Cover Image: The Cherry Robbers

The Cherry Robbers

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Member Reviews

I really enjoyed this book! It was NOT what I was expecting (I try not to read much of synopses) but was a real page-turner. The structure surprised me; I was expecting it to jump back and forth in time more, and I was glad it didn't because that's what typically happens and it's kind of tiring. I did think the section on each girl's fate went on for a long time... we knew it was coming, and it was really drawn out. But Iris knew, too, so I guess that's part of the point. It was interesting that there really wasn't much time spent on Sylvia's life, given that she kept telling us how much more time she spent inhabiting her character, but I guess that's also sort of the point: one can't escape one's past, even if we think we are.
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I’m usually good about calling it quits when I’m reading a book that’s not working for me. I’m a firm believer that there’s no reason to keep going with a book you’re not enjoying, and still I read all of THE CHERRY ROBBERS by Sarai Walker. This was the story of the Chapel sisters, six young women/girls from a wealthy Connecticut family in the 1950’s. Their father was distant, their mother a bit off, and the sisters seemed great until the first got married. Less than 24-hours later she was dead, and that sad pattern continued.

I’m not giving anything away here. The synopsis tells you all that and more. What I will say is that for me it was long, overly drawn-out and well, repetitive. Skimming needed to happen! The best parts of the book for me were the very beginning and the very end where the one surviving sister looked back on her life and how she survived the family curse. Unfortunately, this was only about 10% of the story. I’d love to hear from others who have read The Cherry Robbers, but if you’re asking me, I’d say read the synopsis closely, and get it from the library! ….no rating

Thanks to @houghtonmifflinharcourt for a #gifted ARC of #thecherryrobbers.
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Well, I expected a COMPLETELY different story that what this turned out to be and I was surprised in the best way possible. I really enjoyed The Cherry Robbers! I thought the author did an amazing job in this book with strong amazing female characters in scary situations. This book is wonderfully creepy and gives me all the Shirley Jackson vibes. It explores sex and sexuality in a way that's really handled with care and it shakes up societal norms and perceptions in a way that makes the plot really interesting. Although many questions go unanswered, I was left with a feeling of satisfaction. The truth will never truly be known. I was surprised at how vested I was in this story. I finished this book in two days, not being able to put it down for long. That is the mark of a great author - these characters and this story had me wanting more at every chapter.

An odd but strangely compelling read. My heart was racing as I read on. I definitely recommend this one.
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Wow, this is quite the story!  You'll need to hang on tight for the ride:  this family is usual for the get go!  Sisters are as different as most are.  Why? Why?  you'll ask yourself a lot!
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Sylvia Wren is an important American Artist living in New Mexico. Iris Chapel is one of six daughters of the Chapel Firearms baron who lives in Bellflower Village, Connecticut. But really, they're one and the same and Sylvia Wren is finally at a point in her life where she can't outrun Iris Chapel anymore. 

This is a well-done gothic family drama that grapples with tragedy, grief, loss, mental illness, and sense of self.
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The Cherry Robbers 
by Sarai Walker 
Pub Date: May 17, 2022
Thanks to the author, Harper publishers, and Net Galley for the ARC.  I enjoyed listening to the audio while I was preparing dinner and doing other chores. I'm not sure what I was thinking when I requested this book. 
 I'm not sure I was prepared for this book. I went into the book mostly blind! A gothic fiction is outside of my normal genre, but I tried. Other readers may find it more interesting with a strong feminist heroine. 
 Not a bad book, just one I’m not interested in continuing. When I put it down, I do t feel inclined to pick it back up. Thank you for the opportunity to read.
3 stars
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Such a beautiful gothic thriller. Not my usual genre but it really was a pleasant surprise. You won't be disappointed by the female-centric narrative and all the twists and turns. The synopsis does not really tell you what happens, so try to go in blindly and go with it.
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The Cherry Robbers has an excellent premise and a promising start. The imagery of the house resembling a wedding cake instantly hooked me, but book quickly begins to feel repetitive, especially since the main character did little to add to the story.
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this book was nothing like i expected! i saw some reviews comparing it to Evelyn hugo which hooked me in but it turned out not veery much like that at all. centred around a family of 6 daughters who are the heirs to a firearms dynasty, it focuses on their marriages and their deaths. i've been watching and reading a lot of horror recently and i was hoping for a bit more gothic, a bit more violent. there were some creepy bits! and i liked the ending. bit i didn't love most of the characters i didn't feel part of the family, or even care very much when most of them died, and the ones i ddi love, such as the mum, were taken off screen too quickly. i get why some people will like this one, it just fell a bit flat for me
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Not a bad book, just one I’m not interested in continuing. When I put it down, I do t feel inclined to pick it back up. Thank you for the opportunity to read.
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A gothic ghost story that had me thinking about it even after I’d put it down. 
The story is told by Iris Chapel, daughter of the famous and wealthy Chapel firearms empire in the 1950s Connecticut when she was a child, until she turned 20, and in 2017 by Sylvia Wren, an 80 year old world famous, reclusive  artist living with her partner Lola in New Mexico. The catch….they’re the same person. 
Sylvia is prompted to write her story when a journalist has uncovered her identity and the story she writes enthralled me. In beautifully descriptive language we come to meet Sylvia, and watch Iris grow up with 5 sisters she loves, an emotionally distant father, and a mother who is haunted by the ghosts of those killed by Chapel rifles. As her sisters die, one by one, and her mother slips farther and farther away from her daughters, Iris feels she must shield herself from love to save herself. We can feel her growing  despair, and see the wedding cake of a house they live in,  and recognize the life women in the 1950’s were expected to live, and happiness for the life she found with Lola. The descriptions of physical settings, emotions, and interactions between the characters are so vivid I felt like I was watching from just off the page. 
This was the first book I’ve read by Sarai Walker, thanks to NetGalley and her publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt I was able to read an advance copy. I highly recommend it.
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This book is a WOW. So many twists and turns that kept me on my toes and shocked the entire time. This gothic novel was amazing and I"d suggest it to all those who like the genre, and even those who don't.
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Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of The Cherry Robbers.

I haven't read the authors previous novel so I went into this with an open mind.

I'm intrigued by novels featuring sibling relationships so I was pretty excited to dive into this, but other than the great writing, I was less than wowed by the narrative.

The premise had promise but there is nothing Gothic-y or spooky about the story.

When people use the word 'gothic' I don't think they really know what it means, to paraphrase the great Inigo Montoya from The Princess Bride when he says to Vizzini every time he uses 'inconceivable.'

The narrative consists of personal journals written by Sylvia Wren, an elusive and famous artist who was one of the famous Chapel sisters.

She details the loss of her five sisters to an unnamed illness, a tragedy that shattered her family and herself, which led to her new identity and life as an artist.

The narrative is bogged down with filler and superfluous details of weddings, and dresses, while the not so subtle themes of mental illness, child neglect, and the expectations of a patriarchal society hovers within each line.

The terrible illness that befalls the sisters is never named but it's not hard to figure out what the author is trying to say; that women are ignored and disregarded, nothing more but vessels to bear children and run the household.

I wished I liked the Chapel sisters more; I didn't dislike them but I didn't really connect with any of them, perhaps Sylvia, but as a character she always felt at a remove from the reader, but perhaps that's the point.

As the lone survivor of her troubled family, she no longer considers herself a Chapel, and is relating the events of her previous life as if she was a spectator.

Foreboding and foreshadowing lives on practically every page, and Sylvia already tells the reader what will happen to her sisters so there's no suspense, no drama; she's just relating the events that will lead to each loss.

It took me a long time to finish this because the pacing was so slow. 

I think some readers would enjoy this, especially if they enjoy long expositions and background information.
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A uniquely dark, feminist, southern gothic story that had me on the edge of my seat. It has rich characterization and is absolutely compelling and hard to put down. I'm extremely impressed.
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My Review: ⭐️⭐️⭐⭐/ 5 stars 

This is a historical fiction/mystery with gothic tones with strong female lgbt+ characters, loosely based on Sarah Winchester and artist Georgia O’Keefe’s lives. It is a duo POV about Iris Chapel (second youngest daughter and heiress of a firearms empire) in the 50’s and Sylvia Wren, an elderly female painter living in New Mexico in 2017. A journalist thinks they are the same person, the latter a version of Iris Chapel, running away from her past where all 5 of her sisters died mysteriously (4 after their first sexual experiences with men; 1 drowned). Iris’s mother had believed the ghosts of their house were victims of Chapel guns, weapons of war and she was silenced by being sent away to asylum as “women were not heard” then. 

I loved the ghostly/eerie vibes, the defiant daughters, and Belinda’s story is so tragically heartbreaking. There were way too many sisters, in which some of them bled into the others. It would have been just as impactful with even 3 sisters. Other than showing how destructive it was to Belinda’s body, it made the book seem so much longer than it needed to be. Even though you know the outcome of the sisters early on, you are still sad when you read about their hopeful stories. The worst character in the book is probably the family doctor (toxic mansplaining and gaslighting) - I wanted to throw my kindle straight across the room whenever he came on the page. Highly recommend if you love gothic novels.

Thank you to  Mariner, Harper books and Netgalley for the advanced copy in exchange for my honest review!

It is out on May 17, 2022!
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This title. Wow. 

I read this when netgalley first sent it my way, absorbed it and left it for a few months to think about it. I’ve just finished another read through thinking that I must have over hyped it as nothing else has come close but no, this is just that good. 

Characters you absolutely love, a rich environment, separate timelines that expand the plot without muddying any of the details. A gothic fiction that draws on historical American families whilst also depicting feminism, family, sexuality, grief and expectations this book manages to do just about everything and at no point does any of this feel in your face, tired or over indulgent. One of my favourite reads of 2021 and my favourite that I’ve read so far 2022. I cannot wait for this to come out and to see that stunning cover in person, and buy a physical copy or two. 

Simply incredible, perfect for fans of Mexican Gothic and Shirley Jackson.
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I love the premise of this book. It makes for such an interesting read and the author did such a good job. The story was so well-written and I loved the dimensions to the different characters.
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This was an enthralling read…Sylvia is appealingly complex and her history has formed her.  A gothic thriller that will capture you and not let go.  
Many thanks to Mariner Books and to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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A very intense, gothic story. Creepy, interesting storyline. Definitely kept my interest. Comparable to Elizabeth Hand or Shirley Jackson. Look forward to more by the author.
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I really liked the feministic slant on this book. It is a book that I will suggest to my Women's History students when it is published. I really liked the idea of escaping, but untimely needed to reckon with your past.
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