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Sister by Rosamund Lupton

Sister (edition 2010)

by Rosamund Lupton

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1,5081094,904 (3.81)98
Authors:Rosamund Lupton
Info:Piatkus Books (2010), Edition: Export ed, Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library, Fiction
Tags:Crime fiction, Murder, Mystery, Cystic Fibrosis, Psychological thriller

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Sister by Rosamund Lupton


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English (103)  Dutch (3)  German (2)  Spanish (1)  All languages (109)
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Rosamund Lupton’s debut novel, ‘Sisters’ announces its focus in the title, then carefully examines the bond between Bee and Tess, two young women with a history of making very different choices.

== What’s it about? ==

Beatrice is used to playing the older sister role with love, gravitas and a disapproving tone, so when she receives a phone call telling her Tess has gone missing, she flies home immediately, fully expecting to locate and scold her scatty sibling. (Though she greatly admires Tess’ bold, abstract paintings, Bee has never told her this, refusing to encourage her little sister to adopt such an uncertain ‘career’.)

When Tess is discovered dead, Bee is stunned but adamant that the sister she knew so well would never contemplate suicide. After all, they both lost a brother to cystic fibrosis when they were younger, so they know life is too precious to abandon. As the police, Beatrice’s fiance and mother all accept the apparent truth of Tess’ suicide, Bee struggles to make sense of what happened to her sister. Convinced Tess was murdered, Bee begins to investigate, but how well did Bee know her little sister? She’s going to find the answers, even if she loses everything along the way.

== What’s it like? ==

Amazing. Powerful. Beautiful. ‘Sister’ is written as a letter / narrative from Beatrice to Tess, who wants to explain to her sister what’s happened since she’s died, and why. This is all so beautifully / cleverly structured that I think I’m a little in awe of Rosamund Lupton, who moves seamlessly from past to present to more distant past and back again while sustaining a cast of numerous potential killers and the possibility that Bee is simply losing her mind.

It is seriously impressive that we are content to follow Beatrice’s viewpoint as she interviews, accuses and reassesses potential suspects, never once losing patience with her or reaching a definite conclusion ourself. How could we? This is Beatrice’s view. Her witness statement. As every character we meet is filtered through her perception, and as she has declared her intent to explain without the benefit of hindsight, it is impossible to move beyond her devloping insights.

As Bee investigates the characters peopling her sister’s life, she gradually comes to understand her sister and herself better. Indeed, as the novel develops Bee’s attitudes, appearance and values shift so much that she begins to resemble the sister she misses so desperately. This is at once a beautifully drawn portrait of a woman learning to find true meaning and beauty in life, (‘I had learned finally, like you, to put love before truth.’) but also a carefully plotted crime story that concludes with an absolutely perfect ending.

== Final thoughts ==

I genuinely loved this book and believe I have found a new favourite author. Every element of the story works perfectly in harmony with the others and by the end I felt that I could hold the whole in the ball of my hand as a twinkling globe, lights shifting and illuminating new facets as I flex my palm. The ending left me with so much to think about and to hope for after such a thoroughly engrossing narrative. I loved seeing Bee’s character develop, seeing her really grow into a positive and open young woman, even as she became more unwell and her world wobbled around her.

Truly fantastic fiction. Read it. Then, if you’re lucky enough to have a sister, think about what she could teach you. ( )
  brokenangelkisses | Jun 29, 2016 |
I found this a frustrating read - I wanted to like it, but found the writing style slow going and hard to navigate. For starters it's framed in a roundabout way - narrator Bee is looking back at the events surrounding her sister's disappearance, and the story consists of her talking to her absent sister about talking to a prosecutor about talking to the police about her sister's disappearance (got that?). Dialogue is constantly interrupted by Bee analysing people's posture, their facial expression, the things they might have wanted to say but didn't, and by the time you've got through all that you have forgotten what the person said in the first place. As a reader I like some things to be left for me to assume. If someone yells "STOP!" at the top of their voice, I'm capable of working out that they're in a state of agitation, but our Bee will no doubt explain that, as well as postulating several theories about why this might be. It's not necessary, it clogs up the narrative, and instead of being carried effortlessly through a conversation it's like trying to pick your way across a Lego strewn carpet.

This aside, it was always a pleasure to pick up at the end of the day: it had a satisfying meatiness about it, and there was plenty going on. The detective element of it I found hard to swallow, relying as it did on multiple breaches of confidentiality which would never happen in real life (meaning that I was constantly reminded it was 'only' fiction), but it does pack a sizeable surprise at the end, which was really impressive, both in its capacity as a game-changer, and in the fact that I didn't for one moment see it coming. ( )
  jayne_charles | Mar 30, 2016 |
When her mom calls to tell her that Tess, her younger sister, is missing, Bee returns home to London on the first flight. She expects to find Tess and give her the usual lecture, the bossy big sister scolding her flighty baby sister for taking off without letting anyone know her plans. Tess has always been a free spirit, an artist who takes risks, while conservative Bee couldn't be more different. Bee is used to watching out for her wayward sibling and is fiercely protective of Tess (and has always been a little stern about her antics). But then Tess is found dead, apparently by her own hand. As a determined Bee gives her statement to the lead investigator, her story reveals a predator who got away with murder - and an obsession that may cost Bee her own life. ( )
  jepeters333 | Mar 22, 2016 |
Another sad book but one I did enjoy and recommend others to read. The twist at the end was unexpected. The writing was beautiful as was the way the author dealt with the relationships between sisters and mother and daughters. Relationships are complex and sometimes not exactly what we think they are. ( )
  scot2 | Feb 6, 2016 |
"Sister" is an intriguing book about a woman coming to terms with her sister's death. The police have called Tess' death suicide, but Beatrice know her sister too well and is convinced she has been murdered and will not rest until the truth has been revealed.

Told from Bee's point of view in the form of a letter to her beloved sister, the reader gradually learns more about the two women, their precarious childhood, their daily lives and the strong bond between them despite their vast differences.

Beautifully written, this book is heart-wrenching, gripping and intense. Not only is it a murder mystery but also a wonderful exploration of the special relationship between sisters. A great read! ( )
  HeatherLINC | Jan 23, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
[An] unusual and searing debut...
added by Shortride | editPublishers Weekly (Apr 4, 2011)
Lupton's crisp insights into grief and familial guilt are married to a confidently executed plot. Free from the genre's more mawkish excesses, Lupton's persuasive narrative voice is what keeps this classy debut on track.
Like Kate Atkinson, Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Rendell, Lupton builds suspense not only around the causes and details of her story’s brutal denouement, but also around the personalities and motivations of those who lunge and those who duck..... Both tear-jerking and spine-tingling, “Sister” provides an adrenaline rush that could cause a chill on the sunniest afternoon — which, perhaps, the friendly company of a sister or two (or, in a pinch, a brother) might help to dispel.

» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Rosamund Luptonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bol, IrisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rouwé, MarcelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Waar zullen we een betere dochter, een lievere zuster of een oprechtere vriendin zien?

Jane Austen, Emma

Doch sloop' de winter ook de bloemen, hij heeft

Slechts macht op 't hulsel, 't lieflijke wezen leeft.

Shakespeare, Sonnet 5
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Voor mijn ouders, Kit en Jane Orde-Powlett, uit dankbaarheid dat ze me mijn hele leven hebben aangemoedigd

En voor Martin, mijn echtgenoot, met al mijn liefde
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Lieve Tess,

Ik zou er echt alles voor overhebben om nu, op dit moment, bij je te zijn zodat ik je hand kon vasthouden, naar je gezicht kon kijken en naar je stem kon luisteren.
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Book description
Nothing can break the bond between sisters...

When Beatrice gets a frantic call in the middle of Sunday lunch to say that her younger sister Tess is missing, she boards the first flight home to London. But as she learns about the circumstances surrounding Tess's disappearance, she is stunned to discover how little she actually knows of her sister's life — and unprepared for the terrifying truths she must now face.

The police, Beatrice's fiancé and even their mother accept they have lost Tess, but Beatrice refuses to give up on her. So she embarks on a dangerous journey to discover the truth, no matter the cost.

Their bond was unbreakable. The truth was unimaginable.

Haiku summary

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'My sister would never have killed herself...' When Beatrice hears that her little sister, Tess, is missing, she returns home to London on the first flight available. But Bee is unprepared for the terrifying truths she must face about her younger sibling when Tess's broken body is discovered in the snow. The police, Bee's friends, her fiance and even her mother accept the fact that Tess committed suicide. But nobody knows a sister like a sister, and Bee is convinced that something more sinister is responsible for Tess's untimely death. So she embarks on a dangerous journey to discover the truth, no matter the cost...… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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