The Seven Sisters — book review

The Seven Sisters, by Lucinda Riley

Yes, shivers run down spines and everyone is fabulously rich, mysterious and beautiful so put aside all hope for a literary experience, embrace the superlatives and read this for the sheer joy of a long and complicated story, well told.

Pa Salt is bottomlessly rich and travels the world looking for orphan baby girls to bring home to his gorgeous mega-home on the shores of Lake Geneva. A very dodgy premise, though it’s the girls telling these stories and they love their Pa Salt to bits and mourn him when he dies at the start of the series.

There are seven books, seven sisters, seven stars of the Pleiades but that’s not important right now. The main thing is that each girl takes an entire book to unravel the secrets of her hereditary past. I’ve read two and despite being a snooty reader I gobbled them up, at nearly 500 pages a pop. They’re Harry Potter for women (in a good way): escapist, plot driven, packed with fantastical detail and all engrossing.

There’s an overarching story going on behind the scenes, some mystery about whether Pa Salt is really dead and what on earth he is playing at and when the seventh sister is going to be revelaed. I’m sure if I make it through all seven that will tie up into a neat bow. One thing Riley does really well is plot. Each sister not only has her own current story, but we go back into complex stories of her forebears, all brilliantly structured through generations and paced covering wonderful historical topics. The first book has the backdrop of the making of Christ the Redeemer in Rio and the workshops of Paris; the second takes us yacht racing and then to a Norway orchestra and back in history to Edvard Grieg composing the Peer Gynt suite. No idea where the next books will take me but I’m keen for the ride.

Perfect summer reading. Go spend those book tokens.

Author: Cristina Sanders Blog

Novelist, trail runner, book reviewer and blogger.

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