Book Reviews

The Storm Sister (The Seven Sisters) by Lucinda Riley

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List Price: £16.99

 

Hardcover: 704 Pages.

Published: 05 November 2015 by Macmillan

Edition: Main Market

ISBN: 1447288564

EAN: 9781447288565

Following on from The Seven Sisters, this is the second book in a spellbinding series of novels based loosely on the mythology surrounding the famous constellation. Each one follows the story of one sister, and each book opens at a beautiful chateau on the shores of Lake Geneva. The sisters gather together when they are told that their beloved father, an elusive billionaire they knew as Pa Salt, has died. He adopted them from across the globe, and now they are each left with an envelope, which holds a clue to their past, and a set of coordinates engraved on an armillary sphere, showing where their father found them. The Second Sister tells Ally's story. A talent sailor, Ally is competing in one of the world's deadliest races when tragedy strikes. This leads her to leave her life on the beautiful Mediterranean waters and follow the clue her father left her to a museum in Norway, where she begins to discover her past - and the story of a young woman, Anna, who lived there over 100 years before - and her links to the composer Edvard Grieg and his famous music to accompany Peer Gynt ...

Reviews

3.0 Stars3.0 Stars3.0 Stars  by Anne

All seemed a bit rushed

The first book in the series set the scene. Six sisters were adopted by a mysterious benefactor whom they call Pa Salt. When he dies they all return to the Swiss island on which they have grown up and receive clues to their birth families. All the sisters are rich and accomplished but not yet successful in love. In the first two books of the series, and I assume this will be an ongoing theme, the story they find out links them to another woman in the past whose story we also read. There are a couple of overarching themes which are revealed slowly as the series progresses - how did Pa Salt die ? and Who is the seventh sister ? This is book two and concerns Ally.

Ally is a professional competitive sailor and also a musician. Her story involves her own love affair with the captain of their boat, Theo, and a past story involving a young Norwegian woman, Anna. Anna has grown up in rural Norway in some poverty but is a talented singer and is taken under the wing of an older man who wants to make her a star. She ends up singing the d├ębut of Peer Gynt by Edvard Greig who also appears in the story. She has a love affair with another musician. Ally's researches into Anna's story also change her life.

I was at a bit of a disadvantage here as I don't know anything at all about Greig or Peer Gynt and there was definitely the assumption by the author that I should know something. It didn't fundamentally spoil the story for me. I also found Anna's story curiously unfinished. We become completely immersed in it and see things both from her point of view and that of the young man whom she loves and then suddenly the story jumps years and the author just fills us in on what has happened. Lots of things never get finished and I felt a bit cheated. I also felt that the relationship between Ally and Theo was all a bit rushed. The format of the story worked well enough but perhaps there was too much plot because things which should have been important were skated over a bit. I also love the way that someone who hasn't played an instrument for a long time is now of a high enough standard to play in a concert !

I felt a bit unsatisfied by the whole book but there was nothing greatly wrong with what I did read. I will give the third one a go but I hope it is stronger.

5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Brilliant Sequel

This is the second book in the immensley promising Seven Sisters series.

In the first book we met the sisters & learned a bit about their

life and the circumstances surrounding the death of their adoptive

Father, Pa Salt. We then followed Maia's story as she discovered her

roots. In this book we follow the second sister, Ally, as she carries on

her life after Pa Salt's death and then on to discover her background.

If you haven't read The Seven Sisters then can I suggest that you read

that before this one. Understanding the background from the first book

will enable you to get the best out of this one.

Ally is a

professional sailor who works hard crewing for yachts in international

races. She is tipped to train for the Swiss team for the Olympics. Her

life takes a sudden turn, however, and she finds that the time is right

to investigate her origins. Her story takes her to Norway and into the

musical world of Greig's Peer Gynt Suite.

I was captivated by this

book. It is a very large book but even so I just didn't want it to end.

Ally is a capable yet vulnerable woman who has a lot to cope with in a

short period of time. She is used to being "one of the lads" in the male

dominated sailing world and quite unused to seeking assurance from

anyone. It was good to see her develop and change as the story

progresses.

The story itself is fascinating. Ally learns the story of

her possible ancestors through reading a book which she has translated

from Norweigan. We learn about Anna Landvik, a young peasant woman with

the voice of an angel who gets catapulted from her rural life into the

musical world of the big city in the nineteenth century. We discover the

background to the Peer Gynt suite and what happens to Anna. It was

particulary interesting to read the notes at the back to see how much of

this story is based in historical fact.

This is a very well written

book with plenty of description and historical fact which really bought

the story to life. There were times when I was ahead of Ally and had

realised what was happening before she did but this in no way affected

my enjoyment of the story. This is primarily a happy story though there

are plenty of sad elements. In part of Ally's research we learn about

the Nazi invasion of Norway and the effect it had on the citizens. Not

something that I had given much thought to previously. Throughout this

book there is a very small thread which connects to the next of the

seven sisters, Star. We learn a little about her and her personality

ready for her story to be told in the next book.

I really enjoyed

this book and was pleased to have such an excellent continuation of the

Seven Sisters story. I am very much looking forward to Star's story in

the next book.

 
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