Ordinarily, I do not read anything that can be called “chick lit”. It just isn’t to my interest. It was, then, a surprise to read The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain and discover that not only was it a mystery but “chick lit”.
Chamberlain’s prose is smooth and gripping and by the time I realised what was happening, I was too engaged with the story to stop reading. The story flowed seamlessly from start to finish without any glaring problems that kick you abruptly out of the story. I found myself imagining the characters and the houses and the multitude of scenes as clearly as though I were watching a movie. This is always part of my reading experience but how clear my image is, is directly influenced by the writing.
The characters are strong and believable. I feel Riley is the most developed character but as the narrator, she would need to be. Danny was an enigma that I always wanted to know more about and it is interesting to see in Chamberlain’s note at the end, she thanks a friend(?) for her help in bringing Danny forward. I found Jeannie and Christine to be exactly what you would expect from the circumstances and I was left feeling I didn’t know enough about Lisa. I can’t discuss Lisa here because of the dreaded spoiler but it will be interesting to see what other readers make of her.
I’ve given this 3.5 stars because it doesn’t really sit well for me in the 3 or 4 star ratings I’ve given this year.
This is a great story if you’re on the beach or going on a flight of a few hours. It does have a couple of moment where I felt it was a little over wrought, with too much angst but for the most part, these passages can be overlooked.
I did think at the end that I wouldn’t go back and read any more by Chamberlain because I didn’t want to tarnish this story, so it was another surprise to see I’ve got three other titles marked as to read. This is the power of books. You never know where they’ll take you, where you’ll be delivered, or what they will open up for you.
Thank you Diane and NetGalley for the AR copy.