Book Review by Ceri Wheeldon
Having interviewed the author previously about her own personal inspirational story, I felt I just had to read her debut novel.
Annie has been estranged from her mother for some time, but when circumstances lead to her returning home, re-establishing her relationship with her mother while rebuilding her life, she is also forced to confront her family’s past. Her older sister Gemma disappeared when Annie was a young child. Not knowing if she was alive or dead, and all leads at the time of the original disappearance culminating in dead ends, her room was left in tact and untouched for 25 years. Her mother always hoping for her return.
To move on with her future Annie feels compelled to unlock the secrets of the past, and hopes that she can look at her sisters room with fresh eyes as she searches for clues.
Growing up in her sister’s shadow
Having grown up living in the shadow of her ‘perfect sister’, but too young at the time of her disappearance to really know or understand her, Annie gets to know the real Gemma through talking to her friends who she identifies from a faded photograph in her room.
As she peels back the layers of her sister’s life, Annie also comes to terms with her own relationship with her mother, moves on from past grudges and gains a better understanding of the impact her mother’s own mental health had on her childhood. As Annie lobbies to have her sister’s case reopened to truly get to the bottom of her disappearance, how much will uncovering the truth affect her? Will it truly bring the much longed for closure and peace of mind – or will it open new wounds?
We see Annie move through so many phases and emotions as the book progresses with several interesting twists and turns.
My Perfect Sister is a compelling read – I couldn’t put it down.
A great read – especially on a sunny afternoon in the garden with a glass of rose!