Kate Rafter is a high-flying war reporter. She’s the strong one. The one who escaped their father. Her younger sister Sally didn’t. Instead, she drinks. But when their mother dies, Kate is forced to return home. And on her first night she is woken by a terrifying scream. At first Kate tells herself it’s just a nightmare. But then she hears it again. And this time she knows she’s not imagining it. What secret is lurking in the old family home? And is she strong enough to uncover it…and make it out alive?
My Sister’s Bones was definitely not what I was expecting. Maybe it’s because I don’t remember reading the blurb when I got the book, but I thought this would be more of a classic domestic thriller. Instead, I found myself reading a novel about a woman suffering from PTSD and an old house that hides more than one dark secret. A very unique story, no doubt.
Nuala Ellwood’s writing was beautiful and she’s clearly an amazing author with a promising future ahead. However, I feel the need to warn future readers: you need to be patient with this story. The “action” only takes part in the last few pages, so it’s not a fast-paced book by any means. While I was reading I often wondered where the story would go and what it was exactly about.
There aren’t many characters in this book, so the mystery can’t be that surprising in terms of who’s guilty and who isn’t, but I believe the story was well-developed and took its time to present its characters and their motivations.
On the other hand, I had some issues with the last part of the book, as I thought it was a bit excessive. I had a similar feeling when reading My Girl by Jack Jordan (although I think My Sister’s Bones is a much better book). I love twists, you know I do. But that doesn’t mean I will love every one of them and the last few chapters of this book simply felt too crazy in my opinion. I don’t want to say too much, but there were just too many secrets and twisted events happening at the same time. I didn’t connect as much as I would’ve liked with the characters either.
In the end, I think this was a very interesting book, not your typical psychological thriller but something way deeper. I might’ve not enjoyed the conclusion as much as I would’ve liked, but I still feel this is worth a read, especially if you’re curious about PTSD and family issues. I particularly loved reading about two different points of view.
Penguin Books, 2016 – Copy from publisher