Saturday, 2 May 2015

Review: The Seven Sisters: A Novel by Lucinda Riley

The first book in a major new series from the #1 internationally bestselling author Lucinda Riley.

Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings.

Eighty years earlier in Rio’s Belle Epoque of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to complete his vision. Izabela—passionate and longing to see the world—convinces her father to allow her to accompany him and his family to Europe before she is married. There, at Paul Landowski’s studio and in the heady, vibrant cafes of Montparnasse, she meets ambitious young sculptor Laurent Brouilly, and knows at once that her life will never be the same again.

In this sweeping, epic tale of love and loss—the first in a unique, spellbinding series of seven novels—Lucinda Riley showcases her storytelling talent like never before.

Hardcover, 480 pages
Expected publication: May 5th 2015 by Atria Books

Terri's Thoughts

**I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher Atria via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is May 5th 2015**

I will start by saying that I was beyond excited to receive a copy of this book.  I discovered the writing of Lucinda Riley some time ago purely by accident when I saw one of her titles recommended to me on Goodreads as something I may be interested in based on other novels I liked in the same genre.  I have then gone on to read all of her works (that I am aware of) and enjoyed them all immensely.  When I saw this one I knew I had to have it....and that it was a part of a series...even better as I know there is more upcoming work of hers to enjoy.  As a huge fan of historical fiction her work thus far has provided me with countless hours of entertainment.

I am going to draft this review a little bit different than others I have done in the past.  As I have high expectations I am going to write little by little as I go through the book so that I can give it the justice I am sure it will pressure here!  I am also going to try to avoid any spoilers which may be difficult in this format

20% complete

I have reached the 20% completion mark and I am completely excite where this story is headed.  The only reason I have put the boo down is that my kindle has ran out of power and I am currently charging it.
The beginning of the story has the reader meeting Maia as well as five of her sisters.  I have questions already....the title is The Seven Sisters...who and where is the seventh sister?  I am sure that will be the last sister we here about and will wrap up the series...oh so long to wait but so much to look forward to in the meantime.  I can see how this series is going to unfold with each novel telling the story of each sister.
As the synopsis of the book indicates all of the sisters are adopted and have been given a clue to their heritage.  As a huge fan of Riley's I know that this will be an opening for us to learn the story of Maia's heritage and as the story progresses we will read the story of her birth family along with her journey in the present time.  This is what Riley does so well and let's be honest...the blurb on this book also tells us so!
As of now the story has remained firmly entrenched in the present day and I eagerly await for it to turn to the past.  I have not been this excited for a story in a while!  Let's hope the remainder lives up to the high expectations that I have for it.

50% Complete

I have just spent the majority of the 20-50% in the past learning about Izabela's story.  As always the past is what captivates my attention.  The story remained there and did not flip back in forth so it appears that it will be chunks of time between the present and past as opposed to moving back and forth within each chapter.  I am not giving any plot away but it pulled at my heartstrings.  I simply cannot wait to see what happens.  The big question I have at this period is how Izabela is linked to Maia's story.  We know that she is not her mother as it happened too long ago however she is linked by birth relation.  I am not sure how or when her mother is going to fit in to the story or if at this point it will make sense.  I must move on to find out.

Remainder of Book

I knew this would happen.  I got so involved in the book that I couldn't stop along the way to pen my thoughts.  I had to find out what happened next so essentially this review is going to be all over the place.  I refuse to give away any of the plot however I will note some random thoughts
  • I will cut to the chase and say I LOVED this book.  For the fans of Lucinda Riley, this is my undisputed favorite book of hers so far.  For those who have not discovered her work and like historical fiction...pick this book up now
  • I can see how there are going to be several layers to this story within the subsequent stories of the other sisters.  The major mystery being who is the girls adopted father and what is/was his story?  I'm guessing here but I think we will see tidbits thrown in to each story and perhaps it will all tie together when we get to the story of the seventh sister.  I predict that story will be about him.  I am completely intrigued.
  • I love the fact that this will be a series and I am excited that we will learn more about this family and most likely the tragic stories of where each sister came from.

I do have one rather large disappointment about this book.  I read this as an advanced copy and it is only the first in the series.  I do not know how long I will have to wait until the next one comes out but I simply have to read it now!  I almost wish I didn't discover this book until the entire series was released so I could read them back to back!  I will be checking daily to see when the next one will be released.  You can be sure I will be the first in line to receive it.  Lucinda Riley has very quickly made it to the top of my must read and own authors.  Thank you for continuing to entertain me.  The best book that I have read so far this year.

About the Author
Lucinda Riley was born in Ireland and during her childhood travelled extensively abroad, particularly to the Far East to visit her father.

Moving to London she became an actress working in film, theatre and television. Five years ago she designed and built a house on the island of Koh Chang in Thailand, where her father had purchased land many years before. Her passion for history combined with her love of travel, and Thailand in particular, inspired her to write her novel Hothouse Flower, published by Penguin in November 2010.

She currently lives in Norfolk and France with her husband and four children.
Twitter:  lucindariley

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