Title: The Winter Sister
Author: Megan Collins
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: February 5, 2019
Page Count: 337
My rating: 4 stars
About the book:
In this spellbinding and suspenseful debut, a young woman haunted by the past returns home to care for her ailing mother and begins to dig deeper into her sister’s unsolved murder.
Sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s sister Persephone never came home. Out too late with the boyfriend she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found—and years later, her murder remains unsolved.
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 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 know the people we love most?
The Winter Sister by Megan Collins is a perfect example of a book that makes me want to continue to search out new authors for new stories. The Winter Sister is a mystery/suspense read that is a debut novel but you could never tell this is a debut.
At fourteen Sylvie and her sister Persephone were very close and shared each other’s secrets, whether they wanted to keep them or not. Persephone being almost eighteen was at that rebellious stage and would sneak out to meet with her boyfriend her mother did not approve of until one night she failed to return home. Not too long after the report was made to police Persephone’s body was found.
Now sixteen years later Sylvie has returned home to care for her ailing mother and begins to dig into her sister’s past. With the killer never having been caught Sylvie was always sure it was Persephone’s boyfriend but now as an adult she begins to question just how well she knew her sister and the secrets around her.
Picking this one up it really didn’t take long at all to fall into the writing and get engaged in the story. As the book goes on looking into the past and what happened that fateful night it’s one of those slowly peeling back the layers until all the truth comes bubbling out kind of books. Once beginning to piece together all of the clues it still was completely intriguing until the end.
I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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About the author:
Megan Collins holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Boston University. She has taught creative writing at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and Central Connecticut State University, and she is the managing editor of 3Elements Review. A Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee, her work has appeared in many print and online journals, including Off the Coast, Spillway, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Rattle. She lives in Connecticut.