Once We Were Sisters

Sisters often share a special bond that's hard to define. A sister is someone with whom you can laugh and be silly like when you were kids, who still sees in you the child you once were, and who shares your past and your memories of it. As you're growing up and you're close, you can't trust anyone the way you can trust your sister, but they also have the power to wound you in ways no one else really does...

How is your relationship with your sister? Let's see how it compares with the ones in these novels. Shall we?

The Winter Sister

How well do we know the people we love most?

It's been sixteen years since Sylvie's older sister Persephone didn't come home. Out too late with the boyfriend she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found---and all these years later, her murder remains unsolved. Now, though, Sylvie reluctantly returns home to care for her estranged, alcoholic mother who is undergoing cancer treatment, and finally begins to uncover the truth behind what happened to her sister.

This is Collins' first novel, but nothing about it felt like a debut. She has managed to create a story that will appeal to those readers who love spine-tingling thrillers as well as those who are drawn to the resilient heroines and complex relationships most often found in women's fiction. The story has an authentic feel with characters that you could easily come into contact with in your daily life---from the mysterious mother with a hidden past, to the guilt-ridden sister who now must solve her sister's murder, to the boyfriend who has long been suspected of being the one who killed Persephone, even though he swears he's innocent. This exploration of grief and guilt weaves together a gripping, suspenseful plot with a compelling character study of a family.

The Silent Sister

What if everything you believed was a lie?

When Riley was only two years old, her older sister Lisa committed suicide---or did she?

The death of her father has brought Riley back to New Bern, North Carolina after twenty years. She intends to take her time sorting through his belongings. But when she finds evidence that Lisa may actually be alive, it rocks her world and changes it forever. Riley is full of questions. Where is Lisa? Why did she run away all those years ago? Was she running away from something or someone? The only thing she does know is that she has to find out. As she uncovers clues as to where Lisa may be, she also begins to learn shocking truths about her family---the family she thought she knew and now realizes that she never really did.

Chamberlain is known for her books that revolve around family, love, compassion, and forgiveness; they feature a combination of drama, mystery, secrets, and intrigue. She understands the way people tick and creates realistic characters.

The Better Sister

Who is the better sister?

Two sisters, Chloe and Nicky, could not have been more different growing up. Chloe, the younger sister, was in charge, a hard worker, and thoughtful. Nicky, the older sister, was a dreamer and floated through life. Each sister takes her own path. Chloe goes to college and lands a prestigious job; Nicky marries a young attorney and has a son, Ethan.

The two sisters grow apart...

Fourteen years later, Chloe is now married to Nicky's ex and raising Ethan as her own. When Chloe's husband is murdered and Ethan becomes the prime suspect, Chloe and Nicky are brought back together again to find the truth and save their son.

Burke's trademark easy reading, perfectly-paced style had my just-one-more-page thing going on and I found it hard to put down. I was fascinated by the dynamic between these two very different, strong, yet flawed, women.

These books each explore how fragile family life can be; they are thrilling dramas full of moral dilemmas, which will make you think. While these authors created twisty, page-turning mysteries, their narratives also examined family bonds and how bonds can be broken, but are not beyond repair.

But, you never know, so keep your enemies close and your sister closer...

I have a sister... Do you?

We welcome your respectful and on-topic comments and questions in this limited public forum. To find out more, please see Appropriate Use When Posting Content. Community-contributed content represents the views of the user, not those of Boston Public Library