My enormous thanks to Isabel Smith at Harper Collins for inviting me to be part of the launch celebrations for Louise Jensen’s The Stolen Sisters and for sending me a copy of the book in return for an honest review.
Louise is a very welcome author on Linda’s Book Bag and has featured here several times. Most recently I stayed in with Louise writing under her pseudonym Amelia Henley to celebrate the publication of The Life We Almost Had in a post you can read here. I also reviewed The Life We Almost Had here.
The Stolen Sisters is published today, 1st October 2020, by Harper Collins imprint HQ and is available for purchase through the links here.
The Stolen Sisters
Sisterhood binds them. Trauma defines them. Will secrets tear them apart?
Leah’s perfect marriage isn’t what it seems but the biggest lie of all is that she’s learned to live with what happened all those years ago. Marie drinks a bit too much to help her forget. And Carly has never forgiven herself for not keeping them safe.
Twenty years ago the Sinclair sisters were taken. But what came after their return was far worse. Can a family ever recover, especially when not everyone is telling the truth…?
My Review of The Stolen Sisters
Childhood experiences affect adult lives.
Oh my word! I so enjoyed The Stolen Sisters. It’s an absolute corker of a read that I simply couldn’t tear myself away from.
At the beginning I wasn’t sure I’d appreciate a narrative that had three sister perspectives as well as George’s because I often find I need to concentrate too hard to follow multiple voices. However, such is the skill of Louise Jensen’s writing that I had no difficulty in not just following, but relishing immensely, the interweaving narratives. Indeed, I thought Louise Jensen’s plotting in The Stolen Sisters was magnificent. It’s a real masterclass for all aspiring thriller writers and thoroughly exciting for readers. The then and now structure, and the different character perspectives, all add up to a roller-coaster read that I found completely mesmerising. With some chapters only a few lines long, the pace is dramatic and I lost count of the number of times my reader expectations were inverted or confounded so that I found myself exclaiming aloud. Frequently my heart was thumping as the tension mounted. Each chapter ends dramatically so that I had no autonomy over my responses. I simply had to read on.
The Sinclair sisters are clear and distinct characters in spite of Leah and Marie being twins. I thought the way their shared experience affected then differently was utterly brilliant and the manner in which Louise Jensen uncovers the reasons for their differences is genius. I can’t explain more because that would be to give plot spoilers but I would say that readers should be prepared to be jolted out of their beliefs and to discover new things as they read.
Aside from a being a brilliant, fast paced thriller, The Stolen Sisters is a humane and sensitive insight into families, relationships, guilt, mental health, love and fear so that it is a multi-layered and wonderfully textured read. Louise Jensen presents both the prosaic and the unusual in tandem, and weaves a narrative that is compelling, affecting and riveting. There are elements that readers will recognise as well as aspects they may never have heard of before. Again, I don’t want to explain too much as it will spoil the read, but I felt I understood Carly, Leah, Marie and George perfectly by the end.
I realise that this review of The Stolen Sisters is somewhat inadequate and vague, but I really don’t want to undermine any other readers’ enjoyment and entertainment by saying too much. For me the novel was the perfect blend of threat, emotion, resolution and understanding. Louise Jensen is fast becoming one of my favourite writers because not only does she produce fiction with immense skill, she does so with heart and soul too. I thought The Stolen Sisters was superb. I loved every moment of reading it and cannot recommend it highly enough.
About Louise Jensen
Louise Jensen has sold over a million English language copies of her International No. 1 psychological thrillers The Sister, The Gift, The Surrogate, The Date and The Family. Her novels have also been translated into twenty-five languages, as well as featuring on the USA Today and Wall Street Journal Bestseller’s List. Louise’s sixth thriller, The Stolen Sisters is published on 1st October by Harper Collins.
The Sister was nominated for the Goodreads Debut of 2016 Award. The Date was nominated for The Guardian’s ‘Not The Booker’ Prize 2018. The Surrogate has been nominated for the best Polish thriller of 2018. The Gift has been optioned for a TV film.
Louise lives with her husband, children, madcap dog and a rather naughty cat in Northamptonshire. She loves to hear from readers and writers.
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