The Orchid Sister

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 21 May 2019

Member Reviews

The Orchid Sister was an alright book, but one I know I'll essentially not remember reading in a year or two. However, I guess I can say it simply didn't quite speak to me, but it might speak to you. At first, I wasn't too invested, but after reading about a third I decided that I'll stick with it to the end because I just want to find out what happens to the characters. You could say this is one of those steady books where everything is written quite simply and it progresses smoothly, there are no slumps in the storytelling or anything like that. But at the same time, there are no real tense moments either. For me, it lacked a spark. It's both a story of sisterly love, as well as a story of moving on. Perhaps it was just that there were too many things it was trying to talk about. Anyway, I find that I have nothing to say in the review, and I guess that tells a story on its own.

Triggers include: PTSD, missing persons, plane crashes, fire and severe burns, family members dying in accidents (these are not spoilers, they're part of the setting).

I thank the publisher for giving me a review of the ebook through NetGalley in exchange to an honest review. It has not affected my opinion.
Was this review helpful?
I haven’t picked up anything by this author, Anne D. LeClaire before I chose to read her latest novel THE ORCHID SISTER. I selected this to read because I liked the interesting premise and I was attracted by the beautiful cover design. I can’t resist a novel which is about sisters, although don’t ask me why!

After her parents were killed in a plane crash, Maddie decided that she no longer wanted to be close to anyone again except her sister, Kat. Growing up, the two girls had always been there for one another. Now, Maddie has decided to risk her heart by forming a relationship with Jack, a pilot, but another plane crash devastates her all over again. She needs Kat, but her sister, a journalist followed a story to the Yucatan and is now missing. Maddie must confront her greatest fear and board a plane, perhaps to find that the one person she had left has gone forever. 

The intriguing story-line totally captured my attention from the start as I found myself transported to a different world, planting me firmly into the life of Maddie. With perfect pacing, I was totally absorbed all the way through, until the fulfilling conclusion. The author’s writing style was very appealing, brilliantly encapsulating the core of the scenes that I was visualising whilst reading. Anne D. LeClaire’s special way with the narrative made this complex and enthralling novel quite distinct. 

Overall, THE ORCHID SISTER is a very worthwhile read with loads of raw emotion and plenty of heartache and relationship dynamics to unearth. If you’re a fan of general or women’s fiction you should really read this captivating and wonderful book!

Thanks to NetGalley, Lake Union Publishing and the author, Anne D. LeClaire, for my complimentary copy of The Orchid Sister. My honest review is entirely voluntary.
Was this review helpful?
Didn't really like nor could I get into this book.  The story was just off to me and it took me a while to get into.
Was this review helpful?
My rating:
Story: 4 out of 5 stars
Writing: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Character development: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Overall:  4 out of 5 stars


This is a poignant story about the bond between two sisters and how the main character Maddie has to overcome her fears in order to find her sister. The relationship between the sisters is described vividly and is realistic. The story is suspenseful and nail biting at times. It was hard to put the book down. 
After I finished the book I felt that the story of Maddie and Kat was a little bit unfinished. 
It would have been nice if the author would have gone into a bit more detail about the past. Explain how the plane crash happened Maddie was in all those years ago.
How did Kat get into the clinic and what happened there? This would have strengthened both story and the character development and also made their actions more realistic. 

Overall this is a nice story well worth reading.
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed this book, story of two sisters and overlapping story of an older psychic, that part was the weakest and could have been left out, it was as if the author was trying to create magic rather than trust in the story of the sisters and their growth.  I did enjoy it though
Was this review helpful?
Rating 3.5 stars!

When I saw this cover, I was in's beautiful.... I couldn't help myself from requesting the opportunity to read and review it from NetGalley, so I was happy to see I was approved.

Kathrine ("Kat") is Madison's older sister, who cared for Madison ("Maddie") as she survived and suffered horrible burns and injuries in a plane crash that killed their parents.  The Orchid Sister is a story of two sisters who share a bond strengthened by loss and hardship. Readers learn about each sister and understand each of their feelings.

The sisters are older now and Maddie is an artist who makes expressive masks. She lives alone with her cat, Winks, and lives a very peaceful and secluded life.  Kat is a freelance journalist who travels extensively tracking down stories for the news. She's often on secret assignment and while doing so, she goes missing. Maddie must face the fact that her sister may be gone forever.

The story then shifts to Maddie overcoming her fears and flying out to try and find her sister.  I won't post spoilers, but Maddie has to seek out clues in order to find out what has happened to Kat in Mexico.  

I loved the bond between the sisters.  The author made it very believable, and they obviously loved each other.  This is a tragic yet beautiful story. The characters are believable and engaging. I recommend The Orchid Sister anyone who enjoys a good read that you can't put down. 

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary digital copy of this book that I received from Lake Union and NetGalley.  All views expressed are my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
I was a little wary of this book based on the first chapter, but I am glad I gave it a shot. It is a simple story (in some ways) of two sisters who share a bond which has been strengthened by loss and hardship. We get equal time with each sister to understand their current situation. 

One sister is caught in a trap and the other starts a hunt to find her. There are men and other supporting cast thrown in for good measure but they were quite interesting, sometimes I liked them more than the leading ladies. The rest of the story is punctuated by other characters who are also living in the same town in Mexico and they are placed strategically to try to confuse us about the solution. The relationships and the emotional quotient of the book were satisfying but as a thriller/mystery, it did not work since we are aware of the background from the beginning. There is the extra tale of another pair of sisters that does not end as happily as our main protagonists which adds to this book's status as a family drama than anything else. It was well narrated and overall a pretty interesting read
Was this review helpful?
Maddie and Kat  have a special bond as sisters. They lost their parents in a plane crash when they were young and had  only each other. Now Kat is missing and Maddie must find her and face her fears. 
I enjoyed this book, however there were a few parts that I found unrealistic. Overall it was very good and I recommend it.  
Many thanks to Lake Union Publishing and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Loved the book. The whole story ended up being unexpected. It definitely held my interest. The stuff people do to stay young is crazy. The plane crash that killed Kat and Maddie's parents was still a bit of mystery to me. Was it ever explained what happened to cause the crash? How did Maddie survive? How was she rescued?? I have so many questions. I felt like I got to know Maddie a lot better than her sister Kat. I do know that Kat doesn't make good choices. She picked all the wrong men and then found herself in some scary Mexican spa. I would have loved to read about her experience at the spa before everything went wrong and then how she discovered the truth about what was happening. 

i enjoyed the story, characters and writing style. I loved the whole mystery of Maddie trying to figure out what happened to her sister. I hate when characters go off somewhere and never tell people where they are going. This always leads to something bad happening. Maddie is in another country, her sister is already missing, so what does she do????? She goes off on her own without telling a soul and better yet-- she doesn't own a cell phone. I really enjoyed the book, but the ending seemed rushed. Maddie finally gets to the spa and then it's pretty much over and the story wraps up. Everyone is at the spa, mystery solved and then the story jumps a few months. Kat never really tells her side of what happened. What caused her appearance to change hat drastically.

Definitely recommend the book. I loved the mystery side of the book. Remember to tell people when you go somewhere, in case you get held against your will and need to be saved!!! Just leave a note! ( I read too many of these types of books.) Also LOVED Winks. Looking forward to reading more books by the author. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Lake Union Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Was this review helpful?
Maddie's fear of flying is very real.  She's secluded herself away from the world, even as her sister Kat, has reached out.  Kat cared for Maddie for years but now she's journeying around the world- and then she goes missing.  Maddie's efforts to find her lead Maddie to an inner discovery as well.  This is interesting primarily for the story of how a woman overcomes her fears.  This took for me at least a surprising turn in the Yucatan.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  Well written spoilers.
Was this review helpful?
Two sisters, Madison and Katherine, share an deep, unbreakable bond since they lost their parents in a plane crash 15 years ago.  Since then, Maddie avoids connecting with anyone besides Kat.  Until, that is, she meets Jack, a handsome pilot that helps her take small steps to heal.  Maddie then discovers Kat, an journalist in the Yucatan, has gone missing,  Or has she?  Can Maddie get over her fear of flying to get to the one person that means most to her in the world?
I enjoyed this book, although at times it was hard to trudge through.  The ending was a little too neat and somewhat far-fetched.  
Thanks to Anne D. LeClaire, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for the ARC of this book.
Was this review helpful?
The bond between the two sisters, Madison and Kat, was a powerful one.  Since the death of their parents years before in a plane crash, they were the only family that remained.  Given this attachment, it made sense that Madison would become alarmed at her sister's extended absence.   Unfortunately, there were other things about the book that just didn't make sense to me.  Also, I felt like I was being "told" things throughout the book instead of seeing them happen or feeling them through the character's perspective.  Because of this, I had a difficult time connecting with the characters.  I should point out that this is my personal opinion though and the things that bothered me may not bother someone else.  That said, I stuck with the book because I did find the overall plot intriguing and wanted to see how things played out and were resolved.  I'm glad I did as I was satisfied with the ending of the book.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Recommend this one to anyone who loves a good mystery/thriller. Great story line & characters. Will keep you reading till the end.
Was this review helpful?
A wonderful book . About the sefless love  shared between siblings, and the depths we all would go-to to protect those we love.. Complete absorption with the story line and the characters.
A highly recommend read !
Was this review helpful?
Warning: the entirety of this review contains spoilers

Writing a book about pregnant brown women (pregnant brown teens!) being forced to abort their babies so the fetuses might be used to rejuvenate white women is never a good idea. It’s most certainly not a story a white woman should write.

Let’s go by parts. The book is told from multiple perspectives, with the main ones being Maddie’s and Kat’s. The supporting cast consists of multiple Mexican characters, and I swear I wanted to pull out my hair every time I started reading one of their chapters. 

The “Spanglish” in which it’s narrated was incredibly irritating and distracting, it severely ruined the prose in my opinion, because it was pointless and added nothing to the characters - saying “calle” or saying “street” is the same, saying “padre” and saying “father” is the same, saying “cerveza” and saying “beer” is the same, et cetera. Adding the words doesn’t make the characters any more Latino than they already are - and neither does their exotification and their obsession with mysticism. 

As a matter of fact, that only adds to the pile of already-there offensive stereotypes: cheating men, “temptress” women, “magical” old ladies, and characters with visions to the past in which the protagonists are being sacrificed to the gods. Nothing I, as a Latina woman, appreciate. 

I don’t appreciate the main characters, either. They are meant to be women with careers, smart and sharp, yet they are so incredibly dumb it’s mind-blowing. An example: when Madison realizes Kat has gone missing and calls the police, she lies to them about having talked with Kat’s doctor. When she finds evidence that her sister might be having drug problems, she hides it and keeps it to herself. She ditches Jack in Mexico to go look into the mysterious spa-slash-clinic that the cab driver is too scared to see - and she goes without any way of communicating with the outside world. 

And not just Maddie, oh, no, Kat is just as bad. Going back to get the treatment that’s aging her instead of making her look younger, blindly trusting the shady doctor with armed guards outside of his spa, ruining her first chance at escape by swallowing the pill she could’ve hidden in her mouth (as she did later, once the chance had been thrown away), not telling absolutely anyone where she was going… Do I need to go on? Most of the problems these people have would’ve been easily fixed if they had just talked to each other. 

Frankly, the best thing about this book is the bond between the sisters. It was made believable, they obviously loved each other and I really appreciate that. I just wish the Mexico plot and characters had been better handled, because that way this would have been a completely different story.

Thank you to the publisher for giving me a free ARC in exchange for a honest review. All thoughts expressed here are my own.
Was this review helpful?
The people you love are taken from you. That’s what Maddie DiMarco learned when she survived the plane crash that killed her parents. Fifteen years later, the scars remain. And the ones no can see are hardest to heal. Since the accident, Maddie’s avoided the unpredictable and uncaring outside world, including any relationships—except for the one with her devoted older sister, Kat, who has always been there for her.

When Maddie meets handsome pilot Jack Moroni, she finally begins to let down her guard. But just as quickly, her hope and trust are once again shattered when a plane crash forces her to revisit her traumatic past. Maddie turns to her sister for comfort and guidance, only to realize that Kat is missing. Kat hasn’t vanished without a trace. An investigative journalist, she’s left behind a subtle trail of clues leading to the mysterious, myth-shrouded Yucatán coast of Mexico. To follow it, Maddie must confront her deepest fears—of flying, of intimacy, and of loss. She hopes that in doing so, she will find her sister. And if she’s lucky, she may also find herself along the way.

I really liked the plot and the story itself was interesting but I didn't care for the ending. It didn't feel like something that would  actually happen. All in all though, it was a good book.

Thank you #NetGalley for the ARC of #TheOrchidSister
Pub Date: 07 May 2019
Was this review helpful?
I am thankful for the Advance Read Copy of this book.  I was given this book in exchange for an honest review.   The Orchid Sister is a book about 2 sisters.  I think the book overall was okay.  I was surprised that the name of the book referred to Kat yet the book really focused on Maddie.  I felt I got to know the Maddie character better than I did the Kat character.  I felt it was a slow start to the story and took a bit to really get into it.  I felt the ending was a bit quick to tie things up and put a bow on it. I did really like the plot.  The story itself was interesting but I did not think it totally rang true in the end.  I expected there to be more about her fear for flying.  It seemed that after all she went through that it was not nearly as hard as I would have expected to fly to Mexico.
Was this review helpful?
The Orchid Sister by author Anne D. LeClaire is very interesting and I enjoyed it from beginning to the end!  It starts with a mysterious chapter which is narrated through Tia Clara and the thoughts and dreams she experiences of lost girls and a scarred woman of many masks. She has lived for many years in her little house along the coast of Mexico and has sadly watched the little village change as tourism grows. 
Madison and Kathrine are sisters who live in the eastern US. Kathrine is the oldest and cared for Madison as she survived and suffered injuries with horrible burns in a plane crash which killed their parents. The girls are older now and Madison is an artist who makes beautiful and very expressive masks. Because of her scars, she prefers to live alone with her cat, Winks and enjoy a peaceful life. 
Katherine is a freelance journalist and travels a lot tracking down stories which usually make the news. She is very secretive when she is on assignment for just the right subject in her next expose'. 
I won't post spoilers, but Katherine goes missing and Madison must decide what to do to find her sister. She is reluctant to travel, but she must seek clues as to what has happened to Kathrine. There is also a narrative of Katherine as she experiences unthinkable experimental procedures because she asked too many questions!
Publication Date May 7, 2019
Thank you to NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book.
Was this review helpful?
The Orchid Sister is a poignant story of fear and love. Maddie loses her parents in a plane crash. She still has her sister, Kat. Imagine two against the world. Such an unbreakable bond forms between the sisters. Maddie wants nothing to do with any other relationships. Years later, Maddie opens her heart to a man. Unfortunately, more tragedy for Maddie, and her sister is missing. Maddie must confront every fear now. She must fly in a plane. She must face the fact that her sister may be gone forever. It's gut wrenching to even think about the choices Maddie makes. The bond between sisters made her a strong woman who can face these challenges. Will she find Kat? This is a tragic yet lovely story. The characters are loveable and engaging. I recommend for anyone who enjoys a good read that you can't put down. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I feel like I didn't really connect with this book as much as others had. The plot sounded interesting, but when I started the book, I was immediately bothered by how frequently the author used pronouns and how similar every sentence sounded. It didn't flow well to me, and that very much affected how I saw the rest of the book. Every sentence would somehow be like "He told..", "He saw...", "He said.....," and it really started getting annoying about 20% through. 

The plot still remains interesting to me, and I recognize that a lot of people like this author's writing style– it just wasn't my taste. I felt like the insta-love was very strong on this novel, and it kinda overshadowed the sisterly love that I was expecting.
Was this review helpful?