My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Mia and Katie Greene have a complex, turbulent relationship which, since the death of their mother, has only declined further. Katie, the sensible, strong, older sister is tired of looking after her younger sister; Mia is frustrated with always appearing to be the inferior, substandard Greene sister.
Seemingly out of nowhere, Mia announces she is leaving for a round-the-world trip with her best friend. Katie, though bemused by the suddenness of her sister’s actions, is relieved at the thought of having space away from their constant arguments- until she is woken in night by the police, informing her of Mia’s apparent suicide in Bali.
Gripped with grief, unable to believe that her strong-willed brave younger sister would ever commit suicide, and impelled by Mia’s travel journal, Katie sets off on a journey of her own mirroring Mia’s trip as closely as possible in the hope of finding out exactly what led to Mia’s death.
Lucy Clarke’s writing is beautifully poignant. She flawlessly encapsulates the complex emotions found within a sister relationship; the hate, love, jealousy, pride and admiration all rolled into one. The story is packed full of descriptions of the beautiful places the girls visit, however, the sister’s relationship remains the focal point of the book throughout. Katie and Mia’s voices are strong and unwavering and I didn’t find my attention straying from them for a single page.
I really loved the way Mia’s story was told through the voice of her travel journal. It made me feel a personal connection to her; something which is usually difficult to achieve with a character that dies before the story begins. Both Mia and Katie are deeply flawed characters; however, by the end of the book I felt an almost sisterly annoyance and love for each of them.
The sisters’ journeys intertwined beautifully, revealing secret after secret slowly and with maximum impact. Often when an author packs so many twists and turns into a novel I feel overwhelmed and the story loses its impact. This is not the case with The Sea Sisters. Each revelation was delivered with great effect, sending waves of emotions through me and making the book so gripping I kept having to tell myself to “just read one more chapter…”
I cannot recommend this book highly enough; the story and its characters will stay with me for a long time and I cannot wait to read more from Lucy Clarke in the future.
This review first appeared on Nudge-books.com and Goodreads on 3rd April 2013.