All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley

on September 20, 2019

The Storm Sister (The Seven Sisters #2)
Lucinda Riley
Macmillan
2015, 685p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

Ally D’Aplièse is about to compete in one of the world’s most perilous yacht races, when she hears the news of her adoptive father’s sudden, mysterious death. Rushing back to meet her five sisters at their family home, she discovers that her father – an elusive billionaire affectionately known to his daughters as Pa Salt – has left each of them a tantalising clue to their true heritage.

Ally has also recently embarked on a deeply passionate love affair that will change her destiny forever. But with her life now turned upside down, Ally decides to leave the open seas and follow the trail that her father left her, which leads her to the icy beauty of Norway…

There, Ally begins to discover her roots – and how her story is inextricably bound to that of a young unknown singer, Anna Landvik, who lived there over 100 years before, and sang in the first performance of Grieg’s iconic music set to Ibsen’s play ‘Peer Gynt’. As Ally learns more about Anna, she also begins to question who her father, Pa Salt, really was. And why is the seventh sister missing?

Following the bestselling The Seven Sisters, The Storm Sister is the second book in Lucinda Riley’s spellbinding series based loosely on the mythology surrounding the famous star constellation.

I was originally sent this book for review about four years ago but I hadn’t read the first one. It’s sat on my shelf for years, patiently waiting until I got around to starting this series, which so many people had raved to me about. Finally I acquired the other books (we’re up to 5 now, 6 is about to be released) and I read and enjoyed the first book a couple of weeks ago. This one took me about 9 days to read – look it’s a huge book. Almost 700p in large paperback form. And I was reading it in snatches at night, whilst reading other books as well. But I have to admit, there were times when I struggled with this one and I think it’s mostly my fault. I think I had a misconception about what these books were, I keep expecting sweeping romances both in the historical timeline and in the present day timeline (which in the books, is 2007).

This book is second sister Ally’s story. Ally is a professional sailor and the first part of the book is dedicated to her sailing, meeting a captain named Theo and then the devastating discovery and aftermath of Pa Salt’s death. But that isn’t it for Ally, she also suffers another devastating loss and in the wake of that, only then does she decide to use the clues Pa Salt left for her in order to find her true heritage. That search takes her to Norway and the world of classical music.

This was kind of funny because in the last month or two, I’ve recently started listening to classical music. My husband and I were having a discussion one day about how neither of us could name many pieces but we probably knew much more than we realised and so I started searching out prominent composers and listening to the most popular results. As a result I discovered that I did know much more than I thought and I’ve regularly been listening to a classical music playlist as I write reviews, because for the most part there are no words to distract me. And because of that, I recognised quite a few of the pieces mentioned in this book as well as the composer who features, Edvard Grieg. In the Hall of the Mountain King is one of my favourites to listen to and Morning Mood is lovely as well. In this book, both Ally, a flautist and Jens, the love interest for Anna in Norway in the late 1800s, play Morning Mood. If I’d read this book even a few months ago, I’d have had to google all the music, all the composers mentioned, so it was nice to read it and know the pieces and who was being talked about.

I enjoyed a lot about Ally’s early story (one bit aside, which I’ll get to later) and also Anna’s as well. I appreciated a bit of an insight into 19th Century Norway, from the rural area of Anna’s upbringing to Christiania (now known as Oslo) as well as Anna’s struggle of duty and love. I felt for Anna, who was really quite naive when she was snatched from her family and taken to Christiania to sing and be “bettered” by a wealthy benefactor. She lives in his house (there’s a housekeeper, so it’s not quite as sleazy as it sounds, although I did still find it quite sleazy), he buys her clothes and gives her jewels. But Anna only has eyes for Jens, a lazy but talented womanising musician. People insist Jens will be her ruin but Anna can see nothing but her love for him.

But….I have to admit, I felt a bit deflated when I finished this and like I mentioned earlier, it might be my own preconceived ideas about what I thought this series was going to be. I was expecting more romance, I think, and the way in which this ended sort of left me a bit flat. I didn’t really like either of the love interests, Theo in the present timeline and Jens was a complete waste of space in the historical. Theo for me, was a huge part of why I struggled even early on in this – I just couldn’t warm to him. I found him overbearing and arrogant, bossy and patronising. I know nothing about sailing but to be honest, he seemed like a pretty terrible captain and the way in which he orders Ally off his ship only to push on with the rest of the crew really didn’t sit well with me. He’s talked about as though he were a legend but he had the chance to pull out of a dangerous race, like pretty much all of the other boats (ships? yachts? I don’t know) involved did. Their whole relationship smacked of instalove and felt quite immature for people in their thirties. And Jens in the 1870s onwards was such a poor waste of talent. I admired Anna’s tenacity for sure and I think I would’ve liked a little bit more for Ally. I know the books are about more than that, it’s about each sister discovering their heritage, learning their stories although each story also gives as many questions as it does answers. We’re still none the wiser about Pa Salt, who he was, what he did, why he adopted the girls, how he chose them/found them etc. Those are mysteries that will continue running through each book I guess until the last. I just wasn’t expecting some of the things that happened in this book, or the way that it ended but now that I think I’ve recalibrated my expectations, I won’t have those issues going into the next few books.

I did enjoy this but not as much as the first one, however I do think it’s mostly on what I was expecting but also because two of the men that these main characters fell in love with were so lacklustre. But that’s part of reading I guess, sometimes we assume something or think we’re getting something when we open a book but the reality is a bit different!

7/10

Book #141 of 2019


4 responses to “Review: The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley

  1. I hope the third is better!

  2. Great review! Sorry to hear it didn’t work as well for you as the first. Gorgeous cover though!

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