The Missing Sister by Dinah Jefferies
Publishing Date: 21st March 2019
Source: Received from the publisher, thank you!
Number of pages: 320
Genre: Historical Fiction
Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback
A stolen sister. A daughter determined to uncover the truth.
Belle Hatton has embarked upon an exciting new life far from home: a glamorous job as a nightclub singer in 1930s Burma, with a host of sophisticated new friends and admirers. But Belle is haunted by a mystery from the past – a 25 year old newspaper clipping found in her parents’ belongings after their death, saying that the Hattons were leaving Rangoon after the disappearance of their baby daughter, Elvira.
Belle is desperate to find out what happened to the sister she never knew she had – but when she starts asking questions, she is confronted with unsettling rumours, malicious gossip, and outright threats. Oliver, an attractive, easy-going American journalist, promises to help her, but an anonymous note tells her not to trust those closest to her. . .
Belle survives riots, intruders, and bomb attacks – but nothing will stop her in her mission to uncover the truth. Can she trust her growing feelings for Oliver? Is her sister really dead? And could there be a chance Belle might find her?
In “The Missing Sister” we are taken on a journey to Burma in 1936. Annabelle Hatton, known as Belle, travels to Rangoon to start her new job as a night club singer there. But there is also more to this trip – in one of her late father’s books she has discovered some old newspaper clippings about a three – weeks – old baby vanishing in 1911 from one of the gardens in Burma. It turns out it was Elvira, Belle’s older sister. She’s determined to discover what has happened to the baby. She finds help and encouragement in Oliver, a young journalist but can she really trust him? Little notes are posted under her door by a stranger, warning her off – is she in danger? And who wants to discourage her to looking after Elvira?
I love Dinah Jeffries books and the unpredictability of them. I never know where she’s going to take us, to which exotic nook of the world. I love her characters – strong, young women, usually well ahead of their times, quirky and bold. And I love how well researched her books are, and that she has such a keen eye for details. I know what I can expect from her novels and I always get it, and it was the same with “The Missing Sister”.
The chapters told from Diane, Belle’s mother, point of view, added so much to this story. We were slowly able to get to know the truth, to learn what has happened – and they were perfectly timed with Belle’s adventures. Diane’s grief after losing her baby was heart – breaking, actually seeing what was happening to her was heart – breaking, for so long she’s been blamed for the disappearance of her baby which resulted in her mental health turning down, and it was great to see her rising like a phoenix from the ashes eventually. But of course Belle’s time spent in Burma was exceptionally interesting – the author has made sure that she wasn’t sure whom to trust – the characters were really well developed, full of flaws and secrets and they were not afraid to harm others to keep their secrets secrets.
It was a very atmospheric story full of puzzles and mysteries. There were lies and secrets, corruptions, the overwhelming feeling of danger and this all blended with the gorgeous and fascinating descriptions of Burma that were colourful, vibrant, exotic and vivid and the author brings the setting and the strong characters easily to life and those things felt authentic. The writing was eloquent and elegant, seamlessly interweaving interesting plot and stunning location, mixing mystery and romance. “The Missing Sister” was a hooking, captivating read with a difference – highly recommended!
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