Thursday, July 20, 2017

TLC Book Tour : My Sister's Bones

Nuala Ellwood's debut novel kept me turning pages long past my bedtime a few nights ago.  There's a lot to enjoy about this first novel.

Synopsis taken from the HarperCollins website:

In the vein of Fiona Barton's The Widow and Renée Knight's Disclaimer, a psychological thriller about a war reporter who returns to her childhood home after her mother's death but becomes convinced that all is not well in the house next door—but is what she’s seeing real or a symptom of the trauma she suffered in Syria?
The One Person You Should Trust Is Lying to You…Kate has spent fifteen years bringing global injustice home: as a decorated war reporter, she’s always in a place of conflict, writing about ordinary people in unimaginable situations. When her mother dies, Kate returns home from Syria for the funeral. But an incident with a young Syrian boy haunts her dreams, and when Kate sees a boy in the garden of the house next door—a house inhabited by an Iraqi refugee who claims her husband is away and she has no children—Kate becomes convinced that something is very wrong.
As she struggles to separate her memories of Syria from the quiet town in which she grew up—and also to reconcile her memories of a traumatic childhood with her sister’s insistence that all was not as Kate remembers—she begins to wonder what is actually true…and what is just in her mind.

In this gripping, timely debut, Nuala Ellwood brings us an unforgettable damaged character, a haunting , humanizing look at the Syrian conflict, and a deeply harrowing psychological thriller that readers won’t be able to put down.

My Thoughts:

I can't write a synopsis any better than the one from the publisher.  There are lots of twists and turns to this story, and my attempting to write a synopsis wold no doubt lead to forgetting something important, or including a spoiler.

More than psychological suspense, I feel like this book falls under the family drama umbrella.  Although there is some suspense, it occurs later in the book, and by that point the resolution of the story was no surprise.  That doesn't mean I didn't like this book, because I did enjoy it a great deal, but I read a lot of books termed psychological thrillers. With so many experiences reading these novels, I'm getting rather good at predicting endings.

Ellwood's novel includes a few things not found in most novels of this type: the inclusion of information on world/current events.  Kate's job as a journalist in a war zone brings a bit of reality to this novel that many of this genre lack.  In addition, I found the way the plot moves between Kate to her sister Sally to be another rather novel approach to telling this story.  It kept me guessing a bit as to who the story was focusing on and what the resolution would be.

Because this is Ellwood's debut novel, I'm hopeful she has a few more ideas she wants to share with readers in the future.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for providing a copy of the book for my review.  All opinions expressed are, as always, my own.

Visit the HarperCollins website for more information about this book.

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

No matter how much I read, I just never get good at predicting endings. LOL! I'm glad that your ability to do it didn't impede your enjoyment of this fantastic book. :)

Thanks for being a part of the tour!