I am so happy to have the opportunity to be part of the blog tour for The Half Sister by Sandie Jones. Thank you to the team at Pan Macmillan, for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.
About The Author:
I have heard a lot about Sandie Jones, but I haven’t read any books by her prior to The Half Sister. Sandie Jones has worked as a freelance journalist for over twenty years, and has written for publications including the Sunday Times, Woman’s Weekly and the Daily Mail. She lives in London with her husband and three children. The Other Woman is her debut novel.
I need to mention that the original synopsis of the book may be a bit misleading. Lauren and Kate are two sisters, but they don’t get along too well and their relationship is complicated.
Kate is a reporter, married to lovely Mark, and going through many rounds of IVF treatment, hoping to start a family. Kate had a very close relationship with her father until the day he died, but was never too close to her sister Lauren and their mother, Rose.
Lauren, on the other hand, is a full time mom of three, with a demanding and overprotective husband. She is very close to her mum, and had a complicated relationship with her father, never forgiving him for understanding her in the past.
One day, while Kate, Lauren and their mum are having their usual Sunday roast, a woman knocks on their door and drops a bombshell. Jess claims to be their half-sister.
This allegation is met with denial – how could she be a secret daughter of their father. Their mother is devastated, Lauren is not surprised, and Kate doesn’t believe Jess at all. But as more secrets start to unravel, no one can know who to trust anymore…
I loved the idea of this book, even though I am not too big of a fan of domestic mysteries and drama. My impressions were that this would’ve been more psychological thriller, but I was in the wrong. However, despite this, the book is really surprisingly well-written and kept me on my toes until the very end.
The lives of Lauren and Kate in particular were very well written. I can imagine people being able to easily relate to their struggles. The difference between the two sisters is like night and day. I loved the fact that this book was not sugar coating this, and it didn’t end it with a “happily ever after”. Instead, it ended with “we know we are different, and we are working to fix our relationship in its natural course”.
The story about how Jess comes into their lives, and the whole DNA situation was extremely not believable. As well as the fact that doing another DNA test at the beginning of the novel would have solved all assumptions, rather than people believing hearsay and creating more drama. However, I am also aware that drama was needed to keep the story going, so I can’t hold a grudge.
The ending was predictable half-way through the book. Some scenes are completely unnecessary and make the story more complicated. There are many triggering moments in this book. Cheating, domestic violence and abuse, both physical and emotional and abortion. This book may also trigger people that have had difficult relationships with their parents and/or siblings.
Even though not a favorite thriller, I enjoyed this book and recommend it to everyone that loves domestic thrillers. It is a fast-paced read, and the plot twists are juicy.
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