Hey ya’ll! So today is the first day of THE SILENT SISTER Readalong. We’ll be discussing and spoiling pages 1-104 of the book. I know, I know- you may be thinking “what?!” Don’t worry- we’ll be giving plenty of notice before we got to the spoilers portion of today’s program. If you are just now hearing about this readalong- don’t fret! You can join in at anytime- but we’ll only be discussing Part 1 (pages 1-104) in this post. October 24th we’ll discuss Part 2 (pages 107-233). October 31st will be Part 3 (pages 237-343). Join in the fun- we want to hear what you think!
Ok, well it’s time to start the discussion and start spoiling some things- so if you haven’t read yet and don’t want to be spoiled……. STOP HERE. Do not read further. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Come back when you’ve read pages 1-104!
Before we get into spoiler/discussion……………..
As an extra special treat for those participating in the readalong, thanks to St. Martin’s, we will be having a giveaway of THE SILENT SISTER. The winner will be randomly chosen from the comments in this post. Winner of THE SILENT SISTER will be selected October 24th- and must be US only (I’m sorry for the limitations!)
On to the discussion/spoilers:
Erin from Deep South Magazine: Prologue immediately lets you in on the secret that Lisa (the “silent sister”) may not be dead. From the start, we know something that main character Riley doesn’t and are along for the wild ride Diane Chamberlain is taking us on.
T @ Traveling With T: “Because the seventeen year old girl- the seventeen year old murderer- most were sure-now rested somewhere beneath that rocky expanse of ice.”
“Although a yellow kayak stranded in ice proved nothing. They were fools if they thought it did.”
Ahh, the start- the prologue- it gave me chills. Listen, it was no secret if you read the back of the book that Lisa was alive. What the draw was… Why did people think she committed suicide? What happened to make people think that? And, to not put too fine a point on word choice, Diane writes “Riley believed that Lisa committed suicide.” That plus the 2 quotes in prologue made my spidey senses tingle!
The Adoption Angle:
Erin from Deep South Magazine: I wasn’t paying that much attention to the adoption theory since Riley has no proof, but it is a major clue Diane is giving us. If you can figure out how it fits into the rest of the story, then pat yourself on the back for being an insightful reader (like T).
T @ Traveling With T: Aww, thank you E for that compliment! To me, I considered writing off Verniece’s statements to Riley about adoption as being just the mixup talk from an older lady. But, the more I got to thinking about it-and the mention of a picture of Riley with Danny and Lisa- well, the differences in their coloring was just another clue to consider about the adoption angle. I have MANY more thoughts on that- but, they will have to wait for next week’s discussion!
Part 1 Thoughts:
Erin from Deep South Magazine:
We are also introduced to a cast of characters who are not what they appear to be. It doesn’t take long to discover that Riley can trust no one, not even herself, because the life she’s lived this far has been built on lies.Lots of questions are left unanswered in this section, like is Riley adopted, was Lisa unstable, were their parents bad for trying to protect them at all costs and, most importantly, what the heck happened to Lisa? Did she kill someone on purpose, commit suicide or fake her death?
The section ends with a bombshell for Riley from Tom Kyle, who tells her that Lisa didn’t kill herself. Tom’s wife, Verniece, has already hit Riley with the fact that she might be adopted, but we don’t know whether the Kyles are telling truth or just bitter about not getting the RV park and trying to upset Riley.
T @ Traveling With T says:
Secrets. Secrets. And more secrets. Riley spends most of the first part of the book trying to decide who to trust- if anyone.
I remember emailing Erin and theorizing that Riley became a counselor because she was searching out ways to help families- especially after growing up in one where secrets were abundant.
I did not like Tom and Verniece.
The Danny angle with him expressing so much anger about being asked to clean the house and his anger about Lisa- I felt sympathy for him- BUT, I did find him unlikeable at times. And I wish he would have been able to help Riley clean and sort through stuff from their father’s death.
Erin from Deep South Mag:
Questions to consider about Part 1:
Do you think Riley is adopted?
Why would Tom ask if there is any more in the will to be left to him besides the pipe collection?
And why was Jeannie pushing Riley so hard on letting her help with the clean-up of the house?
Thanks for joining in Week 1! Can’t wait to read your comments!
Stay Bookishly Cool,
T @ Traveling With T & Erin from Deep South Magazine