Sister Dear by Hannah Mary McKinnon
Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Publication Date: May 26th, 2020
ARC from Netgalley
| Book Review |
Sister Dear is a Mystery/Thriller from Hannah Mary McKinnon, and it was my first read from the author. Prior to reading this book, I saw some reviews that said it was more Women’s Fiction than Mystery/Thriller, and I would agree that that’s true for the first 90% of this book. But I do feel like the last ten percent was pretty edge of your seat, jaw-dropping suspenseful and thrilling. But was it as malicious as the blurb led me to believe? I don’t think so; I just enjoyed it nonetheless.
When I started reading this book, the first thing that really drew me in was the Maine setting. I love to read books about where I live. It immediately adds a layer of immersiveness that I don’t have with books that take places I’ve never been. Especially when Eleanor made a comment about the October weather, and how you never know what to wear in Maine because the weather is so fickle. Another thing that struck me right off was how much I liked our protagonist, Eleanor. More often than not, I can’t find a character to like in a Mystery/Thriller, and that’s OK. Oftentimes, I don’t think I’m supposed to for the sake of suspense. If the story on the pages can carry the book despite me not liking any of the characters, I can love it anyway. She was so sad and lonely, and I felt bad for her. That’s when I realized that I wasn’t sure if I liked her so much as pitied her, and it made me want to comfort her. Eleanor was her own worst enemy, though I’m sure she’d disagree and say that her mother and sister were. They were so malicious and cliquey; it was no wonder that when Eleanor found out she had a whole other branch to her family tree that she never knew existed, she wanted to get to know them. Maybe she’d finally be accepted instead of ganged up on.
Eleanor takes it upon herself to insert herself into her sister’s life, and I couldn’t help but like Victoria. She was so kind to everyone around her and was such a nice person. And while all this is going on, Eleanor also starts a relationship with her neighbor, and I’ll be honest, that felt rather out of place for me until the end when things started to come to a head. I won’t spoil anything for you, but I will say that I thought this story was so interesting, especially the relationship between the sisters. Instead of being competitive like she was with the sister she’d grown up with, Eleanor and Victoria were so protective of each other. That’s what makes it so hard for Eleanor to tell Victoria the truth about who she is; now that she’s finally found that closeness, it would be hard to let it go.
While Sister Dear wasn’t as Thrilling as the blurb purported, this book held its own, and was a good read for me. Like other reviewers, I would definitely recommend it to reader’s of Women’s Fiction who are looking for an ending they won’t see coming!
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