Around Mother’s Day, I received an incredibly exciting package in the post. I get a lot of books in the post (much to my downstairs neighbours’ despair) but this one threw me as being a LITTLE bit different. Coupled in with the ARC was a teensy-weensy bottle of the good stuff- sparkling white wine! A book and a glass of wine- is there anything better? I think not. I’ve read The Husband’s Wife by Jane Corry before, so I knew that Blood Sisters would be right up my street.
The book was one that I was intrigued by immediately. They do say not to judge a book by its cover, but for this one it was incredibly difficult not to because the cover is just SO beautiful. The story centres around two characters, Alison and Kitty, who we are led to believe from the offset are sisters. The story skips back and forth between chapters from their perspectives. Alison, an art teacher at a local college, comes across an advertisement for a job as an in house art specialist… at a local, open prison. The story principally follows her getting stuck into her new job, the relationships that she forms with the inmates, and all links back to a particular point in her life where everything changed forever. In contrast, Kitty lives in a care facility following an accident that left her with brain damage and requiring constant support. We hear the story from Kitty’s thoughts, as opposed to her spoken words, because her accident has left her void of the ability to communicate coherently. The two stories from the sisters’ perspectives are separate but as the tale progresses, become more apparently intertwined and the end result is nothing short of fantastic.
The book is brilliantly written and absolutely nothing is left unanswered at the end of the story. I absolutely loved the switch between perspectives- I found Kitty to be such an interesting and intricate character, having both a contrasting intelligent voice and childish naivety about her. She is so blissfully unaware of certain situations and the appropriateness of certain behaviours, but so sharp and witty in others. I love how tense the chapters involving Alison are- I found myself on the edge of my seat as twist after twist was unravelled. It’s fair to say that I definitely didn’t see the vast majority of the twists coming, but at the same time they were definitely twists that were just oh-so believable- no predictability at all. The book approaches some pretty tough topics and does so in a very realistic and thoughtful way. The characterisation throughout the tale is en point, and all characters, principle and secondary, are relevant and have a useful role to play. I found myself questioning everyone and everything about the story, yet I still failed to come to the correct conclusion- the tell of a practically perfect tale! The pace of the story was excellent- it started off quite slowly but burst into a story that I literally couldn’t put down within a few pages. I’ll have to be honest with you – I’m finding it difficult to write this review without blurting out all the amazing things that happened, so you’ll have to just take my word for it and pick up a copy of the book when it’s published on June 29th!
Thank you so much to the amazing team at Penguin books for sending me this book for review- I’m so excited to see other people’s thoughts on it. It really is a fantastic and chilling tale.