Friday, December 12, 2014

The Good Sister, by Jamie Kain

The Good Sister by Jaime Kain has been described (on Goodreads) as "The Fault in Our Stars meets The Lovely Bones," and I feel that is an apt assessment of this sad, but oh-so-good page turner. There's also a bit of We Were Liars mixed in.

The Kinseys are the picture-perfect example of a dysfunctional family. There's the former hippie mom who is determined to hold onto her flower-child roots. The former-hippie-now-reformed (but also absent) father. Sarah, Rachel, and Asha grew up in this crazy, messed-up household where the normal rules of the world didn't really apply. Despite the so-called "mellow" vibe of their California community, no one in the Kinsey household is really happy.

And ever since Sarah died, things have been even worse. Sarah, the "good" sister of the title, was the glue that held the family together. She was the sun the rest orbited around, built their lives around. With her gone, everything falls apart.

A lifelong leukemia patient, Sarah knew early death was almost a certainty. Everyone knew it was coming. Just not like this. Not in a hiking "accident" that may not have been all that accidental. Told from the three sisters' alternating viewpoints (with Sarah's perspective from the afterlife bringing an element of magical realism to the story), the true story gradually unfolds, uncensored. And it is a truth that's painful and far more complex and convoluted than the reader could imagine. Everyone's secrets come spilling out, and no one is who they first appear to be. 

Especially Sarah. Saintly, golden Sarah.

Saintly? Yeah right!

To say more would give too much away.

The Good Sister can currently be found on our New Book Shelf. Read it if you're looking for a complex mystery that will keep you guessing until the end. 

Definitely recommended! --AJB

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