'Her Sister's Shadow'
Author: Katherine Britton
Published: Berkeley Trade; June 2011
Genre: Literary fiction
Source TLC Book Tours
Synopsis: Renowned painter Lilli Niles is at home in her North London flat when she receives an unexpected call from her elder sister, Bea, who's at the family homestead in Whitehead, Massachusetts. Bea's husband has just died, and she'd like Lilli to fly home to attend the funeral. There are reasons Lilli moved all the way to England to escape her older sister, reasons that have kept them estranged for decades. But something in Bea's voice makes Lilli think it's time to return to the stately house in New England she loved as a child, to the memory of the beloved younger sister they both lost. With Bea more fragile than Lilli remembered, maybe she can finally forgive Bea for a long-ago betrayal that has simmered between them for nearly forty years.
My Take: At this point, if you've followed my blog for any length of time then you know that I love books about relationships! Not just male - female relationships, but friendships and families too. This book takes you on an amazing journey through the kind of family bond that will rip your heart out: sisters! I don't have one but I have heard all about them. You either love them, or love them and fight with them non-stop, but either way you are stuck with them for life. Those of us on the outside can empathize regardless because we all have families. From the moment I opened the first page of Britton's Her Sister's Shadow I was hooked on the amazing story of the Niles' sisters lives.
The story mainly revolves around Lilli Niles. When it opens, it is 2009 and we find ourselves in Central London and Lilli is a self-composed woman of the world, famous for her paintings. Hiding behind all that is some long ago, deep seeded mystery though regarding some deaths in her family. Lilli is not from London. She is from Massachusetts. She is one of four sisters and their lives are very entangled. Or they used to be.
A death in the family sends Lilli home. She hasn't been home for forty years. Can you even imagine not seeing your family for forty years?! I mean sure at times that sounds like a nice proposition but for the most part that just seems ridiculous. As soon as I read that I knew there was something Britton wasn't telling us here. What happened to make Lilli run so far and for so long?
Basically that is for me to know and for you to find out! This is one of those books where I alternately wanted to read faster because I wanted to find out the mysteries of this family quicker but didn't because I didn't want this story to end. The novel jumps between the present (2009) and the past (mid-1960s), filling in the gaps of the four Niles sisters lives: Bea, Charlotte, Lilli, and Dori and what became of them as they grew up or didn't as the case may be. All I can say is, if you are looking for your next deeply engrossing read, I can honestly say you need look no further! I can highly recommend Her Sister's Shadow.
Cover Lust: I do take some serious issue with this cover. Ok, if this cover is to be Lilli, and we can safely assume it is since she is the main character, when she was this young woman's age it was the mid-1960s and people did not wear this outfit. I find it incongruous with the book. I do find the rest of the cover's setting perfect. Just change her outfit please! That kind of stuff makes me crazy.
The publisher has kindly offered up one new copy to a lucky winner! The deadline for this giveaway is Nov. 11th; entries open to those in the US and Canada.
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3 extra entries available. Giveaway open until 11:59pm PST Nov. 11th. I will draw the winners using random.org and announce them here on my blog. Good luck!
For other opinions about this book, here is the full TLC Tour Schedule.