The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

I finally finished Diane Chamberlain’s The Silent Sister this week.  This book had me hooked for almost the entire 2-weeks it took me to read it, and then as I got closer to the end, I quickly became disenchanted.  There are so many little aspects to the story that I just want to nit-pick.

I keep asking myself, how is Chamberlain already an established author with dopey stories like this one?  This may be yet another situation where I’ve read a book intended for a younger audience- I suspect the high-school crowd may appreciate The Silent Sister a bit more than I was able to.  

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
This is the synopsis on the back cover that led me to the decision to purchase this book:

Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister, Lisa, committed suicide as a teenager.  It was a belief that helped shape her own childhood and that of her brother.  It shaped her view of her family and their dynamics.  It influenced her entire life.  Now, more than twenty years later, her father has passed away and she’s in New Bern, North Carolina, cleaning out his house when she finds evidence that what she has always believed is not the truth.  Lisa is alive.  Alive and living under a new identity.  But why, exactly, was she on the run all those years ago?  What secrets are being kept now, and what will happen if those secrets are revealed?  As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family.  Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her new found reality.  Told with Diane Chamberlain’s powerful prose and illumination into the human heart and soul, The Silent Sister is an evocative novel of love, loss, and the bonds among siblings.

Sheesh, that really goes on forever, doesn’t it?  Maybe I’m just bitter; after all, hindsight is 20/20, and I REALLY didn’t like this book.

My biggest disappointment with this book is that there is absolutely no twist.  The story unfolds EXACTLY the way I expected it to, and that’s never fun.  Where’s the creativity?  Where’s the imagination?  And I’m sorry, but I couldn’t stand the narration.  I don’t know if I just have a preference for third-person narration or if Chamberlain’s writing just wasn’t for me, but I found Riley’s character to be really irritating, and having the story narrated from her point of view was starting to drive me crazy.

The copy I bought (pictured above) makes no mention of the fact that this book is part of a series, but apparently it is the first installment of the Riley MacPherson books (Blech!  I hate series books).  My guess is that Chamberlain originally wrote this novel with the intention of leaving well enough alone, and later decided to extend this shitty story.  To each his own.

If you’ve read The Silent Sister, tell me what you think in the comments below and subscribe today!

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