The Sister’s Gift…
About the Book:
Two sisters, one baby and the best of intentions…
As a vibrant young woman with a lifetime of possibilities ahead of her, Freya grants her sister, Pearl, the ultimate gift of motherhood. But this comes at a hefty price – an unexpected rift in her family and the loss of the man she loves.
Decades later, Freya is divorced, childless and homeless, at rock bottom after losing everything she’s worked for. When her estranged niece, Billie, offers sanctuary, managing the family restaurant on beautiful Magnetic Island, Freya can hardly refuse.
Billie has never understood the tension between her mother and her aunt and now, with a newly broken heart, she is nursing a family secret of her own. All three women come together under the tropical Queensland skies, but can they let go of past regrets, or will old tensions tear them further apart?
By an award-winning, bestselling author, this is a moving and inspiring novel set in a stunning location about choices and consequences and the redemptive power of love.
This was a lovely book to settle into mid-week, one of those easy reads that sweep you up for the duration and give you a total brain break from your day to day life. I hadn’t actually read a Barbara Hannay novel prior to this, although I have a couple of her latest few lingering on my shelves. The setting of this novel was the biggest drawcard for me. Townsville is the closest coastal location to Mount Isa, and Magnetic Island is such a beautiful place to visit. I have fond memories of a family horse-riding expedition we went on over there a few years ago and each of my children have enjoyed multiple school camps on the island. Reading The Sister’s Gift was like escaping back to the island for a mini getaway in the middle of winter – a blissful treat!
The Sister’s Gift is a family drama with a side bar of romance. I enjoyed the family drama aspect the most and was grateful that the romance didn’t overplay its hand. This is the sort of novel that highlights the way in which things can snowball within a family. Honestly, the basis for Pearl’s resentment towards her sister Freya was really not worth the effort she put into carrying it around for decades, but that’s family for you. I’ve seen lesser things in real life go on right up until death do they part. The relationships within this story had a very realistic glaze to them and it instantly made the story relatable.
While the story itself is driven forward by each of the characters facing a monumental change within their lives, the characterisation itself really drove the narrative more than a fast paced plot or any mystery about the past. I found this quite refreshing for a work of commercial fiction. This was very much a story where people and place took precedence. I really liked both Billie and Freya, the main character perspectives of the story, but I never warmed to Pearl. She was a high maintenance mother towards Billie and her resentment of Freya equated to ingratitude in my view and I honestly just thought she was a very petty and insecure human being. When Freya was considering yet another major personal sacrifice for Pearl, my dislike of the woman escalated and I really began to feel quite uncomfortable about the imbalance within the sister’s relationship. Very thought provoking material!
All in all, I can highly recommend The Sister’s Gift. It’s uncomplicated, engaging, and atmospheric, with a satisfying end for all of the characters. If you are seeking a bit of escapism at the moment, then this one is ideal.
Thanks is extended to Penguin Random House Australia for providing me with a copy of The Sister’s Gift for review and for inviting me onto the blog tour. To read more reviews on this book, follow the blog tour for #TheSistersGift below.
About the Author:
Barbara Hannay writes women’s fiction, with over twelve million books sold worldwide. Her novels set in Australia have been translated into twenty-six languages, and she has won the Romance Writers of America’s RITA award and been shortlisted five times. Two of Barbara’s novels have also won the Romance Writers of Australia’s Romantic Book of the Year award.
Barbara lives in Townsville with her writer husband and enjoys being close to the Coral Sea, the stunning tropical scenery and colourful characters, all of which find their way into her popular stories.
The Sister’s Gift
Published by Penguin – Michael Joseph
Released 4th August 2020