Book Review: My Sister by Michelle Adams

My name is Irini. I was given away.

My name is Elle. I was kept.

All her life Irini thought she was given away because her family didn't want her. What if the truth is something worse?

Two sisters.
Two separate lives.

One family bound together by a harrowing secret.

My Sister by Michelle Adams is a dark, disturbing and unnerving novel about sisters, Irini and Elle. It is a novel that focuses on family and the secrets they keep, sometimes in order to protect rather than deceive. This is definitely the case in Adams's debut with Headline, in which the truth is sought after in order to be able to move on with life, but rather than discovering the truth and being able to move on, the opposite happens, and a deadly game begins between the two women begins.

The novel begins as Irini is called back to the house she had once shared with her family. Elle is on the other end of the phone with news of their mother's death. Although devastating circumstances, something holds Irini back, and the reader is not sure of what this something is, but it is there, in the atmosphere, simmering quietly, alerting the reader to its presence, and it remains there right the way through, subtly threatening and poisonous.

Adams begins to reveal the sisters' history as the story begins to find its feet, and it becomes clear that their relationship to date has been anything but normal. The sisters were separated when they were younger and, although Elle always managed to wriggle her way back into Irini's life every now and again, this has been the longest amount of time Irini has managed to spend apart from her. There was a reason behind the girls' separation although Irini has never been able to find out the truth. But this time, as she returns to the house for her mother's funeral, Irini is determined to get answers.

I was completely fascinated by Irini and Elle. Their relationship was rather bizarre, and I was desperate to understand why Irini had been sent away to live somewhere else, while Elle had remained at home. Once Elle became more prominent in the story, I began to understand that there was more to this woman than I had originally realised. Adams's style is sharp, punchy and yet at the same time, haunting and mysterious. There was a real history here that I wanted to know more about, but Adams chose to reveal these secrets slowly and teasingly and only when she, as the author saw fit, which only made it all the more effective. There was a creepy undertone to this book. It wrapped itself around me as I read and I just couldn't seem to shake it off. Sisters are playing a massive role in fiction just lately and that's because there are so many ways to explore the bond. Adams really stretches that to its limits in My Sister and it was such a gripping read, burrowing its way under my skin as I waited with baited breath for the truth to be revealed.

All in all, My Sister by Michelle Adams is a dark, attention-grabbing and mysterious novel exploring the relationship between sisters and just how far the bond between them can be stretched. With thanks to the publisher for the review copy of this book.

You can purchase your copy of My Sister here.
You can find Michelle Adams on Facebook & Twitter.

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