Friday, October 28, 2011

Book Review and Giveaway: Her Sister's Shadow

'Her Sister's Shadow'
Author: Katherine Britton

Format: Paperback
Published: Berkeley Trade; June 2011
Pages: 352
Genre: Literary fiction
Grade: A
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.

Giveaway Details
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.

To Enter (Mandatory)!
Comment below with a way for me to contact you.

For Extra entries (Optional), indicate that you are:
+1 Follow this blog on Google Connect (see right sidebar)
+1 Follow me on twitter and tweet about this giveaway (include @amusedbybooks in your tweet)
+1 Blog/Post about this giveaway on your sidebar

3 extra entries available. Giveaway open until 11:59pm PST Nov. 11th. I will draw the winners using and announce them here on my blog. Good luck!

For other opinions about this book, here is the full TLC Tour Schedule


  1. I am glad to hear you enjoyed this one. I won a copy this week and now I am really excited to get to read it. Those sister relationships can be complicated but they can be wonderful too. Great review! No need to enter me in the giveaway.

  2. No need to enter me.

    This one sounds like an interesting read. I cannot imagine not seeing my family for so long!

  3. This one sounds interesting. The cover is nothing special though, like you pointed out. Thanks for the giveaway!


  4. I would like to be entered in the giveaway!

    I am a GFC follower.

    stephaniet117 at yahoo dot com

  5. This sounds like a really interesting book. I love stories that explore the relationships between sisters.

    kristens (dot) booknook (at) gmail (dot) com

    I'm a GFC follwer too!

  6. This sounds so good! I love relationship stories!

  7. This book sounds terrific. I love stories about relationships especially in families. I have a feeling the story about these sisters is absorbing!

    Thank you for hosting this giveaway!


  8. Maybe she just took of her sweater cos it was warm and no one is near...yeah

  9. I can't imagine not visiting "home" for so long. I live in Canada, from upstate NY, USA, and I'm a bit saddened that I wasn't able to go home this past year to visit family. Anyway, sounds like a great read!

    I'm already a GFC follower.


  10. Urgh, sorry, forgot email:
    journeythroughwords at yahoo dot com.

  11. Being one of four sisters, this one sounds great.

  12. I do the same nitpicky thing with book covers. And I feel you on this one! GLARING OVERSIGHT, PEOPLE.

    Please enter me! I follow you on Twitter; I am still working on the Google Connect thing (I guess I am really a mom now that I can't figure it out, huh?)

  13. would love to read iti am a gfollower &will

  14. Sounds interesting. Relationships with sisters are always complicated

  15. Yes, that cover is misleading. I thought the main character would be young, but then you said things have been brewing for 40 years. I like the cover otherwise, but I hate when it gives a false impression.

  16. This sounds interesting! Please count me in. Thank you!

    +1 I follow

    +1 Blogged:

    nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

  17. This one sounds good. I've always wanted a sister (or at least some days ;)) Please enter me.
    stacybooks at yahoo

  18. I don't have a sister, but I enjoy reading about the family dynamics between them.
    Thanks for the giveaway.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

  19. follow by GFC
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

  20. I can definitely understand not talking to family for years at a time. I have some cousins who I haven't seen or heard from in at least 30 years. I actually don't even miss them. I would love to win this book as I enjoy novels about families and sisters.

    I'm a GFC Follower

    I tweeted the giveaway

    NoraAdrienne (at) gmail (dot) com

  21. Sounds like I wouldn't be able to put this one down once I picked it up for the first time!

    I'm glad you enjoyed it - thanks for being on the tour.

  22. Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the chance!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  23. GFC Follower

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  24. I follow you on Twitter and I Tweeted

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net


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