Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Winter Sisters - Book Review

Signs of spring are in the air and the people of Albany, New York are caught completely by surprise when a blizzard descends on the East Coast. Four feet of snow fell in Albany and nearly 400 people along the North East Coast were killed by the storm, including Bonnie and David O'Donnell. Three days later when the snow stopped falling, the teachers at the local school sent the hungry and nearly poisoned children home. Emma and Claire O'Donnell, ten and seven years old, struggle in the snow to find their way home and are lost.

Dr. Mary Sutter Stipps thinks of Bonnie O'Donnell as a sister and is devastated by her death. She and her family are determined to find the missing girls though she will have to wade through the ugly underbelly of her town. The perverse truth slowly unfolds through the pages of the compelling novel.

Winter Sisters by Robin Oliveira begins with the excitement and terror of the big storm. It gets bogged down for a bit as it reintroduces the reader to characters from Oliveira's novel My Name is Mary Sutter. It is, however, not necessary to read the earlier novel in order to enjoy Winter Sisters (I didn't read the first). Eventually, the novel settles into a steady pace as it focuses on the missing girls and the Stipps family's search to find them.

Winter Sisters is a thriller and a mystery but set in 1879, it takes a less frenetic pace than many contemporary thrillers. There is time to be more thoughtful and considerate; time to examine aspects of the culture that are still pervasive today. It took me a little while to really feel the novel and connect with the characters, but once I did, I was spellbound by the mystery and Mary's desire and mission to not only solve it but to save the girls--physically and mentally.

Winter Sisters by Robin Oliveira is published by Viking and released February 27, 2018.

**I received a complimentary copy of the book. This review reflects my honest opinions. No compensation was received.**

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