A twisty, turn-y and riveting read.
Keeping in with the current trend of “Sister Fiction” that seems to have exploded in the last twelve months with authors such as Sue Fortin and Isabel Ashdown I was excited to read Jane Corry’s second thriller.
Her first book My Husband’s Wife was highly acclaimed and she had a lot to live up to with Blood Sisters, but I feel she kept up to her high standard of writing.
The two main characters are sisters Alison and Kitty. Alison is a troubled art teacher, with a tendency to self-harm and isolate herself, whereas Kitty is in a nursing home for people with disabilities, desperately frustrated that she can’t make people around her understand what she’s saying. They both have a past, with secrets, lies, half-truths and death. Once Alison gets a job in a prison, their pasts come back to haunt them with devastating consequences.
What I really liked about this book was the portrayal of disabled people. Kitty is in a wheel chair, unable to speak properly, has to wear a helmet due to skull fractures and could be portrayed as pitiable. But no, Kitty is as feisty, demanding, emotional, loving and intelligent as everyone around her. I loved the way that Corry told us what was going on in her head, even when no one else knew what she was thinking. The people in the home as well, are wise, quirky, interesting and charming.
Corry’s interested use of first and third person is interesting too. The point of view throughout the novel switches between Alison and Kitty. Alison’s narrative is in first person, whereas Kitty’s is in third, making it slightly harder to tune in to how she is thinking and feeling. This is a clever approach to the two sisters, as Kitty’s main problem is communication and the reader it slightly blocked as to what Kitty is thinking in the third person. Through her mumbling and noises, careers, people in the home and even her family misinterpret what she means and it’s only when this situation is resolved that the story can reach a meaningful resolution.
There is also a time shift that flits between 1991 (when the incident happened) and present day. Saying this though, the story flows well and there was no point in the story that I felt confused or lost. It was a good technique for revealing plot twists.
Overall an excellent read.
About the Author
Jane Corry is a former magazine journalist who spent three years working as the writer-in-residence of a high security prison for men. She had never been inside a jail before and this often hair-raising experience helped inspire her debut psychological thriller, the Sunday Times bestseller My Husband’s Wife.
Jane is a regular life story judge for the Koestler Awards given to prisoners for art and writing. Until recently, Jane was a tutor in creative writing at Oxford University, and she now runs writing workshops in her local area of Devon and speaks at literary festivals all over the world. She has three grown up children and writes the ‘Diary of a First-Time Grandmother’ column for the Daily Telegraph.
Follow Jane on twitter @JaneCorryAuthor
Find our more about Jane and her other books here.
Blood Sisters is released on Wednesday 28th June, published by Viking, Penguin Random House.
To pre-order your own personal copy click here.
Thanks for reading!