Author: Lucinda Riley
Genre: Historical Fiction
Release Date: April 18, 2017
Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Travel through the lush English countryside and explore the magnificent estates of the British aristocracy in this next spellbinding love story in The Seven Sisters series by #1 internationally bestselling author Lucinda Riley.
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...
As Star learns more of Flora’s incredible journey, she too goes on a voyage of discovery, finally stepping out of the shadow of her sister and opening herself up to the possibility of love.
My Review: After the death of her adoptive father, Star learns that her father left her a clue to her origins. The clue he left behind leads her to a small bookstore in London and asks for the name of Flora MacNicol. Little that she knows that by befriending the owner of the bookstore, Orlando, that she learns her connection to his family and finds her own independence. The family eventually tells her Flora’s story. As she listens to the story, Star learns the truth about where she comes from and makes tough choices in order to find her happiness.
Flora’s story was moving and heart-wrenching. In the beginning of her story. She has a carefree life. She has a menagerie of animals, but the animal she really adores is her cat, Panther. However, she goes through hard trials and is separated from the man she loves. She sacrifices her dreams and happiness for her sister’s sake. Flora’s story was very emotional, and I hoped that her story would end in a satisfying outcome. There were times that Flora did some ruthless deeds, but she did them to protect her family. Thus, Flora is a lovable character because she always puts her family before herself.
While I preferred the historical aspect more than the modern one. Star’s story is captivating also. Star finds herself at ends with her with sister, Cece, and she must choose to be her own self or to be in her sister’s shadow. She is a strong person too and often helps her new friends. She also finds herself dealing with first love. Therefore, Star is a very relatable character, and readers root for her to achieve her independence from her needy sister!
Overall, this book is about family, love, friendship, secrets, choices, and happiness. All the characters were very realistic and likable. The Edwardian setting was very fascinating and we meet many famous figures, such as Beatrix Potter, Mrs. Keppel, and King Edward VII. The story also has a mystery aspect, for there are secrets that Flora has hidden for many decades. I have never read The Seven Sisters series before, and I was disappointed in myself that I hadn’t read the others at all. If if hadn’t been for The Shadow Sister, I might have missed out on a really good series. While I am waiting for the sequel, The Pearl Sister, I am definitely going to catch myself up on the first two books! The Shadow Sister is perfect for fans of Kate Morton, Gill Paul, and Melanie Dobson.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Here is a video of Lucinda talking about her book, The Shadow Sister: