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  • 3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    A strange novel!

    I just finished reading The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon. Amy grew up in the Tower Motel. It was closed in 1971 after a highway was built that diverted traffic from London, Vermont. One of the attractions was a tower (made of stone) their grandfather built for their grandmother who came from London, England. It is now in bad shape and should be torn down. Jason Hawke grew up with Amy (had a big crush on her). He is now married to Margot and they are expecting their first child. Jason is an officer with the London Police Department. He is going off duty when he hears a call out to the Tower Motel. When he arrives, he finds a very bloody and disturbing scene. Amy, her husband, Mark, and their son, Levi are all dead. The only survivor is their daughter, Lou (who climbed out onto the roof with her bloody feet). Margot is confined to bed and asks Piper to investigate what happened to Amy’s family. The book is told from the perspective of Rose, Piper, and Jason. It jumps from 2013 (present day) to 1955, 1961, and 1989 (which makes it jumbled and confusing). Sylvia and Rose are sisters (1955 and 1961). Sylvia is the golden girl. She dreams of being an actress and she writes odd letters to Alfred Hitchcock (which Rose steals out of mailbox). She disappears in October the year of her eighteenth year and is never heard from again. Amy, Margot, and Piper (Margot and Piper are sisters) find her suitcase buried in the floor of the tower their grandfather built. They start looking for more information and find her typewriter. Inside is another letter to Alfred Hitchcock which mentions a secret 29th room at the motel. The girls are curious and start investigating Sylvia and the mysterious room. Where could the 29th room be? Amy is a strange girl. Raised by her grandmother after her mother, Rose takes off (has issues). When Rose was little her Oma came over for a visit from England. Oma would tell Rose stories about mares. Rose believes her Oma’s stories about mares. Humans that can transform into animals. Rose thinks that Sylvia is a mare and keeps watching her over the years. She wants to catch Sylvia in the act of transforming. Is there such a thing as mares? What happened to Sylvia Slater? Did Amy kill her family and herself? The Night Sister tells the story about the two investigations and what happened to the family. I found the novel extremely strange (sad, but true). A paranormal element was added at the end which actually made the story worse. I think the novel would have been better off it had just been a mystery. It is confusing to read as the book jumps all around. It does come together in the end, but I did not especially like the ending. I give The Night Sister 2 out of 5 stars. The idea is intriguing, but I found the execution of the idea lacking. The writing is just lack luster. I never got drawn into the story because it was going to different years and different characters. Unfortunately, The Night Sister was just not for me. If I use one word to describe this book it would be weird! I received a complimentary copy of The Night Sister from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The review and opinions expressed are my own.
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