Tuesday, 22 December 2015

The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley

Lucinda Riley has written a dozen or so novels. The first book in this epic series, is about the eldest of seven sisters, all adopted by Pa Salt, who, reminiscent of GUM in Ballet Shoes, collected babies and sent them home - his "palace" in Geneva - the obvious difference being that Pa Salt is fabulously wealthy, where the "Fossils" were raised on the sniff of an oil rag.

Now Pa Salt is deceased (or is he?) and he leaves each of the six sisters (the seventh is a mystery still to be unwrapped) clues as to their real parentage. Ally is The Storm Sister, an accomplished sailor and musician. Her clues take her to Norway and we discover more about her passions and possible ancestry, including Edvard Grieg, and the conception of the music behind Peer Gynt, which was a play that was later set to music.

The history is well researched and the story flips between 1894 and 2007 without missing a beat. At around page 59, the dialogues started jarring with me. Nothing was ringing true, and I found myself looking for errors, not reading for pleasure, as I did in the first book. The characters seemed trite, there were just too many cliches and everyone was just fitting too neatly into the predictable plot.

Perhaps the challenge of churning out a book a year, each starting in the same place (with the sisters getting together to find Pa Salt gone) but told from a different perspective was too much for a busy author? The contract of trust built in The Seven Sisters has been broken for me, and left me with the sense that this was a rush to finish, and less care and attention given to detail and editing than with the first book. At nearly 700 pages, this was a significant time investment that showed a poor return in enjoyment value.


2 stars

ISBN: 9781447288565

Here’s The Seven Sisters review.

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