The Silent Sister Readalong Part 3 (Spoilers/Discussions)

The silent sister readalong

Hello all! We’re in the final week of The Silent Sister readalong- and this Part 3 is a doozy! The secrets that have been revealed and hinted at in the first 2 parts all culminate to a big ole BOOM. So buckle up- and join in the ride!

Erin from Deep South Magazine and I thank you for joining in the fun! One last treat from our people at St. Martin’s- another copy of THE SILENT SISTER. The winner will be chosen from the comments on this post (US only, I’m sorry!)


Erin from Deep South Magazine:


Y’all may have figured out more than I did by now, but I just didn’t see Riley as Lisa’s daughter. I was thinking maybe she was Jeannie’s child and that’s why Jeannie was acting so weird, but when you go back, there are plenty of clues. Lisa doted on her and when she goes back to North Carolina to get a glimpse of her family it’s on Riley’s birthday and it’s her little girl she wants to see.

On page 301, Lisa tells Riley “There are no secrets here,” encouraging her to sit down and talk to her, but Lisa has one more big secret left. This part did get a little too twisty turny for me. I honestly wasn’t surprised when Riley crashed her car. How many more secrets could she take before going crazy?

This makes me think again about what I would have done in this situation. I think Lisa’s father — who she idolized — helping her had a lot to do with it. If he’d encouraged her to stick it out and do her time, she might have been brave enough to stay and possibly go to jail, but I can’t blame her for taking the out. Why she never came clean later or tried to contact Riley is a valid question though.

Traveling With T’s Thoughts:


OMG. I knew. I called it when Verniece said she was adopted that she was Lisa’s daughter. I also said who the father was right after Riley watched that first video of Lisa playing the violin. The behavior between them, the control that Steven had- well, and the fact that I watch a big ole pile of Law and Order: SVU- and I could JUST feel the spidey senses tingling!

When Riley crashed her car, I thought “This is it. This is the secret that broke that camel’s back and now she’s going to die because she had no business getting behind the wheel of a car when she just found out her mom was raped by her biological father- and how much SH*T does our Riley have to deal with in this book?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” (I get very involved in character’s lives, in case you can’t tell.)

What would I have done in Lisa’s situation? I’d have hit the road- baby and been gone. So I can’t fault her for not wanting to stay and do her time. BUT, when you choose a new life- you have to give the old one up- no matter how hard it is.


Erin from Deep South Magazine


I’m wondering what everyone thinks was the purpose of Matty’s character? Did Diane put him the story just to lead us astray (especially since we never meet him and Riley never talks to him)?

My respect for Riley’s father (or grandfather as we now know) lessened in this section when we find out he carried on a relationship with Lisa and even attended her wedding, while leaving Danny and Riley in the dark or “behind” as Riley describes her feelings. Should he have trusted them and let them in on the secret as adults?

“I feel like” — I hunted for the words — “like Lisa and Daddy did everything they could to keep her existence — and their relationship — a secret from me.” – Riley in Chapter 48

That leads to the question of whether Danny could be trusted with Lisa’s secret. He proves his love for Riley in the end by not turning Lisa in, but I wonder what an apology and explanation from his father would have done for him over the years? If you read Diane’s prequel to the book, we learn that Riley was the only one who went to visit Danny in Afghanistan after he was injured. His mother was too sick, but his father could have found someone to stay with her and gone to see his son. I may have said this before, but I think Danny’s anger is really for his parents and misdirected at Lisa.

Some of these questions will be answered in our interview with Diane next week, but we’ll be sure to ask her any lingering ones on Twitter!


Traveling With T’s Thoughts:


Wow, Riley’s father- well her grandfather- was a real jerk. And here’s why: Yes, he helped his precious Lisa out of the jam (which was fine, imo!) BUT, after he tells her “they can have no contact” he, in the later years, begins to have a relationship with Lisa. Not just Lisa- but her new family. And that just made me mad. Yes, I get that he was struggling with not having Lisa in his life. Yes, I get that by telling Riley that Lisa’s alive it would open up a can of worms. BUT GUESS WHAT? Not deleting old emails, leaving behind evidence of a payment to a man like Tom, and a few other things ALSO opened up a can of worms!

I get not telling Danny- Danny was too much of a wildcard. He wouldn’t have blinked twice about sending her to jail- and reading some of what Erin had to say about father/son relationship- well, I guess that’s right. He was badly injured in Afghanistan and couldn’t find time/way to get there but his daughter- who is supposed to be dead and could very well get in trouble if that news comes out- he’s able to find time to be in her life?!

And Lisa…. So, I can’t decide where I stand on Lisa. Yes, she murdered a man. But then we find out she had a good reason. Yes, she never did time for it. But then she couldn’t spend time with her real family. BUT THEN- she gets to make a life for herself, have another family, etc (which I was ok with) WHILE still getting to be in touch with her father and at least knowing some about Riley and Danny? And that’s kinda when I start feeling like I have a smidge of a problem- it’s like she’s trying to have her cake and eat your cake as well. (Anyone feeling this way?)

Matty was pure red-herring, designed to make us all think that him and Lisa had been together. But he wasn’t the only red-herring- so was Jeannie’s daughter!



1. Were you surprised by the last secret revealed?

2. Was the ending satisfactory to you?

3. If this is your first Diane Chamberlain book- will you read more?

4. Do you see Riley and Lisa being happy in the future? Or will the secrets they have to keep be too much?


Erin and I want to thank you all for joining in the fun of THE SILENT SISTER readalong! We’ve had a blast- and hope you have as well!

Please don’t forget to check out the interview that Erin will have with Diane Chamberlain- I bet she will shed more light on all these secrets that have been consuming us for weeks!


Happy Reading and Bookishly Yours,

Erin @ Deep South Magazine and T @ Traveling With T



11 thoughts on “The Silent Sister Readalong Part 3 (Spoilers/Discussions)

  1. Bridget says:

    I knew who Riley’s parents were after it was revealed she had a big gash on her head. I also thought 12 months away was a big clue. I liked the ending, but you always wonder if Steven’s wife is still searching for Lisa! This was my first Diane Chamberlain book I have read. I plan on reading more of her books! 🙂

    • I didn’t get the spidey sense about the scar- but the 12 month thing- yes, that was another clue I forgot to mention! Excellent point about Steven’s wife- she seemed very determined- and with Lisa getting to be bigger as a musician- it’s possible that she could put it together! This was my first Diane Chamberlain book, as well- and I look forward to checking out other books. And we’re giving away a copy of her previous book, NECESSARY LIES, soon- so you may get lucky!

  2. That’s a good point about Steven’s wife, Bridget. Lisa will never truly be safe or free. I also agree with T that Lisa is having her cake and eating it too. She wasn’t a completely likable character in the end. I am glad that Riley got a happy ending – she deserved it after everything she went through – but I think she also needs to move on and create a new life for herself rather than clinging to the past.

    • YES! Totally a good point- and I do wonder if she’ll ever figure it out! 100% agree- Lisa was not a completely likeable character in the end- it was fine, for me, that she didn’t do the time- I think that if the jury had known what he did to her that they wouldn’t have convicted her. BUT,I was very conflicted on her in the end. I’m glad that Riley did get her happy ending- and the sense of family she was looking for- BUT she needs to also find others to enrich her life!

  3. I thought Riley’s grandfather was selfish too. At the point he was in touch with Lisa, there was no reason to keep the secret from the rest of the family when it made them all so miserable. Strangely, I figured out that the music teacher had abused Lisa, but it never occurred to me that Riley might be her daugher.

    • Exactly! I mean, I could understand him wanting to be in contact with her- BUT he really was selfish. And reckless- I mean there are no statue of limitations on murder. I wonder if others figured out the abuse angle before they fact that Riley was her daughter?

  4. Hi there! I thought this book was great. I didn’t figure out that Riley was Lisa’s child until right before it was revealed which was good because I don’t like books that are too predictable. I would have liked more resolution for Riley’s brother. I really felt for his character and he seemed to be left behind to me in the end. Riley just picked up and left. I get it because she wanted to build a relationship with her mom but I would’ve preferred that he either move also to stay closer to Riley, or we had at least been given more of a possible future of happiness for him.

    • I wish I hadn’t figured that out till then! I def wanted more resolution for Danny. I wanted more of why Danny was the way he was, too! I wonder if she’ll revisit these characters in the future?

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