23 October 2012
Book Review: Little Sisters by Lucy Dawson
Their relationship has been complicated ever since a devastating tragedy blew their family apart, but Kate cannot believe Anya would willingly travel somewhere so isolated with a man she barely knows . . . would she?
In a race against time, Kate must fight to find her little sister before it's too late."
This book has been a long time coming for me, it was originally slated for a 2011 release but for some reason was put back until October 2012, but now the release date for Lucy Dawson's latest novel Little Sister is finally here! The cover looks suitably spooky, although the flash of bright pink at the top reminds me that this is still a women's fiction novel. I do like the use of the ghostly young girls though, it's different from any other books that I've read so far this year anyway! Dawson always weaves an element of mystery, intrigue and suspense into her books, and I knew this one would be no different, and luckily she didn't let me down, it was a great read!
Kate is quite close to her little sister Anya, and always feels like she has to look out for her and be her protector, especially since their mum has moved to the US and their dad isn't a well man. So when Kate gets a phone call in the middle of the night from authorities in Mexico, she fears the worst about her little sister. She feels even worse when she realises Anya didn't even tell her she was going away. It turns out Anya was travelling with a man she met in Mexico and the pair have gone diving... but there is now no sign of him either. Can Kate convince the Mexican authorities to keep looking her sister, and are the sisters going to be able to make amends for what happened in their past before it's too late?
The book doesn't hold back in getting started, and I really enjoyed that Dawson takes us straight into the action. Rather than setting up a previous relationship between the sisters and revealing their past traumas all at once, they're told to us as memories from the sisters, and are slowly revealed throughout the book. This creates a bit of drama because we want to know more all the time, and are left hanging, waiting for the next part to be told to us. As the narrative chops and changes between the characters too, you end up feeling differently about them as each chapter ends, and I liked that because it kept the book fresh and less predictable than it might have otherwise been too.
The characters in the book are few and far between really, but in a story like this, it doesn't need a huge cast. Obviously the main two are Kate and Anya, sisters and friends, but each dealing with their grief for their loss years ago that they simply can't get past. I somehow managaed to like Kate and feel frustrated by her at the same time - you could understand her desperation and fear perfectly well as I'd feel the same if it were my brother, but at the same time, Dawson made me feel frustrated at her actions, and I wanted to make her take a back seat a bit and listen to her husband for a bit! She dives in without thinking of the repercussions of her actions a bit too much, but the same can be said of little sister Anya too. She's a bit too flighty, and doesn't give much thought to her family when she's flying across the world. However, these female characters work so well together and are fun to read about. Will, Anya's best friend is one of the only males in the book and I really liked him, and felt terribly sorry for him and his unrequited feelings!
I really enjoyed reading Little Sister, especially the detail that Dawson puts into the book about cave diving in Mexico! It's clear she has really researched it because it reads so realistically and to be honest puts me off ever going to do something like that myself, sounds like hell on earth to me! It's a quite scary account of what can happen abroad too, and how lost and alone you can quickly become, leaving those at home desperately worried and scared, and Dawson puts these feelings across excellently well, writing Kate as a petrified, worry-ridden older sister, and Anya as the less-thoughtful and emotionally unstable little sibling, still struggling to overcome her guilt from years ago. It's a bit of a psychological thriller which will have you wanting more and more for every page you read, needing to know if Anya will come home alive, or if it's a sad ending. Dawson's excellent writing throws you into the thick of both sides of the action, and I thoroughly enjoyed every page.
You can buy Little Sister as a paperback or an eBook now.