The Orchid Sister

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 21 May 2019

Member Reviews

This is a very wet written story that held my attention from the very first page and kept it until the last.  The characters are very well drawn.  They are also likable Believable believable. I definitely recommend this book as it is one of the best O have read this year.  It's five stars from me for sure!

Thank you Net Galley for allowing me to read this ARC.
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The beginning of this book starts off well and draws you in. Kat and Maddie are sisters who lost their parents to a fiery plane crash that Maddie survived. For years, Kat has been Maddie’s rock - now, she’s missing. 

Following Maddie’s journey to find her sister and overcome her fears and trauma is inspiring. The love she finds and fears letting in along the way is something I empathize with. Trauma will do that to someone. Also interesting is that Maddie is an artist, known for creating masks, which is a motif used throughout the novel. 

Told by 5 different narrators, LeClaire does a wonderful job creating different voices and capturing a beautiful culture. However, I believe that the several narrators convoluted some important character building. I felt like there was a lot of build up and not enough actual story. There was so much more that could have been done with these beautiful characters, and it all felt so stunted. The end, especially, felt rushed. 

All in all, it’s a fine read. I think it could have been better, and it may be more for other readers than me, but I really wanted to like this more than I did. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion!
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Woah.. words completely escape me. I seriously set this book down, and I feel like I can breathe again. This book was amazing.
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This was my first Anne D. LeClaire book. I went into it with an open mind. The premise really intrigued me and I thought it would be a book that ended up sticking with me for a long time.

I didn't dislike this book, but I was a little disappointed with it. Perhaps I put too much pressure on it based on my own expectations. Very possible. 

I found the first few chapters a little tough to get going and if I had been reading this by my own choice rather than an ARC I may have DNF'd it, as it just wasn't speaking to me. However I powered on and it did get better. It was just a bit of a slow book. There wasn't any major slumps in the writing, apart from the beginning, it just seemed to plod on. But that meant there were no major tense moments either. Nothing that made me desperate to turn the pages. 

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions in this review are my own and are in no way influenced.
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“Everyone has scars, Maddie. They just hide them in different ways.”

Beautifully written and with a vague hint of lore and mystery, Anne D. LeClair’s The Orchid Sister was simply magical. In the wake of a challenging upbringing, two sisters prove that their bond is greater than the bad things that come their way. This suspenseful women’s fiction novel is a beautiful story, and one with many layers.

The girl with the scars. The girl with many masks. Maddie has many names, and many ways she is described by others. It is hard for people to see past the scars that Maddie wears, marks from the plan crash that killed her parents. Marks of a survivor, though they don’t always feel that way. When Maddie met Jack, handsome and adventurous, she fell for him quickly. Jack was one of the first men that didn’t recoil from her scars. He sees Maddie as the beautiful person she is, inside and out. Her scars are just on display.

Maddie is fascinated with masks, and she also creates her own masks. Perhaps this is part of her healing, a way to show that the outward appearance often hides who someone is. But the masks also have so much meaning, and Maddie is fascinated by the way different cultures create and use masks. The symbolism and the work that goes into them lends to the magical and ethereal quality. And of course, the masks also have symbolism in this book!

Maddie’s sister Kat has disappeared, and though the police initially doubt Maddie’s insistence that something happened to her sister, Maddie knows it to be true. It is the kind of thing you can feel when you have a bond like Maddie and Kat. But of course, we know where Kat is, because half of the chapters are told from Kat’s perspective. And the more we learn about where Kat is, the more sinister it becomes…

There are eventually 5 narrators to this novel, though Maddie and Kat narrate the most chapters. Structurally the changes between the storylines kept it engaging. I ended up listening to the audiobook for this one, and all of the voice actors were fantastic. It made it so easy to follow whose chapter it was. Each was very unique, as were the stories they had to tell!

A good portion of the book takes place in the Yucatan in Mexico, and it really is the sort of book that transports you there. I loved the local lore that surrounded Kat’s disappearance and discovery. There was a dark, mystical quality to this mystery that leant to the atmospheric feel of the book. Wonderful!

Many thanks to Lake Union publishing for my copy. Opinions are my own.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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

Review:

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.
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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
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Rating 3.5 stars!

When I saw this cover, I was in love......it'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.
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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
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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.
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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.
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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 and....no spoilers.
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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.
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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.
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Recommend this one to anyone who loves a good mystery/thriller. Great story line & characters. Will keep you reading till the end.
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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 !
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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.
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