Tuesday, 5 July 2016

The Sister by Louise Jensen


7 July 2016  
The Blurb . . .
‘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 words the last time she saw her, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie’s. It soon becomes clear that 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?

My Thoughts . . .
Wow. Just Wow. Well, not just wow, I am going to give you my thoughts but for a moment, just WOW!
In The Sister, we meet Grace, whose best friend Charlie has recently died, leaving a massive hole in her life that nothing can fill. Having been through so much heartache in her life already, Grace is really struggling to carry on as “normally” as possible. With her job and relationship on the line, will anything or anyone be able to help her? Then along comes Anna, Charlie’s long-lost half-sister. Who better to take fill the void left by Charlie than her actual sister?! But all is not as it seems, is Anna really in this for the right reasons? Can Grace ever really get to the bottom of Charlie’s secrets and move on from her heartache and guilt?
Jensen spins an intricate web of lies and deceit, leading the reader up and down the garden path and back again. With the story flashing back to the day Grace and Charlie met, and brilliantly moving through their lives together, switching from the past to the present, Jensen vividly allows us to see how they grew together, and what effects those formative years have on the present day. Jensen delivers an intense and gripping narrative with shocking twists and turns that will leave you breathless, your heart in your mouth and your emotions in tatters.
There are books that you will read in your life that you hate and can’t finish, there are some that you will enjoy and then forget. There are some that you will read, enjoy and perhaps recommend to your family and friends. Then, there are THOSE books, a real select few that will leave an impression on you, never to be forgotten which you will shout about from the rooftops. I have a few of those, Enid Blyton’s Mallory Towers, Judy Bloom’s Just as Long as We’re Together, Nick Hornby’s About a Boy, Jackie Collins’ Lady Boss – all for different reasons – have stuck with me over the years and I just know that The Sister by Louise Jensen is going straight on that list.
The Sister is an absolutely superbly written psychological thriller; an emotional rollercoaster that will make you love, hate, cry and loathe. But most importantly it makes you feel…
I genuinely cannot believe that this is Jensen’s first novel. Nothing like starting with a bang!
The way Jensen writes is unbelievable, I was totally absorbed in this book, the raw emotions surrounding death are heart wrenching and I can only assume that this emotion is drawn from real experiences. It is written in such a way that your heart will swell for the characters and, even if you are lucky enough to have never lost a loved one, you will be left knowing what it feels like. This book should be sold with a box of Kleenex and Pro-Plus because you will not sleep until it’s finished. It’s books like this that make me wish I didn’t have a day job!
There is not much more I can say without giving away spoilers, other than thank you. Thank you Louise (if I may?) for going to that writing class, thank you to everyone in her acknowledgements for not letting her give up on this book, thank you Bookouture for publishing it and thank you NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read it in advance, in exchange for my honest review ... But most of all, and again, thank you Jensen for bringing these characters to life and for taking that risk.
Jensen is most definitely top of my “to watch” list, I cannot wait to see what else she has in store for us.

About the author . . .

Louise lives in Northamptonshire with her husband, children, madcap spaniel and a rather naughty cat. The Sister is Louise's debut novel.

Louise loves to hear from readers and writers and can be found at www.louisejensen.co.uk, where she regularly blogs flash fiction.

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