The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley

The Seven SistersThe Seven Sister has been sitting on my bookshelf for a while, ever since it came out and I’ve only read it now in January. However, the entire time I was reading it, it was as if I’ve read it before. I’ve had major book déjà vu with this one. The only explanation I can have is that I must have picked it up at some stage and simply forgotten that I’ve read it! Which would come as no surprise as I like Lucinda Riley as an author.  I’ve read a few of her books and I loved most of them.

The Seven Sisters is no exception. In fact, I think so far it’s my favourite. I have The Storm Sister waiting to be read and I can only hope that it will be as good as this one. The Seven Sisters is the first book in a series, which will tell the story of each of the 6 D’Apliése sisters.  Maia is the eldest daughter and her story was told first in this book.

Pa Salt, a rich billionaire, has adopted 6 daughters and named them after the Seven Sisters constellation. The sisters lived with Pa Salt on a beautiful estate called Atlantis, close to Lake Geneva, Switzerland. He was a bit of an enigma, he was away often and they never knew who he really was and what he did and yet none of them could have asked for a better father.  Upon hearing of his death and the equal shock of finding out that he has already been buried at sea, requesting that he wants none of his daughters to be present at his burial, they were mildly consoled with the legacy he has left behind for all of them: clues to their past and where they came from.

The first book tells us the story of the eldest daughter, Maia. Her clue leads her to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Maia is a book translator and upon her (recent) past coming back to haunt her, she makes the hasty decision to escape and go and discover where she came from and who her real family is.  In Brazil she meets up with an author she previously translated work for and the two of them learn the story of Maia’s true heritage.

It’s 1927 and Izabela Bonifacio’s father wants her to marry into aristocracy. Being the good daughter she agrees to do so, but only if she is allowed to accompany the architect Heitor da Silva Costa to Europe to discover the “Old World”. Her fiancé agrees to let her go and it’s in Paris where she meets the love of her life, Laurent Brouilly. Izabela is Maia’s great-grandmother. Pa Salt’s clue to Maia’s past led her to the story of her great-grandmother instead of her mother and there is a very good reason for that.

Lucinda Riley blends fact with fiction in The Seven Sisters. Heitor da Silva Costa is the engineer that designed/build Christ the Redeemer statue in Brazil, along with sculptor Paul Landowski.  Apart from the lush tale of love and loss, Lucinda takes us to beautiful exotic locations with this book. From the picture perfect Lake Geneva, Switzerland to the streets of Montparnasse Paris and then Brazil.

Izabela’s story was the one that captivated me the most and Maia’s story centered on discovering her past and learning about Izabela that the entire book was just an absolute page-turner from start to finish.  Izabela’s story is so interesting and has so many complex supporting characters while Maia’s  character growth was also a notable favourite of the book. There are a few mentions in the book about Maia’s past that I’m interested in knowing more about, however since there are vague mentions about the other sister’s life in this book, I can only hope that these one or two incidents pops up later in one of the other 5 books. Lucinda had me swept up in this enchanting tale that has so many layers and if this is the second time I’ve read it, then it was worth the time spent on it.

Summary of this review? Just go out and grab a copy of you’re into mysteries and family history dramas!

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