Saturday, February 16, 2019

The Seven Sisters - Fiction Review

Rating: Good
Source: Library

Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings.

Eighty years earlier in Rio’s Belle Epoque of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to complete his vision. Izabela—passionate and longing to see the world—convinces her father to allow her to accompany him and his family to Europe before she is married. There, at Paul Landowski’s studio and in the heady, vibrant cafes of Montparnasse, she meets ambitious young sculptor Laurent Brouilly, and knows at once that her life will never be the same again.

In this sweeping, epic tale of love and loss—the first in a unique, spellbinding series of seven novels—Lucinda Riley showcases her storytelling talent like never before.

Genre: Fiction

Why I Picked This Book:
  This book was on my TBR the minute I heard about it.  I love the concept of everything this book and this series.  

My Impression: 
I know essentially nothing about Brazil other than the giant statue of Christ resides there and they have carnival.  I can pick the country out on a map.  And that about sums it up.  To be honest it never really occurred to me to learn more until I reading this book.  The premise of this book is a bit of a stretch where a single wealthy man adopts 6 infant girls for what seems to be a motive known only to him.  After his death he gives each girl what she needs to discover where she came from.

This is a dual timeline with a large chunk of the book taking place in Brazil and Paris in the late 1920s and the other part set in modern day Brazil.  I loved the 1920s timeline.  The culture was fascinating as what the character Bel who was torn between what made her happy and doing what she was supposed to do.  The emotions were so strong here that at times it was difficult to read and I had such empathy for Bel.  The history of the iconic statue was fascinating and the amount of work to create it was so enormous that I have a whole new appreciation for it.

The modern day story compelled me a little less.  While I love the premise of a woman trying to figure out where she really came from at times the story felt flat - especially compared with the other story.  I think the main reason is because of Maia herself.  She's so controlled and guarded it was somewhat difficult to become invested in her as much as I wanted to do so.  Her reasons for being so do make some sense but I would really loved her character to be explored and fleshed out a bit more.

I love the concept of this book a bit more than I loved the actual execution.  While it was enjoyable I felt like I wanted a bit more - especially when it came to the present day timeline.  However, I'm really looking forward to continuing with the series.  I'm hoping I'll connect more with the next sister.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  I would but I think I'm going the audio route for the next book.  

Would I Recommend this Book?
  If you enjoy historical fiction and don't mind a dual timeline than I think you would enjoy this book.


  1. Yes the audio route is quite good with these books and I think I have listened to most this way, I am listening to the latest at the moment - taking me awhile. I am not a big fan of the dual time line but its palatable enough. I'll finish them out. I found the history of this interesting and the statue and remembered that when I the Olympic Games was there and we saw the statue on TV a lot.

  2. I have this one on my TBR pile and keep putting it off. Maybe the library will have the audio and I should try it that way.

  3. I am currently reading this book so I've sped read through your thoughts because I didn't want to know much about the book. I am liking it. I'm in Izabela's past right now.