Riley MacPherson’s family has suffered numerous losses, and the troubled history that seemingly hovers over them all is about to get a lot worse. Leaving behind her stable life in Durham, where she is a school counselor, she takes a leap into the past, returning home to New Bern after her father’s death, to settle up his estate. There she finds her angry brother Danny living in his reclusive trailer in the forest, and even though she tries to reach out to him, he keeps her at arm’s length.
The task of going through her father’s things will be hers alone, as Danny refuses to be part of it. An old friend of her mother’s, Jeannie Lyons, is an irritating addition to her life as she sorts through everything, and between Jeannie and her daughter Christine, who are readying the home for estate sales, etc., Riley feels overwhelmed and annoyed with their very presence.
But as Riley begins to search through her father’s effects, more questions appear, and she begins to wonder about the family’s hidden secrets and the lies that stood between her and the family she longed for. And suddenly, her connection to Jeannie changes, as more is revealed.
What is the truth behind older sister Lisa’s supposed suicide? What lies under the surface of Lisa’s privileged life as a music prodigy? How did their father manage to change the course of all of their lives by one series of actions? And who is Jade, living across the country in an alternate life?
Riley’s story is narrated in her first person voice, in the year 2013, while Jade’s narrative takes place in the 1990s, following one secret night that changed all of their lives.
How will their lives reconnect, and what threats still await them all? A wonderfully unputdownable story, The Silent Sister is a testament to the strength of family attachments in spite of the secrets that lie beneath the facades. Set in North Carolina, occasionally veering off into Virginia and then to San Diego and Seattle, I followed the characters on their journeys. I loved this story, and would recommend it for all Chamberlain fans, and for any who enjoy a good story of family secrets, lies, and deceptions. 5.0 stars.