The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon
The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon

This is a generous 3-star review.

You’ll definitely need a bit of imagination if you’re thinking of reading this book, because it does stray from reality just a tad.  To be fair, though, that is what I was looking for when I bought this book, and I do enjoy the occasional ghost story or two.

The Night Sister is a novel about how the lives of three young women, Amy, Piper, and Margot, are affected by the history of Amy’s mother, Rose, and Amy’s Aunt Sylvie, and the reader is taken through different periods of time between 1955 and 2013 throughout the course of the book.

This is the official, back-of-the-book synopsis:

The Tower Motel was once a thriving attraction of rural Vermont.  Today it lies in disrepair, alive only in the memory of the three women– Amy, Piper, and Piper’s kid sister, Margot– who played there as children.  They loved exploring the abandoned rooms… until the day their innocent games uncovered something dark and twisted that ruined their friendship forever.

Now Amy stands accused of committing a horrific crime, and the only hint as to her motives is a hasty message that forces Piper and Margot to revisit the motel’s past and the fate of the two sisters who lived there in its heyday.  Sylvie Slater had dreams of running off to Hollywood and becoming Alfred Hitchcock’s leading lady, while her little sister, Rose, was content with their simple life.  Each believed the other to be something truly monstrous, but only one knows the secret that will haunt generations to come.

The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon


One criticism I have for The Night Sister is that the characters’ personalities aren’t really developed to the extent that I would like to see.  The more novels I read, the more I’ve come to realize that character development is something that I really appreciate, and when an author takes the time to establish each of the characters, I’m usually more drawn into the story and more likely to give the book a great rating.
As I mentioned previously, the “chapters” in The Night Sister take the reader between different time periods, and there are essentially two different story lines that eventually merge– one story is that of Rose and her sister Sylvie, while the other story takes place later on and revolves around Amy (Rose’s daughter), Piper, and Margot.

Because the characters themselves were not established very well (in terms of personality traits/ characteristics), I had to constantly remind myself of each character’s storyline as well as the characters’ relationships to one another.  I’m not going to pretend my shitty memory isn’t at all to blame for that, but I do think more could have been done to give the reader a better understanding of each character’s personality.

Anywho, my quirky complaints aside, this was a pretty entertaining story, and I want to say I read this entire book (368 pages for anyone else who still buys paperbacks) in just about a week flat, which is fast for me, since I’m probably a candidate for the “Slowest Reader in the World” title.

Have you read The Night Sister yet?  Comment below and tell me what you think, and if you share & subscribe today, you may* win $1,000,000!

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