The Winter Sister

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

I would give this book 3.75 out of 5 stars.

This was an enjoyable page-turning thriller.

I love a story with complex family relationships and Sylvie's relationship with her mother delivered this in spades. I did find the mystery very predictable but it was a quick page-turner of a read that I enjoyed working my way through.

If you're looking for a fun, return-to-home-town mystery, this is the book for you.
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Thank you @atriabooks for the free netgalley copy of The Winter Sister, available now. I loved it so much that I decided to get a finished copy from @bookofthemonth.

In my opinion, the usual makings of a great thriller include multiple narrators, unreliable narrators, and multiple times lines. This book didn’t have any of those things and I was still hooked from the beginning.

The biggest mystery that kept me turning pages was Persephone’s bruises. I came up with all kinds of theories about what they could have meant, none of them right. Collins includes two very taboo topics and one was enough to make my skin crawl.

I think The Winter Sister is perfect for fans of Emma in the Night. It’s a compulsive read with no shortage of secrets, twists and lies.
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I'm a sucker for a story about sisters (probably because I have one), especially if it's a thriller (think Emma in the Night. While this one was enjoyable, it didn't suck me in like I expect from a compulsive thriller. The plot was a bit predictable, but it was a quick read with great characters.
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This was a solidly 3 star book for me. Not bad, but a few weeks after finishing I'm struggling to recall enough details to write a substantial review.
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I enjoyed this but I did find it to be a bit predictable. (But hey- so many psychological thrillers are at this point...) The writing was great. It was so atmospheric and I'm very impressed that this was written by a debut author. The setting would make for a perfect spooky Fall read. There are complicated family relationships- with nearly everyone being unlikable, but I still cared enough to go through and find out what happened to them. The ending was satisfying and I will definitely be checking out this author again.
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I really enjoyed this book. It was a well told story and kept me guessing for quite some time. Great character development! Such a great story full of twists. Definitely a must read.
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This was a great old fashioned "who-dunnit". There is a murder that remains unsolved for 16 years until Sylvie returns home and stirs everything up. There are multiple suspects and the story flows naturally over each character and all the evidence. 
The reason I only gave it four stars is there were a few relationships that bothered me throughout the book. The Ben thing got a little incesty to me, just left me with a general feeling of ick. Also Sylvie's best friend is kind of a jerk. Their phone conversations really annoyed me; maybe I am the odd one, but I don't talk to my friends that way.
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One of my new favorite books! This author has such a way with words the pages flew by in no time! I can’t wait to see the next work by this author! This was such a joy to read!
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This book started out well but then I got lost in the middle of it. I set it down to come back to and just couldn't finish it because I just didn't care to. I didn't feel a connection to the book. It just wasn't my cup of tea.
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This book has been in my TBR pile for a few months now and so glad I chose to finally read it. The Winter Sister is the haunting debut novel by Megan Collins. It’s a story of two sisters, Persephone and Sylvie. Persephone was murdered when she was eighteen years old. After the murder, Sylvie’s mother shut down mentally and wasn’t able to care for her only remaining child. Persephone’s murder was never solved and her sister is now grown up. 

Sylvie’s mother now has cancer and Sylvie comes back to town to care for her even though their relationship had fallen apart all those years ago. This is a book of secrets…everyone has them. Sylvie tries to unravel all the threads to this twisting and turning mystery. This is a book of relationships…relationships between teenage sisters, relationships between mother and daughter. 

I really enjoyed this beautifully written debut novel. I was hooked from page one and my interest was held throughout. My favorite character was Sylvie. Her pain and guilt throughout the book was heart-wrenching. The author did a wonderful job portraying all that. The mother in the story was pitiful and I had mixed feelings about her. On one hand I felt sorry for her but at other times she made me angry for being so weak. The author did a fantastic job defining the complex family relationships. The characters were not only complex but also damaged by their traumatic experience. The tension and suspense builds up to the shocking conclusion. 

Overall I was impressed with this dark, haunting debut. I would definitely read more by this author. Thanks so much to Megan Collins, Isabel DaSilva and Atria Books for sending me a copy to review. I’m giving this one 4 stars and I highly recommend it to all lovers of suspense.
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New author for me but pleasantly surprised. Thank you for the approval and look forward to a book relationship with other reads in the future,
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I am sorry for not reviewing fully but I don’t have the time to read this at the moment. I believe that it wouldn't benefit you as a publisher or your book if I only skimmed it and wrote a rushed review. Again, I am sorry for not fully reviewing!
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This was a well written, enjoyably intriguing novel.  Sylvie's older sister was slipping out their bedroom window every night to meet her boyfriend Ben, but one night she didn't come back.  Her body is found in the snow a few days later and both Sylvie and her mother are plunged into the abyss of grief and guilt.  The murderer is never found.  Sixteen years later Sylvie returns to her mother's house to help care for her during her chemotherapy treatments.  Things between them are strained and uncomfortable as they continue struggling with their pain.  Sylvie encounters Ben at the hospital as she waits for her mother's therapy to be administered.  Ben was always Sylvie's first choice as the murderer but the police did not find any evidence to bring charges against him.  She confronts him and he does what he can to convince her that he is not the killer.  Not wanting to give away any more info and spoil this for anyone planning to read it, I can say without reservation that I strongly recommend this book.  A truly very good read.
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I was given the opportunity to review this book by Netgalley and the publisher. 

I was very excited about reading a talked about thriller from a new author. The synopsis of the story intrigued me. I really enjoyed this story. I felt Sylvie loved her sister so very much but also felt guilty for living her life after she was gone. I enjoyed the twists and turns of the novel also. No spoilers, but I did not like how the mother was portrayed and how she explained away her treatment of Persephone. I found it hard to believe that a mother would feel that way about one of their children. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and gladly give it 3.5 stars!
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Still getting through my back catalogue of paperbacks and ARCs, I opened up this one last week. The Winter Sister is the debut thriller by American author Megan Collins and I was pleasantly surprised by it.

Here's what irked me about this novel:

Would I even say irked, really? Anyway, let's just get it out there. This is a story that's kind of been done. If you're a regular reader of female-centered thrillers then you may find this one familiar. A disappearance; a murdered teenage girl; a cold case; an assumed-guilty ex-boyfriend; a suspicious local weirdo; a narrative set in the present reflecting back; a protagonist (in this case the sister of said murdered girl) who must return to her hometown 16 years later and confront her past. That's it in a nutshell. Throw in some complicated family relationships and you're set. 

And that's it - my only real criticism. Otherwise, this one is page-turner:

1. I liked that the protagonist isn't portrayed as an unreliable narrator. There's no drug or alcohol dependency; she is isn't emotionally unstable owing to a traumatic event. She's...normal.
2. I liked the setting. New England - beautiful. The murder happened in the winter and the author does a good job of capturing the atmosphere of the cold, harsh and bleak space.
3. I loved the relationship between Sylvie (our protagonist) and her mother. Their exchanges felt genuine and wrought with emotion and I thought the handling of Annie's cancer diagnosis and treatment was realistic.
4. Sylvie is a great character. She is fully-fledged and realistic, and she is both sympathetic and spunky!
5. Annie, Jill (Sylvie's Aunt), Ben (the dead sister's ex) and Tommy (the local weirdo) are also great characters - I only wished Tommy's weirdness had been developed further.
6. The tension grew steadily and built on itself perfectly; this was both a suspenseful and measured novel that was executed very well by Collins.
7. I didn't guess the end! Amazing! I thought this story was going one way when (view spoiler) but I was pleasantly surprised. So although the killer's name came into my mind at some point, I quickly shooed it back out thinking that couldn't be so. A welcome change in my reading of grip-lit of late!
8. And finally, the writing is great. There are some wonderful passages here; the narrative flows really well. It stays pretty much in the present and any flashbacks are presented through the eyes of the characters. Collins does a great job of settling the scene, presenting situations through vivid descriptions, sounds and smells. I was really taken in by it.

Overall, an engaging and enjoyable read about family, obsessive love, murder, abuse and confronting the past, and I am happy I got to it. 3.5 stars.
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*4.5 Stars* 

Copy kindly received via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

This was a great debut for Megan Collins. I don't know why I didn't pick it up sooner. I was instantly hooked and intrigued by these characters, and wanted to find out what the real truth was. While the story does take a little while to get underway in the present, we do need that backstory of the past when Persephone goes missing, to help understand the story.

There are many different and intriguing characters in this book, and whilst I can't say I really connected with any of them, I really did want to know what had gone on, and what the truth to all these secrets was. 

There were a fair few things I really did not see coming, and that's always the mark of a good mystery or thriller novel. I did enjoy watching this one play out, and I sped through it considering I wasn't too well at the time. 

Definitely recommend this one, and look forward to more from this author.
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This book starts in the past, when the narrators older sister goes missing. After a few days, the characters are changed forever, and relationships instantly change and fracture. The younger sister instantly suspects foul play from the boyfriend, who they have kept a secret from their protective mother. After the body of her sister is found, her murder goes unsolved for years. 

Fast forward to the narrator’s adulthood, when life brings her back home after years of being disconnected. She falls into detective mode, and starts to investigate what really happened. 

The main piece that I took away from this book was the various relationships, and their path through the story. While predictable at times, it never took away from my overall enjoyment of this book. I highly recommend!

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
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This was an enjoyable thriller that I am grateful for the opportunity to have read. I liked the story and the plot as well as the characters. My only negatives were a bit of pacing issues and it was a little too predictable for me as far as thrillers go. That does not make me hesitate in recommending it or saying that I would choose it again. I will also look forward to further work by this author.

#TheWinterSister #NetGalley
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I know I've read this story multiple time before....younger sibling estranged from her family after her older sibling's murder returns home to face her family's demons.  Yada, yada, yada...
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Sylvie loses her sister Persephone sixteen years ago, Persephone was forbidden from staying out or even see Ben Emory but she did it behind her mother's back and one night she never came home. Missing for three days before her body was found—and years later, her murder remains unsolved.

In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Annie has had unexplained “Dark Days” even before Persephone’s death- the current trip to be with her mother makes an uncomfortable reunion all these years later. 
Also Persephone’s former boyfriend, Ben, is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie has always believed Ben was responsible for the murder and had blamed him several times when she was questioned by the police, along with her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her.
All truth is revealed when Persephone tries tracking down as to what exactly happened that fateful night.
this was a 3-star read for me, wasn't as gripping as I thought it would, thanks to netgalley, Touchstone and Atria books for the ARC copy!
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