A couple weeks ago I read The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley and I found it a gripping read. This is what the publisher says about the story:
“The Storm Sister is the second of a unique seven book series based allegorically on the mythology of the famous star constellation.
Gathered at their childhood home to mourn their father’s death, Ally D’Aplièse and her five adoptive sisters receive tantalizing clues to their distinct heritages. Ally soon finds herself in Norway where she begins to make sense of her elusive past in the second part of an epic new series by #1 internationally bestselling author Lucinda Riley.
Olympic hopeful Ally is in the midst of preparations for one of the world’s most challenging yacht races when news of her beloved father’s death shocks the accomplished sailor. Saying goodbye to the love of her life, a man her family knows nothing about, she rushes back to her family home, an enchanting chateau where she and her five sisters—each adopted as infants—were raised on the shores of Lake Geneva.
When new tragedy strikes on the high seas, pummeling Ally yet again with a terrible and unexpected loss, she turns her back on the water and instead follows her own North Star—an intriguing clue left by her father which leads her to Norway and the promise of unmasking her origins. Surrounded by the majestic beauty of an unfamiliar homeland, Ally begins to unpack the century-old story of a remarkable young woman named Anna Landvik, a talented singer with an astonishing link to composer Edvard Grieg and his celebrated musical accompaniment to Henrik Ibsen’s iconic play “Peer Gynt.”
Lucinda Riley’s captivating story brings together two resilient women—decades apart—weaving their stories into a moving examination of family, love, and identity.”
Storm Sister, the second book in a seven book series, is the first novel I’ve read by Lucinda Riley and I was wowed by it, so much so that when I finished reading it, I immediately read the first book in the Seven Sisters series. Since each book starts at the same moment in time, it doesn’t matter which order they are read in. After I finished the first two I was rather dismayed to find that I will have to wait several months until the third book is released.
I am really impressed by the author’s storytelling ability. She is equally confident and skilful handling the contemporary and historical storylines. As the book opens, she conjures the world of professional sailing and yacht racing so vividly that I was transported into this world and completely forgot that there was also an historical portion of the novel, set a century earlier still to come. But when the story slipped into the past, I became enthralled by life in a Norwegian mountain village as well as in the cultural centres of Europe.
The characters in the contemporary and historical threads of the story have been fleshed out into believable people with genuine desires and dreams. Passionate and poignant love stories in both threads add depth to the novel.
I loved the way the author wove fictional characters into historic events to mingle with famous historic figures, creating interesting possible twists to known history that excite the reader’s imagination. She uses these tweaks to history in order to weave a mystery into this novel and also a second question into the series. Both puzzles intrigued me and got me thinking. By the end of the novel, the question behind the mystery regarding Ally’s heritage had been answered, but the ones regarding what connection her adoptive father had to her birth family and where he came from had not. The story reached a satisfying conclusion yet the mystery which remains has been awakened my curiosity and I will have to read the rest of the series to unravel it. Seven books is a big commitment but, if each of them spins tales that are as engrossing as the two novels I’ve just read, I won’t mind one bit. I can heartily recommend Storm Sister to readers who enjoy a good story, whether contemporary or historical is their first preference.
About Lucinda Riley: She was born in Ireland and wrote her first book aged 24. Her novel ‘Hothouse Flower’ (also called ‘The Orchid House’) was selected for the UK’s Richard and Judy Bookclub in 2011 and went on to sell 2 million copies worldwide. She is a multiple New York Times bestselling author and has topped the bestseller charts in four European countries.
In response to demand from her readers, she has recently re-written two books from her early writing career when published under her maiden name Lucinda Edmonds – the books are now being published as ‘The Italian Girl’ and ‘The Angel Tree’.
Lucinda’s books are translated into 28 languages and published in 38 countries. She lives with her husband and four children on the North Norfolk coast in England and in the South of France.