Her Sister's Shadow
Author: Katharine Britton
Genre: Adult Fiction - Contemporary
Publication: 06.17.2011 by Berkley Trade
Source: TLC Book Tours
Summary: Renowned painter Lilli Niles is at home in her North London flat when she receives an unexpected call from her elder sister, Bea, who's at the family homestead in Whitehead, Massachusetts. Bea's husband has just died, and she'd like Lilli to fly home to attend the funeral. There are reasons Lilli moved all the way to England to escape her older sister, reasons that have kept them estranged for decades. But something in Bea's voice makes Lilli think it's time to return to the stately house in New England she loved as a child, to the memory of the beloved younger sister they both lost. With Bea more fragile than Lilli remembered, maybe she can finally forgive Bea for a long-ago betrayal that has simmered between them for nearly forty years.
Cover: I really like it because it gives me a good idea of what Lilli looked like at her young age.
Thoughts: Unfortunately, I haven't finished this book on time for my tour stop. I almost want to say it's not my fault, but I put off reading it sooner expecting to have enough time to read it. Of course, life happened and I haven't finished it on time. But! I am a third of the way through it and so far, I am loving it!
Her Sister's Shadow is told in alternating tenses. It is 2009 and Lilli has returned home to attend her sister's husband service. She hasn't seen her sister, Bea, in almost forty years and really doesn't want to see her because of the troubled past they have. We get a glimpse into the past, 1966 and Lilli at 15 years old. It is obvious to me that getting this look into the past will reveal events that make the 2009 make more sense. Already, I have discovered things that have surprised me, but there is still so many unanswered questions left for me. I want to know what happens next!
The first few pages were a little difficult for me to get into, but the story picks up rather quickly and once we get the first flashback, I haven't been able to put the book down (mostly!) I already like Lilli, but am frustrated with how easily she seems to anger during her young age which is reasonable because during the summer, she has grown from a child into a young woman and is confused about who she is now.
I definitely recommend Her Sister's Shadow (so far) and will leave it unrated until I finish it. I really want to find out what happens next and am dying to see where the story will lead me. Her Sister's Shadow reminds me a little bit of Water for Elephants and The Private Lives of Pippa Lee, and the similarities are sure to be enjoyed by others that loved those books like I did. I will re-post this review and a rating once I have completed the book.
Favorite Quote: '"Why do children want so badly to grow up when childhood is so lovely? No one should wish their life away."'
Rating coming soon!
Katharine has a Master's degree in Creative Writing from Dartmouth College. Her screenplay, Goodbye Don't Mean Gone, was a Moondance Film Festival winner and a finalist in the New England Women in Film and Television contest. Katharine is a member of the League of Vermont Writers and PEN New England. She teaches writing at Colby-Sawyer College, and is an instructor at The Writer’s Center.
When not at her desk, Katharine can often be found in her Norwich garden, waging a non-toxic war against the slugs, snails, deer, woodchucks, chipmunks, moles, voles, and beetles with whom she shares her yard. Katharine's defense consists mainly of hand-wringing, after-the-fact.