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The Beauty of the End
Debbie Howells

from FictionZeal.com re: The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain

The Silent Sister - Diane Chamberlain

What if you’ve been living your whole life believing one thing and come to find out it had all been a lie?  Riley chose a career path as a middle school counselor.  Why?   Because when she was not yet two years old, her seventeen year old sister, Lisa, had committed suicide.  She’d personally seen the devastating effects to the rest of the family and longed to change just one young person from choosing that same path.


After the prologue, this story begins with the death of Riley’s father.  With her father gone, her brother who is four years older is the only remaining person in her family.  Danny loves Riley … in his own way.  Danny suffers from PTSD.  Whether he’d like to help Riley or not, he can’t bring himself to go back into that house.  Other than PTSD, he has some childhood issues.  Riley questions him, “… it’s not like you were abused or anything.”  He answers, “There are all sorts of abuse.”


As Riley is cleaning out her father’s things, she begins to find discrepancies.  She eventually learns that Lisa had not died.  What really happened?  Where is she?


I loved the personality of Riley, our main protagonist.  People can’t help but feel her pain at facing not only the death of her father, but being the only one who can clear out her father’s house of all his collectibles.  Her brother, Danny has become extremely reclusive.  He cannot pull himself together to help her.  Yet, now that Danny’s the only family she has left, she yearns to be near him.  I asked myself, what’s not to love about this book?  It’s intense and it’s exceptionally well-written.  It’s got believable, albeit flawed, characters that are fully developed.  It’s got a wonderful plot and a story line that flows incredibly well.  But, the thing I enjoyed the most – it drew me in emotionally in a way I haven’t been pulled into a book in a long time.  Rating: 5 out of 5.