The Seven Sisters – book review

The Seven Sisters

The Seven Sisters is the intriguing first book to Lucinda Riley’s spell-binding new series.

When the beloved and wealthy adoptive father of Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters unexpectedly dies, they are each given a tantalising clue to their true heritage, which propels Maia across the world to a crumbing mansion in Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings.

Eighty years earlier, Izabela’s father had aspirations for his daughter to marry into aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to help implement his plan. Longing to see the world, Izabela convinces her father to allow her to accompany him to Europe before she is married. There she meets the ambitious young sculptor Laurent Brouilly, and knows then that her life will never be the same again…


Honestly, I probably never would have picked up this book without it being suggested to me by Pan Macmillan Australia, so thanks! This book just had never appeared on my radar before. Apparently Lucinda Riley is quite famous? Perhaps I’ve been living under a rock because this is honestly the first I’ve heard of her. When I read the synopsis of The Seven Sisters, I was intrigued and skeptical. Firstly, why wouldn’t I be intrigued with that kind of a synopsis? It was like a siren, beaconing me to come closer. I was eager to find out what kind of mysteries this book would encapsulate. However, I’m always a little skeptical about reading books I’ve never heard of. I have this little routine I do – first, I mentally think back to whether I’ve seen the book in my favourite book store. If so, that’s a good sign. If not, I wonder why. Is that because it isn’t popular, or did I just not see it? Next, I wander over to Goodreads. Ahh, trusty Goodreads. I check the star rating. I know, I know: don’t just a book by its stars. But honestly, if a book has less than three stars, there’s not much of a chance I’ll pick it up. Over four stars and I’m heading straight to the bookstore. Often I also check YouTube to see if my favourite book bloggers have read it. With this book though, I only had to go so far as Goodreads to confirm that reading this book was going to be a good idea. A 4.17 star rating and almost every review with five stars? Count me in!

But – yes, there’s always a but – I was a little unimpressed when I began reading this book. One of the reasons why was because of the writing style. There was just something about it which seemed a little… clunky? Is that just me? Perhaps I’m just used to reading books by well-known YA authors, but I don’t think that’s the reason. The more I read, the more uneasy the writing style made me feel. There were harsh transitions between flashbacks and the present which only confused me. I feel like that’s part of the reason I found this book a little hard to get into. Although I eventually got into the flow of this novel, however it did take me a while. Once I really got into this book and Lucinda’s style of writing, it was quite spell-binding. I could almost feel the heat of Brazil and the smell of the salt and the sea. Reading about Paris was also very magical. I haven’t read many novels set in these places, so that was great to finally experience.

Another reason why I initially found it difficult to get into this book was because of the lack of excitement in the first few chapters. Sure, the protagonist’s ‘father’ just mysteriously died. But the thing is – I didn’t know her father. Nor did I know her. So did I care? Not particularly. I just wanted something more enthralling to happen. I read about three chapters with absolutely nothing happening except characters thinking about how utterly awful their lives were now that they weird adoptive father was dead. The worst part was that I didn’t even find their grief and sadness convincing. Maybe that was a part of Lucinda’s writing style, but I felt absolutely 0% sympathy for these girls. Each one would just gasp and delicately dab their noses with handkerchiefs. Snore. In that way, it felt incredibly unrealistic and hard for me to sympathise with these characters.

Eventually, I started to feel something for these characters. Which would be a little hard to not do, seeing as this book is so thick. As I got to know the characters better, I found them to be quite interesting and diverse. They each had their own unique voices, which was much appreciated. Otherwise this book would literally just be six clones doing things. Well maybe a bit more than that, but you get the point. I also really enjoyed getting know Maia’s grandmother – Izabela. She was quite interesting to read about, however I felt like Maia took the back seat sometimes. This book was meant to be about her finding her heritage and everything and I understand that finding out things about your grandmother is a part of that, but Izabela took on such a major role that I felt as though she stole the spotlight at times. In all honestly, I was more curious about Maia’s adoptive father and his family. He always seemed like a bit of a creep to me, adopting all those girls and whatnot. I guess he is dead, so he can’t defend himself. But still. I would have liked a bit more information to do with that.

Overall, this book was an okay read for me. I felt as though the pace really dragged in places and it definitely could have been condensed to keep things more interesting. I would have liked seeing more resolutions with the ending as there were still so many unanswered questions, but I guess I’ll just have to read the next book! If you want to read a book with intriguing settings and unique characters, I’d recommend trying this series. You’ll have to be patient to finally get what you hope for though. I’d give The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley a score of 6 out of 10. Let’s discuss! Does this sound like a book you’d be interested in trying? What’s your opinion of Goodreads? Do you hate slow-paced books like I do? I’d love to know! 🙂

Oooh, hello there! Surprise! I’m not done yet! I just wanted to add that I saw on Goodreads that this series is going to be comprised of seven novels? Ahahahahaha! I’m serie-ously not going to read all of them. Not unless the second book is really phenomenal. And did I just make a ‘series’ pun? *hides face* I’m so sorry. 😉

Thanks to Pan Macmillan Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!