Publication Date: 4 August 2015
Format: eBook, 336 pgs
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
I'd read Jennifer McMahon's Promise Not to Tell and enjoyed it; so much so that I quickly devoured her latest release, The Night Sister, despite that I have yet to read her other older releases. I know I will get to them at some point, but for this moment I wanted to read Ms. McMahon's latest and be swept away by her fantastic storytelling. After all, who wouldn't be intrigued by an atmospheric setting of a run-down old motel and a suspenseful tale about sisters and secrets?
Set in London, Vermont, with the time period alternates between the 1950s and 2013, it is a tale about three girls who'd stumbled upon a past that would ruin their friendship forever.
Amy, Piper and Piper's kid sister, Margot, would never forget the day they found a suitcase containing some old clothings and a picture of Amy's mother, Rose and her elder sister, Sylvie Slater, when they were children. Amy's memories of her mother are vague, since her childhood was mostly spent with her grandmother, Charlotte. She also understood from her grandmother that Aunt Sylvie disappeared at the age of eighteen and her disappearance has deeply traumatized her mother, Rose.
Now as adults, Piper and Margot tried to forget about their teenaged past since Amy has chosen to distance from them. But it seems the past has caught up on them once again when the news of Amy's death got to Piper and Margot and Piper. And what shocked them most is that it seemed Amy had killed her husband and son before shooting herself; her young daughter is the only survivor. What was the motive and why was there an old picture of Rose and Sylvie with two words "29 rooms" scribbled on it at the crime scene?
As much as this is a story about Amy, Piper and Margot, at its core it's about the relationship between Sylvie and Rose, and the secrets they'd shared and hid from each other. Sylvie and and Rose are an interesting characters to read; Sylvie is the golden girl who has big dreams of becoming the next leading actress of Mr. Alfred Hitchcock's movies while Rose is the quiet girl who thinks she has no beauty and talents.
As in Jennifer McMahon's style, there is a hint of the supernatural element alongside with the mystery, but this is quite different from her other books. The characterisations are interesting and the book was unputdownable. However, there is something which kept me from giving this book a 5-star ratings but I wouldn't say what it is since I don't want to spoil anything. That said, it didn't take away my joy of reading it. As I said, Ms. McMahon is a fantastic storyteller; I was totally entranced by her storytelling and that's all I've got to say about this book.