‘I did something terrible Grace. I hope you can forgive me…’
Grace hasn’t been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie’s last words, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie’s. It soon becomes clear there was a lot she didn’t know about her best friend.
When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie’s father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie’s sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family, and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan’s home.
But something isn’t right. Things disappear, Dan’s acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace’s mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger?
There was nothing she could have done to save Charlie… or was there?
The Sister was published by Bookouture on the 7th July 2016.
I listened to The Sister on audiobook via Audible, narrated by Natalie Blass. I’ll be honest, before I moved house I wasn’t a massive fan of audiobooks because whilst I liked the idea of them, I do tend to fall asleep whilst listening to them (like the time on the train whereby I was very lucky not to have missed my stop!). However, now my commute to work is 40 minutes each way, I have found that audiobooks are the perfect driving companion.
The Sister was Louise Jensen’s debut novel which resulted in the author being a finalist for the Goodreads Choice Awards under the Best Debut category. Louise Jensen has since gone onto writing The Gift, The Surrogate and The Date.
The Sister is told through Grace, a twenty-something girl who is still reeling from the death of her best friend, Charlie. Grace is struggling with her grief and has so many unanswered answers as to the reasons for Charlie’s final words. The Sister is a dual-timeline book telling the story of Grace and Charlie from the day they struck up their friendship as well as the events of the present. During ‘the now’ Grace believes that finding answers to her questions may reside with finding Charlie’s long-lost father so she attacks the challenge head on with her boyfriend, Dan. This plight brings Anna into their lives a bit more than they anticipated!
Louise Jensen has written a strong debut novel with The Sister – it has all the components that I love in a psychological thriller; an unrealiable narrator, shifty characters and a dual timeline. I really felt for Grace, Charlie has been a constant in her life for 15 years so to lose her was traumatic and it’s clear that the battle with her grief takes a lot of effort. Charlie seems like a fabulous girl – the sort of friend everyone needs in their life. She’s a little rough around the edges but has integrity and a heart of gold. The flashbacks to their friendship, bringing Charlie back to life, are fabulous. The author really shows how Grace and Charlie’s friendship formed and remained strong through thick and thin.
The pacing of this book is great, a real page turner (well if I wasn’t listening to it that is!). It is gripping from start to end. I’ll be honest, I struggled a little bit with the narrator to begin with as I found her sentences were rushed (no I didn’t have the speed increased and slowing it down didn’t help:) ) but once I got into her rhythm, I found her the perfect voice for The Sister. In fact, I think that her narration added to the tension within the story!
I thoroughly enjoyed The Sister and it was a fabulous companion during my commute.
Louise Jensen always wanted to be Enid Blyton when she grew up, and when that didn’t happen she got a ‘proper’ job instead.
Several years ago an accident left Louise with a disability and she began writing once again, to distract her from her pain and compromised mobility. But writing turned out to be more than just a good distraction. Louise loves creating exciting worlds, dark characters, and twisted plots.
Louise lives in Northamptonshire with her husband, sons, a madcap spaniel and a rather naughty cat, and also teaches mindfulness.