I didn’t know what to expect from this book but bought it to see what all the fuss was about. Whoever is promoting Rosamund Lupton is doing a fine job; she’s been featured in lots of magazines in the last few months – telling readers how she completed this novel with the help of her school-run mum friends who helped her with childcare and other mummy-esque duties of costumes for the school play and so on while she wrote the story. Endorsements from Richard and Judy and Radio 4 followed, making this one of last year’s bestsellers.
‘Sister’ is the story of uptight Beatrice’s frantic search for her younger sister Tess after she gets a phone call on a quiet Sunday telling her she’s disappeared. Boarding the first flight to London from New York, Beatrice leaves behind her neat life and enters Tess’s, totally unaware of how little she knew about her sister. This story is not only about the bond between sisters but also Beatrice’s journey as she struggles to reconcile her need for order with her sister’s messy disappearance.
I was so impressed with this novel. It’s crime fiction combined with something else – beautiful prose. It’s easy to read and difficult to put down. The narrative, although written as a non-linear letter from Beatrice to Tess, flows beautifully and the ending is a real surprise. I did work out the perpetrator but I didn’t expect what was coming. This novel deals with a lot of difficult issues, it is so much more than a fluffy chick lit novel.
I have to admit to crying through some parts of the book, so strong is Lupton’s ability to create a convincing story. The relationships she creates between Beatrice, Tess and their mother are so realistic, there’s no idealisation or sense of perfection – it is what it is and that’s so refreshing. Many novelists, particularly when writing crime, fall into the trap of making the missing person a saint, with no flaws but Lupton avoids this pitfall.
The only author I can think to compare her to is Jodi Picoult but in fairness, Lupton’s style is far beyond the formulaic prose of JP.
I cannot wait to read Lupton’s newly-released novel, ‘Afterwards’.
Order your copy of ‘Sister’ here: http://amzn.to/kJJsj0
Order your copy of ‘Afterwards’ here: http://amzn.to/l0kfFY