A terrible fire consumes a private school and two people are hurt. Grace, and her seventeen-year-old daughter Jenny, suffer extreme injuries and are in the hospital, both in deep comas. The results of the fire leave a family broken, waiting to see if Grace and Jenny will survive, and Adam, Grace's eight-year-old son, is blamed for starting the fire.
Grace and Jenny hover in an in-between state. They are outside of their bodies and can communicate with each other, move around the hospital and follow others, completely unseen. They firmly believe Adam didn't cause the fire, and they investigate to find who did. Since Jenny can't remember events right before the fire, it's up to Grace to do the legwork, and unbeknownst to Sara, her sister-in-law who is also a police officer, Grace follows her throughout the investigation to exonerate her son. All the while, Grace keeps watch over her husband and children and feels the strong love which, when it comes to family, will never die.
Guys, I'm really sorry. I tried but I found this extremely difficult to enjoy. While the mystery was intriguing, Rosamund Lupton employs the second person point-of-view, which means that the primary character, Grace, is communicating in a "you" format. The "you" she is referencing is her husband, and while there were several tender moments that clearly expressed Grace's strong foundation of devotion to her husband and children, it just became tough to read the book with "you" instead of "he" in every moment with her husband. I unexpectedly realized that around page 250, I had started to skim to get a better idea of what was happening, and skipping over each "you" as much as I possibly could.
While I found it tough, I applaud the author for her creative attempt and I know that others will (and have) enjoyed this book so far. I do feel the opportunity to have the primary characters conduct the investigation through their out-of-body experience was really interesting, but at the end of the day, it didn't work for me. I even started to think that it might be more engaging if Grace's sister, Sara, the police officer, was the central character. Which means that it certainly would have been more difficult to insert the supernatural element into it, and ultimately would have destroyed the ambition to do something extremely unique, so I then ask myself, what the heck do I know? I'm no expert, but the second person POV just became so difficult to be comfortable with, that I started daydreaming and wondering what it would have been like if other characters led the perspective in first person.
As I mentioned earlier, the mystery itself is very interesting, and I definitely was surprised when certain twists popped up. I do wish it was a little shorter, but I think that feeling is only because the POV was challenging.
The bottom line is this: I'm no ultimate authority, and I am definitely in the minority with my thoughts. Anyone can jump onto Goodreads and other sites which reflect many more positive reviews than negative ones. I am certain something is wrong with me, so I encourage you to take a look at what other reviewers thought before making a final decision to read or not to read it. And, yes, I'm still going to read Sister.
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Release Date: April 24, 2012
The publisher is kind enough to give one copy to a lucky winner (U.S. entries). Leave a comment with your email address. Entries accepted through Sunday, May 13, 2012.
About the Author
Rosamund Lupton is the best-selling author of Sister. She lives in London with her husband and two sons.
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Thanks to TLC Book Tours for inviting me to participate. The full list of reviews on this tour can be found here.