The Sister, by Louise Jensen

21 Aug
the sister louise jensen

Three of 5 stars

I’m so very torn about this book. I’ve decided to rate it purely on my own enjoyment of it, and not what I think others may think of it. I believe many people may LOVE this book, and rightfully so. But I wasn’t happy for most of it.

The good: Louise Jensen can write. She wrote a very complicated story, with a slew of characters. No one is all good, no one is all bad. I loved the entire relationship arc between Grace and Dan – because sometimes good is wonderful, and sometimes bad is unforgivable. This books flies by and is difficult to put down. I read from the 40% to the 90% mark in one sitting, and then my eyes finally shut. As soon as I woke up I grabbed the book to finish it. This is the mark of a great story-teller, and I think Jensen is going to write some great books in the future. I will certainly be in line for the next one.

The bad: I’ve read this story many times before. In fact, I read this same story immediately before, as I just finished Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica and it’s basically the same thing. More than basically, it’s pretty much the exact same story. Also, the character of Grace: I personally cannot take the weak, helpless heroines, especially when they have less than zero self confidence. Grace is a perpetual victim. She grows in the book, and I actually love the strong confident Grace that owns the last third of the book – but the growth is so much as to not be believable to me. But the main plot of a strange woman somehow insinuating herself into a couple’s life, and then being invited to live with them rent free, as she systematically destroys their lives… this has never happened to anyone I know, and yet I’m starting to read it in way too many books. I don’t believe people invite strangers into their homes with no expectation of payment, and I don’t believe they would keep them there after all the rude and nasty things Anna says and does.

Back to the good: The book is exciting, and it’s very complicated with few if any holes. I enjoyed it. I genuinely LIKED it, and that’s what 3 stars means.

Back to the bad (possible minor spoiler): [ I’m not buying what the author wants us to feel about Anna in the end. She’s a sociopath and needs to be locked up, forever. I’m not buying the reveal of who wrote the notes either.]

But sometimes it just depends on which book a reader gets to first. If someone hasn’t read this plot before, this is an excellent book. I’m completely serious about that. But for me, it’s a tired theme and I want something more original.

A big thank you to NetGalley for the advance copy in exchange for a review. I do look forward to future books by Louise Jensen.

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