*I received a free copy of Sisters and Lies from Penguin via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *Sisters and Lies by Bernice Barrington
Published by Penguin on 24 March 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Psychological Thriller
Reading Challenges: 2016 Blogger Shame Challenge, 2016 New Release Challenge
One hot August night, Rachel Power gets the call everyone fears. It's the police. Her younger sister Evie's had a car crash, she's in a coma. Can Rachel fly to London right away? With Evie injured and comatose, Rachel is left to pick up the pieces of her sister's life. But it's hard fitting them together, especially when she really doesn't like what she sees. Why was Evie driving when she doesn't even own a licence? Who is the man living in her flat and claiming Evie is his girlfriend? How come she has never heard of him? The more mysteries Rachel uncovers the more she starts asking herself how well she ever really knew her sister. And then she begins to wonder if the crash was really the accident everybody says it is. Back in hospital, Evie, trapped inside an unresponsive body, is desperately trying to wake up. Because she's got an urgent message for Rachel - a warning which could just save both their lives . . .
Sisters and Lies is both tender and harsh, mysterious and sweet, nostalgic and filled with hope. A good story that kept me turning the pages, never fully guessing what was going on.
Sisters and Lies was well done, especially the psychological thriller aspect of the story. Evie and Rachel both had chapters told from their perspective, which made everything more chilling, as Evie was in a coma for most of it! Rachel had a lot going on at once, and dealing with the aftermath of her sister’s accident definitely didn’t make any of it any easier. The choices she needed to make were still there, but everything got an urgent feel to them, and she was unable to fully trust her instincts and her gut-feeling because she was so worried about Evie.
As the story of Sisters and Lies unfolded, the readers were brought into the sisters’ past as well as sharing their present with them. I enjoyed getting to know both Evie and Rachel, and especially Evie’s past made me want to bring her into a soft embrace and hug away all her hurt and sadness. Rachel’s present was tough to read about as well, as she was having a lot of success in her professional life as a writer, but not so much in her personal life, as her marriage was falling apart. Added to all that stress was the fact that she had to stay in London to be able to visit Evie every day, and that instead of Janet, Evie’s roommate, there was a guy living in Evie’s apartment. A boyfriend she had never heard about. A boyfriend who thought Evie was an only child.
While still in a coma, Evie was trying to piece things together, just as Rachel was in the world of the living. But she was unable to find any help – the police thought Evie had tried to commit suicide, the boyfriend had no idea what was going on, and Janet hadn’t seen Evie in months. But Rachel was sure there was more to the accident than what the police thought – there were too many things not adding up about Evie’s secrecy between the boyfriend and the rest of her life.
Well written, Sisters and Lies kept me engaged from start to finish, and I found Evie’s point of view to bring so much to the story, even if she was static, just sharing her thoughts. And I especially loved the strong bond between two sisters who thought the other didn’t really like them all that much.
Evie, my beautiful mixed-up Evie. How the hell could this have happened? But then it dawned on me. This day had been coming for a long time. Had, perhaps, always been coming. And I had done nothing to prevent it.
“The truth will come out, Rachel. It always does.”
“Hmm,” I said half-heartedly, as she headed for the door. To be perfectly honest, I never found that to be the case.
The trouble was we still loved each other. But, as the cliché goes, we wanted different things. To be specific, Jacob wanted a baby. He hadn’t always wanted one. Before we’d god married, I’d explained that I didn’t want children and he’d been fine with that. “You’re all I’ll ever want,” he’d said, and I’d believed him.