Cover Image: The Winter Sister

The Winter Sister

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Maybe I’ve read too many thrillers but they all feel a bit similar at this point. A quick read that was enjoyable enough, but nothing super compelling here.
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Thanks to Atria for the free book.
I should've gotten to this one sooner. It was a compulsive page-turner. I enjoyed how the story slowly built. Everyone thinks they know what happened to Persephone,  but they're all a bit off. I liked the red herrings, the flawed characters, and the tumultuous mother/daughter relationships. I did figure out the twist, but it didn't detract from my reading experience.
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Haunting an elegant. This was a suspenseful read that was very enjoyable. I really liked the setting and how it up the steaks along with the characters. I definitely have for myself loving reading more suspenseful novels and this one is definitely on the list as one of the good ones.
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Megan Collins's The Winter Sister was heartbreaking on several levels and touched on truths that all of us can probably recognize.  The characters' long term feelings of guilt, the misunderstandings between parents and children, and the dangers that are inherent in trying to control another person's choices were all intriguingly woven into the plot.  Megan Collins is a new favorite of mine as she tells the story so well and creates characters who are not altogether trustworthy at times and not always extremely likable, but are very believable.  There are hints of the old Southern Gothic novels and short stories of Truman Capote, those suggestions of rot beneath the surface along with the decay that can be easily seen.  I truly enjoyed reading this book and I look forward to reading more by this author.
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A fine suspense of a novel, but the plot seemed obvious and overdone. There was attempts at throwing the reader off and making other characters seem like the culprit but the attempts seemed a bit flimsy. I do think the author could pull off a really good novel if there was a more unique plot.
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"The Winter Sister" features the story of Sylvie, a woman who returns to her hometown to take care of her sick mother. It's also the place where Sylvie's teenage sister died when she was just a girl. The mystery around the death is the most interesting aspect of the book and I thought Collins did a great job creating suspense and then resolving all of the conflict by the last page. 

It can be hard for thrillers like this one to not fall into some predictable traps though. For me, there were some things I saw coming from a mile away. And I often think the romantic part of thrillers is superfluous - this one felt especially unnecessary and kind of icky. However, Collins does a great job creating characters that are both memorable and real (even if some of them are pretty unlikable). This wouldn't be an automatic recommend for me but it was decent enough to keep me interested the whole way through.
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This book is great! Would definitely recommend. Thanks so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.
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I find this author to be hit or miss for me, I'm afraid.... I realize I'm in the minority here and will keep plugging through their releases so as to not miss a hit.  Thanks for the opportunity to review this!
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I definitely liked this, but it was a bit predictable. It's possible that I read too many books in this genre.

Seventeen years after her sister's murder, Sylvie returns home to care for her mother. As Sylvie delves into the past, she goes from thinking that the boyfriend did it (because that would be to predictable even for this book) to thinking other people may have either caused her death or known more about it than they are telling.
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I found this to be a very interesting, introspective book. If you go into it expecting a suspense filled murder mystery, you might be disappointed with what you receive. If you go into this expecting a slowly unraveling family drama with complex layers, damaged people and what happens when love goes bad, then you will enjoy this story.

The mystery aspect was not a huge surprise, but it was ok with me because I was too wrapped up in the hot mess of the family, the kind where it is a total train wreck but you can't look away because you are too curious and a total rubbernecker. Yep, that is how I feel about this book. A lot of the story was the main character remembering the events that led to her sister's death, introspective moments where she dealt with guilt and darker emotions, passive aggressive interactions and denials while slowly moving forward to the harsh truths revealed at the end.

If you like hard choices, heartbreak and complicated relationship dynamics then this is the perfect read to pick up.
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This book had a strong start, but then it slowed down a lot.  Gotta get that exposition in, but it could have been a little quicker.  Then things picked up at the end with a satisfying finish.
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It took a minute to get into- however it was a interesting premise.Really enjoyed the plot twists and character development. . I didn’t really get the closure I wanted at the end though.
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A woman returns home sixteen years after her sister's murder. You can change the sister to a friend/love interest/etc, and this novel setup is a familiar one.  I struggled with how to review this novel because the author's language is beautiful although the storyline is nothing revelatory.  I think if you go into reading this book with expectations for family tension but not much in the way of thrills or suspense, you will enjoy this novel so much more. Everywhere I looked, I heard what a twisty thriller this was, and I while I did not see any surprising twists, I enjoyed the writing and the journey.  This is a story that does better service to the characters than the overall mystery. Still, I loved the hero so I enjoyed this book tremendously.
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An unsolved murder a decade ago. A young woman who was close to the victim, now floundering and struggling through life after she left her hometown at the first opportunity. An external cause that brings her home to face the past, and ultimately reveal secrets and the identity of the murderer.

Sound familiar? I think I've read this plot a dozen times before in the search for a great thriller (often fruitless). Still, I devoured this book in about two days - although the plot was a bit stale and predictable at times, I did really enjoy the spin Collins took. The difference here is really great, believable characters: most of them incredibly damaged, but not in that overly twisted, unhealthy way I often find in suspense books.

Read this one for a quick, entertaining page turner full of secrets to uncover.
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Sylvia and Persephone are teenage sisters who share a bedroom and some secrets. They live with their mother and do not know who their fathers are. Persephone has been sneaking out the window at night to meet with her boyfriend Ben who her mother, Annie, has forbid her from dating. Sylvia is tired of covering for Persephone and helping her hide her bruises when she returns. She decided to lock the window and pretend to be asleep when her sister returns. The next morning she wakes up and her sister still has not returned. This novel follows Sylvie’s life as a you adult struggling with the guilt of her sister’s death that night. She returns home to care for her ailing mother and begins to look into the cold case on her own. Why was no one ever convicted? Nothing seemed to add up. I was able to piece the ending together fairly quickly, but I still enjoyed reading the novel all the way through. It was very well written and had enough suspense to keep me engaged!
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Loved it! I had never read this author before, but saw a friend recommend this book. I was not disappointed. Thank you to the publisher for allowing me to read and review this title!
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This was a fun one! At first it started out slow and I wasn’t in love with it, but I was interested enough to keep going… thank goodness I did! It’s a slow burning mystery and while there’s nothing overly dramatic happening within the first half it keeps you engaged with its short chapters, great writing, and lots of family drama! That’s when things pick up.
..

I wasn’t in love with any of our characters and while I did sympathize with their loss that’s not what kept me pulled towards them. It was the strange relationship between the mom and her daughters. It was so twisted and odd and I often found myself questioning the reasoning behind their behavior. I always find this so dang intriguing! I couldn’t get enough of it. THE WINTER SISTER has some vibes of SHARP OBJECTS (loved) and EMMA IN THE NIGHT so if you’ve read and enjoyed those, I’d suggest picking this one up!

Anyways, there also happens to be a few twists that left me a bit sick to my stomach. I really enjoyed how entertaining this dark book was. It kept me pointing fingers too which is always a fun little game to play. Like I mentioned, it’s a slow burn with lots of twisted things happening.
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It seems there has been a large increase in debut authors of mystery and thrillers. This is my favorite genre so I have read many different stories. Like many other recent debut novels, this one was slow to start. But once it did! Omg! Cold case books are typically intriguing. So much can be learned years later, so many things can come to light after the fact. This book was definitely intriguing, strange, creepy, twisty. I enjoyed it. The only thing that would have made this book better and a 5 star book would have been if it had grabbed me from page 1 and didn't let me go.
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Nothing is new anymore. Especially in the psychological thriller genre. 

The Winter Sister employs pretty standard plot points and tropes of its genre, rendering it a touch too predictable to be truly compelling. Still, Collins writes beautifully to a degree that is not common to the genre, and that’s enough to make the book worth a read. 

Sylvie and Persephone are both too archetypical to evoke much feeling in the reader, but they’re also likable enough that their fates matter to the reader. 

The “Move back home to care for my dying mother” plotline is, too, a tired one, oft used to place a character in a thriller back in a hometown that holds secrets from the past that they would rather forget. 

That makes reading The Winter Sister feel a bit like we’re just going through the motions, a common feeling evoked by thrillers with heavily recycled plots that don’t boast a unique ending to set themselves apart. 

In all, this is by no means a bad read and I wasn’t bored, but I doubt I’ll be able to sort this one from the many others like it if asked to a year from now.
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I enjoyed this book, however I don't feel that it was the author's best work yet. I really enjoyed the writing of the characters.
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