You may recall my review for The Second Child from last year, which was the first novel from Caroline Bond. It was a book I’d really enjoyed reading, so I’ve been eagerly awaiting her second novel. The Forgotten Sister was published through Corvus Books on 2nd May, and it really has lived up to my expectations.
What would you do if you were adopted and decided to trace your birth mother, only to discover that you had a sister that everyone wanted to forget? In The Forgotten Sister, we meet Cassie, the seventeen-year-old adopted daughter of Grace and Tom. She’s always known that she was adopted and it’s never made any difference before to her relationship with her parents, or her younger sister Erin. But she’s at an age where she wants to know who she is and where she’s come from.
It becomes clear fairly early on in the book that Cassie’s adoptive parents are keeping a secret from her. One that could probably blow their happy family life apart. They hope that by giving Cassie a little information about her birth mother, she’ll soon lose interest and they can go back to being your average happy family. But they’ve underestimated Cassie and her determination. When she receives a reply to a Facebook request she’s placed asking for information about her mother, nothing about her life will ever be the same again.
The big secret that has been kept for all of Cassie’s life with her adoptive parents is that she has an older sister, Leah. Cassie travels to Oldham to meet her, and it soon becomes apparent that Leah has had a very different life to her younger sister. Cassie wants to know more about her mother, but Leah has a score to settle and draws Cassie in so that she can take her revenge on the people who rejected her years before.
Leah was seven when the sisters were finally taken into care. Her childhood to that point revolved around keeping her little sister safe in a neglectful and volatile environment. She’d been badly scarred by the environment she’d grown up and had psychological scars, she wasn’t a perfect child, she’s wasn’t a perfect adult either.
In The Forgotten Sister we watch the sisters learn more about each other and themselves and watch as Cassie turns on her parents, sister and boyfriend. But all is not what it seems and Cassie discovers who she really can rely on when things go wrong.
The book is beautifully written, with characters that you really want to be able to work their issues out and have a happy ending. There’s a nice twist in the tale at the end of the book which I wasn’t expecting. If you’re looking for a good read this summer then pick up a copy of The Forgotten Sister, I can thoroughly recommend.
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