Borrowed Book By: I’ve known about the Seven Sisters book series for quite awhile now, however, I haven’t had the proper chance to dig into the series – therefore, when I was approached by the publisher to considering being on the blog tour this February, I decided it was time to borrow the books via my local library! Although, as a member of the blog tour I was receiving the fourth release “The Pearl Sister” for my honest ruminations, I decided to back-read the entire series ahead of soaking into the newest installment – my personal preference is to read serial fiction in order of sequence; even if sometimes I find myself bungling the order, I love to see how the writer has set the stage for a series which becomes progressively engaging! To start at the beginning is the best way to see how they laid down the foundation for both the series, their writing style and how the characters first make their entrances into our lives.
I borrowed the first novel in the Seven Sisters series “The Seven Sisters” in hardback edition from my local library. I was not obligated to post a review as I am doing so for my own edification as a reader who loves to share her readerly life. I was not compensated for my thoughts shared herein.
On what appealed to me about reading the Seven Sisters series:
When I realised this was going to be a story about adoptive sisters, I was instantly captured by the premise as I’m a Prospective Adoptive Mum – who wants to adopt a sibling group out of foster care in the future. However, prior to realising this key thread of the series dramatic arc and connection, what moved me more is how it was layered through History and dual time-lines of different characters who were in essence inter-connected in a way they did not even realise it at the time. This felt like quite an epic Historical series – where it would move in and out of the Contemporary world and the recent past; where histories of each of the sisters’ origins might become revealled in each new installment of the series.
The layers the author was assembling into the series was quite alluring as well – such as the overlay between Mythological Histories and the reasons why the Seven Sisters are such a key point of reference in both spoken histories and the mythologies we know have become beloved favourite stories passed down through different generations whilst the stories themselves are sometimes altered by who is telling them. Combine this with the clever mind of a writer who was able to visit the locales in which she is writing about – absorbing what was there to be seen and felt as she was writing the stories and I had a feeling this is one series which would give me the sensation of living ‘elsewhere’ quite wondrously until the final chapter of the final novel was read – as it’s not yet composed into life, I have a bit of a wait ahead of me!
Blessedly I’m a patient reader – I don’t mind waiting for the next sequences of a beloved series. I might get wicked excited and wish to read them sooner – but in the end, I respect the time needed to create them and I’d rather have patience than to have an installment feel it was rushed into existence. Somehow, I have stumbled across another writer who writes like I do – not something I generally find, but within the pages of Ms Riley’s #SevenSistersSeries, I see my own writing style mirrored within her own. It’s interesting to observe as this is the first time I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading her stories and I can tell I shall be spending a lot time seeking out her stories and wickedly delighted to see where she continues to take me,… one thing I can attest as being an inspiring segue from reading this novel is by watching adoptive stories on YT.
I took moments outside the text to watch videos of adoptive families being spotlighted on Ellen, Rachael Ray and other outlets celebrating the joys of being part of a blended family. I even learnt about an adoptive family of fourteen siblings – from various countries of origin – who surprised their Mum and Dad with a new living room as they wanted to give back part of the joy and happiness they had received throughout their lives to two selfless parents who never took time to focus on themselves because they had always put the children first (as it should be). I love stories which parlay into our own heart’s wishes and dreams whilst acknowledging the journey all children go through who are on a path of adoption. (see also the 14 adoptees who surprised their parents)
Notation on Cover Art: I had agreed with the author in one of her YT videos about how the constellation cover art truly suited this first novel of her series, however, having read the hardcover American edition – I personally liked how the evidence left behind by Pa Salt was imprinted (similar to a watermark) behind the author’s name (the armillary sphere) whilst below the title, we can see Rio and the sculpture of Christ the Redeemer whilst Maia is looking away from Rio – it’s a clever way of positioning you into the setting of where Maia starts to understand who she is and why she is one of Pa Salt’s daughters.
Synopsis on the Inside Flap:
Maia D' Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, "Atlantis" - a fabulous, secluded castle on the shores of Lake Geneva - having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as infants, has died. Each of the sisters is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage - a clue that takes Maia, the eldest, across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to piece together the story of her own life's beginnings.
Eighty years earlier, in the Rio of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio's newly wealthy father has aspirations for his beautiful daughter to marry into the 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 find a sculptor capable of completing his vision. Izabela - passionate and longing to see the world - convinces her father to allow her to accompany the da Silva Costa family to Europe before she is married off to a man whom she hardly knows. In Paris, at Paul Landowski's studio and in the heady, vibrant cafes of Montparnasse, she meets ambitious young sculptor Laurent Brouilly, and knows at once that her life will never be the same again.
In this beguilling entrancing novel, Lucinda Riley brings vividly to life two extraordinary women whose intertwining stories, set decades apart are a reminder of the courage it takes to accept love when it is offered.
Genres: Adoption & Foster Care, Biographical Fiction, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Epistolary | Letters & Correspondences, Genre-bender, Historical Fiction, Time Slip and/or Time Shift, Women's Fiction
Places to find the book:
Published by Atria Books
on 5th May, 2015
Format: Hardcover Edition
I *love!* finding videos by authors who love to engage with readers about the inspiration behind their stories – the more I learn about Ms Riley the more I see a lot of myself in her intuitive instincts for drawing out a story which she is as passionate about writing as I am to be reading it. I loved this video & thought you’d enjoy it, too.
The Seven Sisters Series: of whom are Maia, Ally (Alcyone), Star (Asterope), CeCe (Celeano), Tiggy (Taygete), Electra and Merope – the series is based on the mythology of the Seven Sisters of the Pleiades – interestingly enough, this is a constellation in close proximity to Orion*.
The Seven Sisters : Maia’s Story (Book One)
The Storm Sister : Ally’s Story (Book Two) | Synopsis
The Shadow Sister : Star’s Story (Book Three) | Synopsis
The Pearl Sister : CeCe’s Story (Book Four) | Synopsis *forthcoming review 1st of February, 2018!
Available Formats: Hardcover, Audiobook, Paperback and Ebook
Converse via: #SevenSistersSeries
#whoispasalt ← I advise not visiting the second tag on Twitter as it tends to reveal a few things ahead of reading the stories themselves.
*NOTE: My favourite constellation since I was young girl who lived at her Science Center, whilst finding the awe and wonder of studying a wide diversity of the Sciences through interactive play, experiments and lively engaging Summer camps – I had a focus of interest on Cosmology and Astronomy which had a healthy appreciation for the constellations and the intriguing stories behind how they were named and the lives ‘they’ once lived. All of this is a segue of interest which also parlays into my fascination and appreciation of the Quantum Realms and AstroPhysics. I hadn’t realised the connection to Orion until I opened The Seven Sisters; after which I immediately smiled – this series was meant to be read by me. The girl who looks for Orion every Autumn and wickedly smiles musefully at him throughout Winter and Spring. Geographically speaking, he’s not even meant to be seen outside one season a year yet I find him more frequently than most – a constant presence overhead and a comforting sight at that!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: