In The Silent Sister, Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. Now, over 20 years later, her father has passed away and she’s in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary. Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity. But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now?
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 newfound reality, in this engrossing mystery from international best-selling author Diane Chamberlain.
The author loves to write about secrets and I must admit, they do create interest. In this case, there are multiple secrets.
Riley MacPherson’s father died recently and she returns home to clean out and dispose of all his belongings, the collections, his house. The problem is, she stumbles upon something that has her stopped in the middle of the work to sort out what appears to be a contradiction regarding the death of her older sister when she was a toddler.
There are few she can talk to regarding what happened all that time ago, and even her brother (suffering from PTSD) is loathed to discuss it nor help with the cleanup. She does manage to glean some clues, however, and begins the slow and steady climb to the truth.
This is one where you know or can predict the secret or secrets and just wait for the main character to figure it out. Of course, there are those who push the other side, the RV people, her brother, who balances out nicely with those who would help, although the two who were supposed to help with the house were just annoying.
I had a little difficulty with the family dynamics and wondered if it could really ring true. The stories of the sister and the explanation for her suicide were an obvious diversion and a rather weak one at that but didn’t do much to cover what was really suspected. The conclusion steamed in, explained everything and was quietly swept under the rug. Yeah, not wholly satisfying.
I listened to Big Lies in a Small Town in 2021; absolutely loved it and thought the growth in her storytelling is evident. I downloaded a copy of this much earlier audiobook from my local well-stocked library. These are my honest thoughts.
Genre: Women Sleuth Mysteries, Women’s Fiction, Suspense
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Listening Length: 11 hrs 39 mins
Narrator: Susan Bennett
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: The Silent Sister [Amazon]
Rosepoint Publishing: Four Stars
The Author: Diane Chamberlain is the New York Times, USA Today and (London) Sunday Times best-selling author of 27 novels. The daughter of a school principal who supplied her with a new book almost daily, Diane quickly learned the emotional power of story. Although she wrote many small “books” as a child, she didn’t seriously turn to writing fiction until her early thirties when she was waiting for a delayed doctor’s appointment with nothing more than a pad, a pen, and an idea. She was instantly hooked.
Diane was born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey and lived for many years in both San Diego and northern Virginia. She received her master’s degree in clinical social work from San Diego State University. Prior to her writing career, she was a hospital social worker in both San Diego and Washington, D.C, and a psychotherapist in private practice in Alexandria, Virginia, working primarily with adolescents.
More than two decades ago, Diane was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, which changed the way she works: She wrote two novels using voice recognition software before new medication allowed her to get back to typing. She feels fortunate that her arthritis is not more severe and that she’s able to enjoy everyday activities as well as keep up with a busy travel schedule.
Diane lives in North Carolina with her significant other, photographer John Pagliuca, and their odd but lovable Shetland Sheepdog, Cole.
Please visit Diane’s website at http://www.dianechamberlain.com for her event schedule and for more information on her newest novel, Big Lies in a Small Town, as well as a complete list of her books.
©2023 V Williams