Lucinda Riley’s Storm Sister swept into my home on a chilly, blustery day and I was immediately immersed. Cup of tea and chocolate in hand, I fell headlong into her exquisite follow-up to The Seven Sisters( Maia’s story).
I read the book during my Christmas break, and sort of held on to the review, until now, because I felt there was an intricate fragment to the story I was missing. I haven’t quite figured it out yet, that is the beauty of Riley’s writing. It makes you think about the shaping of the characters and why their past has such a huge impact on their present. Having read multiple novels by the Riley, I am utterly in awe of the historical detail and research that goes into her work.
Ally D’Aplièse’s story adds a completely different dimension to this smartly written series about Seven Sisters, loosely based on the Pleiades – a cluster of stars named after mythological characters. Ally, like Maia the eldest, whose story I’ve previously reviewed, is intuitive, intelligent and strong. Perhaps it is how she is raised by their father, or it is who she is intrinsically. The sea is Ally’s home. A sailor at heart, a pulse beating, life threatening yacht race, her goal. Ally in particular shares her father’s love of sailing. That is until she hears of the death of her beloved Pa Salt. A clue left to each of the sisters takes Ally on a journey around the world, allowing her to find her roots and solidify the key to her lost heritage. A past she never chose to question, an unexpected gift bestowed upon her. With this gift, Ally find her calling. It is a story that builds, layers and builds again. As always, past and present is beautifully juxtaposed with drama and tragedy, strength and love, as we begin traveling with Ally from her childhood home on Lake Geneva to Greece, then on to Oslo/Bergen and Leipzig.
One of my favorite aspects of this particular series is how Riley takes her readers and characters on an unforgettable journey; she creates a visual, using an extraordinary historical event on the cusp of glory, setting it in a curious part of the world, and then surrounds her cast around it.
Edvard Grieg is a Norwegian composer most famous for his emotional and soothing music set to Ibsen’s play ‘Peer Gynt.’ It is a redemptive fairy tale about a mischievous Norwegian shepherd boy. I chose to listen to Grieg’s ‘morning mood’ from Peer Gynt as I read the book. There are subtleties to be found when you read between the lines, or at least that is how I approached Ally’s story. As Ally makes a life changing decision and carries an inexplicable loss, she finds herself in Norway, meeting her past head-on. Ally learns she is inextricably linked to an unknown but extremely talented singer Anna Landvik, who first performed in Ibsen’s play a hundred years ago. The connection between Grieg, Landvik and Jens, who added so much color and purpose to the story, it flows with a tempo that holds its own beauty. When you read around the historical aspects you are completely besotted with the past. The weight of the characters from a hundred years ago, seem to carry the story seamlessly, transitioning from introducing themselves, to protecting Ally, allowing her a hopeful beginning. When I returned to the present, I felt the enigmatic presence of Pa Salt, who somehow appears to wield silent control over many events in the girls lives. There is an allusion to the mystery of his death throughout the novel, which leaves the sisters quite confused, and unable to address why his loss has not just brought them clues about their heritage but also leaves them with many unanswered questions.
This series is cleverly thought out, the potential for character growth I feel, is most appealing. The story about Christ the Redeemer, and the setting in Rio, completed my curiosity and thirst for an interesting twist on history in the first book of the series. The Storm Sister is sumptuously written, the musical visual breathtaking. I think however, I had a stronger connection with Ally’s sister Maia. I anticipate Star’s story( book #3) to be just as beautiful, if not more detailed, as we slowly uncover who the seventh sister might be and solve the mystery of Pa Salt and his connection to the world.
Title : The Storm Sister ( Seven Sisters #2) By Lucinda Riley
- Macmillan, London, 2015
- ISBN: 978-1-4472-8856-5HB
- 683 pages