10 reviews

Sister: A Novel
by Rosamund Lupton

Published: 2011-06-07
Kindle Edition : 352 pages
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24 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 9 of 10 members
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. ...
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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.

Bee is certain that Tess didn’t commit suicide. Their family and the police accept the sad reality, but Bee feels sure that Tess has been murdered. Single-minded in her search for a killer, Bee moves into Tess’s apartment and throws herself headlong into her sister’s life—and all its secrets.

Though her family and the police see a grieving sister in denial, unwilling to accept the facts, Bee uncovers the affair Tess was having with a married man and the pregnancy that resulted, and her difficulty with a stalker who may have crossed the line when Tess refused his advances. Tess was also participating in an experimental medical trial that might have gone very wrong. 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.

A thrilling story of fierce love between siblings, Sister is a suspenseful and accomplished debut with a stunning twist.

Editorial Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2011: When the body of Beatriceâ??s beloved younger sister, Tess, is discovered in an abandoned building in Hyde Park and ruled a suicide, Beatrice knows the police have made a mistake. Sheâ??s certain her sister was murdered. Determined to uncover the truth, Beatrice impulsively begins to hunt for clues on her own. So begins Rosamund Luptonâ??s stunning debut, Sister, at once an engrossing thriller and a powerful meditation on the bonds of family. Writing her story as a letter to Tess, Beatrice gradually connects the strange, varied occurrences leading up to Tessâ??s death--Tessâ??s pregnancy; a trial drug from a pharmaceutical company; a man who may or may not have been a figment of Tessâ??s imagination. Beatriceâ??s former life falls apart as her search veers toward obsession, and she realizes she might pay a terrible price for the truth. An adrenaline-filled psychological thriller, Sisterâ??s emotional impact comes from Luptonâ??s heartrending portrait of the love between Beatrice and Tess. --Lynette Mong
Amazon Exclusive: A Q&A with Rosamund Lupton

We had the opportunity to chat with bestselling author Rosamund Lupton about her debut novel (and one of our Best Books of June 2011), Sister, via e-mail. Read on to see what Rosamund had to say about London, sisterhood, her next novel, and more:

Amazon.com: Before writing Sister, you worked for many years as a screenwriter. How does the process of writing a novel differ from writing for television?

Rosamund Lupton: When I was writing screenplays I was just one part of a creative process, it would take the talents of many other people to bring the screenplay to life. With a novel, you know what you type is the finished thing--thereâ??s just me--and that feels both daunting and liberating. As a screenwriter I was often ticked off for "directing from the page" or "writing a novel not a script!" Now, I love being able to use as many words as I like to tell the story--a hundred thousand in the case of Sister--and being able to write the interior life of a character as well as their surface interactions.

Amazon.com: I love the way London almost becomes a character unto itself in this story. The city seems to mimic Beatriceâ??s emotional state while she searches for clues about Tessâ??s death. Why did you select London as the setting? Did you spend time exploring the places Beatrice visits?

Rosamund Lupton: I chose London as I know it so well, Iâ??ve lived here for many years, and because, as you say, it possesses a chameleon quality to show a state of mind. For example, Hyde Park in the depth of winter is covered in snow and silent, with leafless trees and is so different from a bright Spring day when the trees and grass are green and thereâ??s children paddling in the fountain. Iâ??m not surprised its been used so often for films; it has a cinematic quality and at the beginning of the book itâ??s like a black and white film set to me. I already knew all the places Beatrice visits as they are close to where I lived for many years, or worked, so the city is like an old friend.

Amazon.com: Sister is written as a letter from Beatrice to Tess. Why did you choose to structure the novel this way?

Rosamund Lupton: At one point, Beatrice says to Tess, "itâ??s a one way conversation, but one I could only have with you." I felt that writing it this way continually demonstrates their intimacy. Also, as a former scriptwriter, I found it easier to tell the story as one character speaking to another; as if itâ??s one half of a dialogue.

Amazon.com: Did your relationship with your own sister impact how you crafted the relationship between Beatrice and Tess?

Rosamund Lupton: I know as an older sister how protective and responsible Iâ??ve always felt towards my sister and I posed the question, what would you do if your sister went missing? I knew that Beatrice in the book would drop everything and get the first flight to find Tess--as I think almost any sister would do. Although Beatrice and Tess are very different from my sister and myself, the emotional truth of their relationship is one I know well. Like my sister and I, the closeness between them is made up of a million tiny details rather than simply the "big things." Some small details are drawn directly from my own life. For example, my sister and I wrote to each other at boarding school, and used jigsaw letters and ones with invisible ink.

Amazon.com: Can you tell us anything about your next novel?

Rosamund Lupton: It begins with a mother running into a burning school to rescue her teenage daughter. The book continues to be about how far a woman will go to protect her family. Itâ??s ultimately about love not recognizing any boundaries.

Amazon.com: Sister is bound to be on a lot of summer reading lists. What are you looking forward to reading this summer?

Rosamund Lupton: I have a big pile of books that are looking so enticing, I canâ??t wait to have time to read them! At the top are Jennifer Eganâ??s A Visit from the Goon Squad and Sarah Winmanâ??s When God Was a Rabbit.


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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
  "This is get-nothing-else-done, stay-up-late unputdownable"by ELIZABETH V. (see profile) 05/24/15

Rosamund Lupton's SISTER is told in a manner unlike other novels, that is, as the past-tense story of Beatrice's learning about and investigation into the death of her sister Tess, as relate... (read more)

  "Interesting"by Rita W. (see profile) 05/12/15

Slow start but once I got who was talking to who, it was a fast and page turner read.

  "Twists and Turns will Keep you Reading"by Stacie G. (see profile) 09/12/13

Haunting novel told to the dead sister from the sister left living. Good read, but not much to discuss.

  "Sister"by Lynn W. (see profile) 06/24/12

Beautifully written: the book jumps from the present to the past to the distant past of the characters, yet the author manages to keep the reader with her. Told in first person by one of the sisters,... (read more)

  "Sister"by Crystal N. (see profile) 05/02/12

I liked that it was different and I had no idea that it was going to end the way it did. It will probably tick a lot of people off.

  "Sister"by Candi B. (see profile) 02/09/12

This was an amazing, well-written book about the love shared between two sisters.

  "Sister"by Karla A. (see profile) 01/30/12

The author took way too much time to tell a simple story. The main character was repetitive and unbelievable.

  "I liked it but it was a bit slow"by Stephanie T. (see profile) 01/05/12

I liked this book, but found myself putting it down quite a bit which is unusual for me. I loved the relationship between the sisters, and the overall message the author sends but I thought the book went... (read more)

  "Sister: A Novel"by Rawles K. (see profile) 09/19/11

Formatted beautifully, this is a story of hope, determination, and one woman's unfailing loyalty towards her missing sister. It is a story of what grief can do to different people, and how never giving... (read more)

  "Nice Change"by Lisa M. (see profile) 09/12/11

A fun and addictive read, Sister takes you on the chase as the story unfolds in the current and first person. A thrill to the end, you will enjoy guessing "who did it".

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