing power of love. It was a bestseller in urban fiction and top 100 Kindle book. My first three novels: Finding Home, Finding Secrets, and Finding Dreams all feature mysterious old houses and intelligent, feisty contemporary heroines who set out to unravel the mysteries of the past. I also write award winning children’s books as Laurel Remington. I am originally from California, and now live in Surrey, UK with my partner and three daughters. 

Visit Lauren online:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Giveaway to Win 5 x e-copies of My Secret Sister (Open internationally!)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within seven days, then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organizer and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  Chick Lit Central is not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway ends November 18th.

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