Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley

The first book in a major new series from the #1 internationally bestselling author Lucinda Riley.

Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings.

Eighty years earlier in Rio’s Belle Epoque of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his 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 the right sculptor to complete his vision. Izabela—passionate and longing to see the world—convinces her father to allow her to accompany him and his family to Europe before she is married. There, 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 sweeping, epic tale of love and loss—the first in a unique, spellbinding series of seven novels—Lucinda Riley showcases her storytelling talent like never before.

Review by Mirella Patzer

Every once in a while, I stumble on a spectacular book, one that will become a longtime favourite of mine, one I will gush about over and over and over again. This is one such book. 

It is the story of 6 adopted sisters - yes I know the title says that it is seven, but I think that secret will be revealed in a subsequent novel. When their adopted father dies, he summons them to their enchanted castle-like home on the shores of Lake Geneva Switzerland. From there, the sisters will individually embark upon their own stories in future novels. And I love this premise! This first novel is about Maia who travels to Rio de Janiero Brazil to discover the secrets of her roots. There, she will find the love of family, discover the dark secrets of her past, and fall in love, all during the creation of the Christ the Redeemer's statue. 

Totally engrossing, completely enchanting, the author peels back the secretive layers of the past, revealing a story so poignant, so compelling, I was hard pressed to put it down. Utterly credible characters literally come to vibrant life. Maia is courageous, kind, and savvy, a true role model of a human being. And there there is the story of Izabel, her ancestor, who has an engrossing past history that is intricately weaved with that of Maia's. The author weaves history and fact and details of the land and culture so expertly that this is indeed a very rich read.

This is definitely a must read book - it will appeal to contemporary readers as well as those who love historical fiction. I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment. This is one series I will anxiously await. That's how much I loved this book!