The Shadow Sister by Lucinda Riley
Published by Atria, Simon & Schuster on April 18, 2017
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Romance
Amazon • Goodreads
Star D’Aplièse is at a crossroads in her life after the sudden death of her beloved father—the elusive billionaire, affectionately called Pa Salt by his six daughters, all adopted from across the four corners of the world. He has left each of them a clue to her true heritage, and Star nervously decides to follow hers, which leads her to an antiquarian bookshop in London, and the start of a whole new world.
A hundred years earlier, headstrong and independent Flora MacNichol vows she will never marry. She is happy and secure in her home in England’s picturesque Lake District—just a stone’s throw away from the residence of her childhood idol, Beatrix Potter—when machinations lead her to London, and the home of one of Edwardian society’s most notorious society hostesses, Alice Keppel. Flora is torn between passionate love and her duty to her family, but finds herself a pawn in a larger game. That is, until a meeting with a mysterious gentleman unveils the answers that Flora has been searching for her whole life...
Sometimes we need to look in the past in order to move forward. The Shadow Sister was a captivating story about a young woman on a journey of self discovery.
I honestly had no idea what to expect with this book. Being my first by this author and the third in a series, I was a little worried I might get lost. Much to my surprise The Shadow Sister read very well as a standalone. All I want now are the first two books!
Written in present and past the Riley did a fantastic job of blending the lives of Star D’Aplièse and Flora MacNichol without taking away from the main story. Star is the main character but Flora holds such an important role she acts as a main character herself. It truly was two stories beautifully blended into one glorious tale. Star is definitely living in the shadows of her sisters and importantly her closest sister CeCe. But it’s the death of her father that truly sets the wheels in motion. Having left her and her adopted sisters clues to where they are from.
CeCe has convinced Star to move to London with her. Their bond to each other is strong and while Star may feel as though she’s lost her way, CeCe is right there to bring her along “her” journey. It doesn’t take long for Star to begin feeling restless and in turn the clues left to her create an escape. Opening one door leads Star to an old bookstore and from there the real story begins.
I loved how real my struggle became, not knowing which story I wanted more Flora or Star’s! I found myself yearning for one when the other would pick back up. The parallels between Flora and Star were also worth noting. Both of these women lead similar lives many decades apart. I only wish I could adequately describe how engaging and riveting this story is. I didn’t want it to end, yet I couldn’t wait for the end. For it’s the coming to terms with who she really is that brings Star’s story full circle.
I will be honest and admit that I didn’t totally love the connection between Star and Mouse. I totally get it, I just didn’t feel it. This is really my only critique. I cannot wait for the next book! First I need to go back and read books one and two!
* I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book *
The Seven Sisters series has been optioned to be adapted for television by Raffaella de Laurentiis’s company Raffaella Productions. Daughter of legendary filmmaker Dino de Laurentiis, Raffaella has worked as a producer and studio executive in film and television for decades, including well-known projects like Conan the Barbarian and Conan the Destroyer starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, The Forbidden Kingdom starring Jackie Chan, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, and Dragonheart and its sequels.