(Review) The Winter Sister
The Winter Sister by Megan Collins
Publication Date: February 5th, 2019
Pages: 320 (hardcover)
My Goodreads Rating: 4 Stars
In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her estranged mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Prone to unexplained “Dark Days” even before Persephone’s death, Annie’s once-close bond with Sylvie dissolved in the weeks after their loss, making for an uncomfortable reunion all these years later. Worse, Persephone’s former boyfriend, Ben, is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie’s always believed Ben was responsible for the murder—but she carries her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her.
As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house—and what really happened the night Persephone died. As it turns out, the truth really will set you free, once you can bear to look at it.
The Winter Sister is a mesmerizing portrayal of the complex bond between sisters, between mothers and daughters alike, and forces us to ask ourselves—how well do we really know the people we love most?
This book had me hooked instantly and kept me until the very last page. That's not always the case for me, especially if I'm not reading a fluffy YA romance. It came to me with a "if you like Megan Miranda" tagline, so I dove in.
The story starts with Sylvie the night her sister disappears. Sylvie's young and Persephone has snuck out to be with her boyfriend, whom Sylvie things abuses her sister because she always comes back covered in bruises. Persephone has been forbidden to date so Sylvie is the one who lies for her. But Sylvie gets tired of lying for her sister. And then her sister never comes home.
After Persephone's death, things with Sylvie and her mom get worse. She's practically raised by her aunt and manages to get into art school and eventually move away. When her mother gets sick and her aunt can't help anymore, Sylvie comes home.
I love the dark feel of Sylvie, knowing that she's trying but she's also still suffering so much. She lives a sad, simple life and no one, not even her family truly knows her. I definitely got some Gillian Flynn vibes from Sylvie. She's obsessive and angry, but uses it to find her answers. When she see's Ben again she immediately goes to the police like a crazy person. I can definitely appreciate the drama with her.
Persephone's story unfolds quickly, not too many unnecessary things happening. The story unfolded nicely and I really liked the interactions between Ben and Sylvie. Annie's story is sad, but it worked well with the story. I would have liked to have had more with Ben and Sylvie, so I ended up with four stars.
Huge thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing and ARC free of charge.