Blood Sisters by Jane Corry / Blog Tour

Good morning! I am so, so THRILLED to start this Friday with a review of Jane Corry’s Blood Sister as a part of her new, epic blog tour. Having read Jane’s previous novel I couldn’t wait for her new release, and believe me, guys – this book is dark but not too dark, full of lies and secrets that are not too overwhelming – it is just a perfect book for one sitting. Why only one? Because when you start reading it, you won’t be able to put it down!

Blood Sisters by Jane Corry

32874095Publisher: Penguin

Publishing Date: 29th June 2017

Source:  Received from the publisher in return for an honest review!

Number of pages: 464

Genre:  Mystery/Psychological Thriller

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback

 

 

Synopsis:

From the author of the Sunday Times bestseller MY HUSBAND’S WIFE

Three little girls set off to school one sunny May morning.
Within an hour, one of them is dead.

Fifteen years later, Alison and Kitty are living separate lives. Kitty lives in a care home. She can’t speak, and she has no memory of the accident that put her here, or her life before it.

Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up she decides to take it – this is her chance to finally make things right.

But someone is watching Kitty and Alison.
Someone who wants revenge for what happened that day.
And only another life will do…

 

Rating: five-stars

Having read and absolutely loved Jane Corry’s previous novel, My Husband’s Wife, I was incredibly excited to read her new release, Blood Sisters. This book has completely drawn me in – I actually read it on one Sunday, forgetting about the world going around and reality. It was full of surprises, and I love when a book is able to surprise me in a way Blood Sisters did, with its complex plot, the unreliable narrators that you weren’t sure if you should trust, and playing games with our minds.

The story is a slow burner, so be prepared that the first part may feel a little too long or as if there is almost nothing happening there – and I’ve already started to panic, guys, it made me feel so, so scared! However, with the second part the story gains incredible tempo, there are many twists and turns on the way and really you won’t be able to put the book down. When you think that everything is clear already, that we know all we should know, the author throws another surprise and everything changes.

The story was told in two alternating perspectives by the half – sisters Alison and Kitty, taking us on a journey to their past and present. Alison is an art teacher, Kitty is living in a home as she’s severely disabled, with a brain damage and she doesn’t remember what happened to bring her to this home in the first place. The connection between Alison and Kitty is quickly explained and throughout the story we start to learn more about the secrets that bond them together.

Alison is an artist and a teacher, and she applies for a job in an open prison for art classes for the inmates. Alison was relatively hard to “breach” and to warm into, to be honest, as she was so very introvert, but I also could understand her, especially as more and more facts about her were unravelled. It just seemed as if Alison was all the time holding back and keeping something for her. On the other hand, her half – sister Kitty was like and open book, not holding her thoughts back from us. It was incredible how deeply the author has managed to get into Kitty’s head. She has so brilliantly and realistically captured Kitty’s frustrations when she couldn’t express herself, when the only thing that came out of her mouth, instead of words, were sounds and babbles. However, and I really don’t know if this makes me a really bad person, I couldn’t help the feeling that Kitty deserved what’s happened to her. There, I said it. Sure, I sympathized with her, I pitied her but still I couldn’t help thinking that she was asking for what’s happened – and I think she will never change. But of course, Kitty’s story was also heart – breaking and it was exceptionally emotional to see how frustrated she was, fighting to grab hold of her flyaway memories, to communicate with the outside world. Jane Corry has so well described how the brain damage affected Kitty and her behaviour, but also how it affected the closes to her.

The author has written the characters in such a great way. There was a depth to them and even though they were not all likeable, you still want that everything will turn well for them. You also never know who to trust, as they were all telling so many lies to protect themselves – it may sound scaring but believe me, this complex web of lies was superbly created and it just sucks you in, and you are desperate to know what actually has happened.

This book was perfectly written, with realistic and diverse characters, with sharp dialogues and the plot was complex and intriguing, panning out in a way that was totally unpredictable. It was fast – paced (even with the beginning being on the slow side – I know it sounds weird but well, it is so), there was not a single flat moment, it kept me all the time on my tenterhooks. Blood Sisters was an incredible tale of sibling rivalry, misunderstandings, abuse, lies and secrets. Jane Corry has also included a lot of her experience from working in a prison, as you really have a feeling that she truly knows what she’s writing about, that she knows the prison and its secrets inside out. It was fascinating to see how it all works there.

I liked that the chapters were short and dynamic, and they often ended on the cliffhanger, and I had to resist, more than often, to turn the next few pages only to see the first few sentences of the following chapter to see what is going to happen there. They are also guilty for me reading the book in one day only – I think you also know that syndrome of “only one more chapter” and then finishing the book on one breath almost. It really felt as if I were a witness to the events, as if they were happening next to me, so realistic and distinctive was the narration.

I loved how the whole story was created – it was complex and complicated but not in a way that would do your head in, when you don’t understand anything. There were many clues and tips at how the characters are connected and it was slowly untangling the whole web of secrets, discreetly and gently adding more and more of them – but I have never felt overwhelmed with them or confused. We are aware that things have happened in the past and the author takes us on a slow, but fast – paced, journey full of tension and questions that leads to a great grande – finale. It was really like taking one step forward and three steps back, getting answer to one questions and getting few new questions instead, and it was bloody, bloody brilliant! There is really so much more to this book than meet the eye! It is dark, it is disturbing but it is a great read about guilt and about what are we able to do to protect are closest ones, written in a very vivid way, effortlessly bringing all the small and big things to life. Highly recommended from me!

FOLLOW THE BLOG TOUR:

image3

Advertisements

My Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry

My Husband’s Wife

by Jane Corry

 

Publisher: Penguin

Publishing Date: 26th May 2016

Source:  Copy provided by the publisher, thank you!

Number of pages: 528

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Psychological Thriller

 Buy the Book: Kindle | Paperback  (out on 25.08.2016)

 

 Synopsis:

It’s the perfect love story.

Lily meets Ed at a party, and on their second date, he proposes. She’s a lawyer, he’s an up-and-coming artist. They own a small but beautiful flat in London and mix with all the right people.

But Lily has a secret. Something from her past, that is soon to collide with her present. And she thinks her new husband is hiding something too…

The vows they made will soon be tested to the very limits.

‚Till death us do part…’

Perfect for readers of Liane Moriarty and Clare Mackintosh, lose yourself in the twist-filled story that everyone’s talking about.

Rating: 5/5

 

Every once in a while there appears a book that you have a feeling is going to be a hit, to be big and that you are desperate to read. It was the case with „My Husband’s Wife” by Jane Corry, as soon as I’ve seen this title, this cover and read the blurb my gut feeling was telling me this is THE book and I was looking forward to reading it. It is a large book, with more than 500 pages long, but I’ve read it in only a few sittings, getting angry when life was getting in the way and was dragging me away from my comfortable place on my sofa and my reading time. This is this kind of book that slowly sucks you in and before you know it, you’ve finished it in almost one sitting. It’s captivating, it’s gripping, it’s hooking and you keep turning the pages wanting more and more.

I am sure that many readers may be confused at the beginning, just like I was a little, because the book tells stories of characters that at the first glance have nothing in common with each other. I also asked myself what are they to do with each other? How are they stories going to intertwine, if they are going to intertwine? We have here two different, but equally captivating stories about Lily, a lawyer, recently married to Ed, an artist, and Carla, a young Italian girl who lives with her mother next to Lily and Ed. All of the characters keep lots of secrets that even the closest ones don’t know. These two stories slowly interlock, entwine. Lily and Ed aren’t a match made in heaven, it must to be told, and even though Lily wasn’t the easiest one, I totally blame Ed here. Ed, who was like a typical artist, on a high when his career was running, and down when he was being criticised, but can you always blame everything on being an artist? I don’t know, I’ve just never warmed to him, I can’t put my finger why exactly, but I can’t help my feelings here. Life is not always a bowl of cherries and you can’t always do what you love to pay the bills, Ed, and enjoying a drink or two (or six) too many is not a solution. I liked Lily, on the other hand, and I adored the descriptions of her job, and even though it was crystal clear from the beginning that she also has secrets of her own (we don’t get to know these secrets till almost the end of the book, though I was not all too shocked by them to be honest, even if you may call them controversial) but even when the secrets were revealed I didn’t change my mind about her. Life didn’t spoil her but she did her best in my opinion.
On the other side we have Carla and her mum. I don’t know if it’s healthy, not liking a child, even if it is a fictional child in a story, but I’ve never warmed to Carla. Never. There was something so snake – like in her and I didn’t fell for her sad story of being bullied, being lonely etc. Sure, it was awful for her as a child, but I very quickly discovered this second side to her, her being a champion in manipulation to get what she wanted – the same as her mother, so really it’s true here: like mother, like daughter. Sure, their lives were not the easiest but they are not the only ones with difficult lives, right? I don’t know, but whatever they did I had a feeling that they are wrong, and everything they did turned against them. But I think that the biggest problem for me was the fact that these two were, as I have already mentioned, so manipulative, and later on I had a feeling Carla grew up to be a very toxic person, it was like she was suffocating others, closing on on them and personally I didn’t feel well in her company, and it surprised me so much that Lily maybe not trusted her totally, but just let her on, opened her doors for Carla. Yes, the characters really got under my skin, it is amazing how strong, distinctive they were, how memorable and I still think about them all the time.

So the story was told alternatively between Lily and Carla and stretched over 15 years, as it all really started 15 years ago. In this period of time we really get to know the characters and we learn a lot about them and their private lives. We get to like or hate them, to judge them, we see that Lily and Ed’s marriage isn’t entirely a happy one, and this all is written in a brilliant way. I felt like a part of their world, like a part of the book, I was almost breathing with them, so well could the author describe them, their feelings and emotions. Throughout the story we switch between past and future and while sometimes it is really confusing, here I didn’t have any problem with the changes. Moreover, right from the beginning we know that Ed is dead, and Jane Corry build up the tension through the story, until we arrive to the moment of his death. Thanks to the narrative we get a chance to hear the same story but from different sides, to carve out our own opinions and I enjoyed it greatly.

Jane Corry can incredibly well get into the characters’ heads and how well she could describe those split, complex personalities. They are so well drawn and so complicated, all of them have secrets that turn out into a captivating, dark story. The author has so greatly captured and described the feelings of fascination, forbidden relationships, domestic problems and I found it really fascinating how well she can „does” the feelings. They felt so vivid and powerful and all the time I had a feeling there is much more to the characters than meet the eye – and I was right.

There is something addictive in the writing style and Jane Corry in the best possible way weave the characters in the web of lies, leaving the reader to wonder and guess what’s going to happen, who’s guilty and who’s innocent. There are plenty of twists and turns, very impressive when you think about them, not on the too obvious, too far – fetched side, but really surprising, clever, impressive turns. The pace of the book is not too rushed, it’s slow and steady but even though there is not a single flat moment. It is a very complex novel, with many layers but it’s very easy to keep on track with it, it’s not confusing and I’ve never felt lost, what can sometimes happen with books concentrating on so many issues. I truly admire the author for so brilliantly broaching such issues like bullying, manipulation, lies, betrayals, mental illness, giving a very deep insight on each of those issues. Yes, having in mind the number of pages and the way the book was told, stretching in time and concentrating on many things, I found the end a little too short in comparison to the whole story. It was not rushed, as it usually happens, but it was just too short for my liking, too sudden. But even though, I feel contended and have a feeling that all the loose ends are very neatly wrapped up.

There is so much depth to this story, and so much borders are crossed, so many boundaries are pushed, but it is all done with a tons of gentleness, in a very delicate, gentle way. Unwrapping the many layers was captivating and there was a feeling of the overwhelming tension. This book has really it all: tension, mystery, drama, shock, and often I found myself wondering whom shall I trust. Because of the complexity of the characters it was really hard to decide who is the good and who is the bad one, and the author played with us, all the time changing the directions and making us feeling unsure about Lilly, Carla, Ed… And I loved this mental games, I really enjoyed it, and I just let the author to take me on a very surprising journey.

„My Husband’s Wife” is a complex, thought – provoking (starting with the title already!) story full of secrets and lies, but they are not overwhelming in any way. It is for sure a book that is going to stay with you for longer than average. It is a perfect mix of psychological family drama, crime and dark relationships. It was unpredictable read and I didn’t know what’s going to happen next, and I loved it, and really, the whole story totally fulfilled my expectations. It is a different, unique read that had me gripped, sharp – observed family drama that I won’t forget for long. Highly recommended!