Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

School counselor Riley MacPherson is back in her hometown of New Bern, North Carolina to clear out the house and take care of things after the death of her father. Her brother Danny, who shattered his leg in Iraq and now lives in an old trailer on the family's RV park, has lots of bitterness and isn't much help. She learns of an old friend of her mother's, Jeannie, who is eager to help with an estate sale and the selling of the house.

In the midst of the arduous process of going through her dad's collections, she sneaks a look in a box that Jeannie was trying to take out of the house. Inside are newspaper clippings about her deceased sister, Lisa, who died when Riley was only a toddler. All she was ever told was that Lisa, a prodigy violinist, was depressed and committed suicide, but the newspaper clippings reveal a different story.

Lisa was about to face going to trial for the murder of her violin instructor. Her kayak was found in the frigid Potomac river and a suicide note in her bedroom, but no body was ever discovered. Riley wonders if her sister might still be alive, especially when a couple at the RV park suggest that might be the case.

Riley is determined to find the sister she never knew, but her search might put Lisa in jeopardy if she is indeed still alive and living under a different identity. At every turn a new secret is revealed about her family in this page-turning novel, making Riley and readers wonder if she ever really knew her family at all. This is the first book I've read by the prolific Chamberlain, and is one I would enthusiastically recommend.

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