Sister Dear by Hannah Mary McKinnon is a recommended psychological thriller.
Eleanor Hardwicke’s beloved father dies leaving her alone in the
world. Her mother, long divorced from her father, is a wretched woman
who has always favored her sister and relished abusing Eleanor
emotionally. Even worse than losing her father is learning that he
wasn't her biological father. She was the product of an affair and
before he died her father left the name of her biological father.
Eleanor researches him, discovers they both live in Portland, Maine. He
is married with a glamorous wife and they have a beautiful daughter,
Victoria. Eleanor meets with him, learning he paid her mother off to
leave and he wants nothing to do with her. Eleanor sets her sights on
meeting her half-sister. She manages to insert herself into Victoria's
life and becomes part of her world.
The narrative is told from Eleanor's point-of-view and you know right
from the start that something is going to go terribly wrong. A whole
lot goes wrong for Eleanor right away, and there is some sympathy for
her at the beginning and you will hope she can pull herself together.
You will hope she gives her neighbor Lewis a chance, but you will also
wonder why he seems too good to be real. You'll wonder why she hasn't
smartened up about her mother and sister. Then her mental state seems to
become more unstable as she constantly berates herself, even as she is
trying to get close to her newly discovered half-sister. After that she
does start to grate on your nerves as the plot takes a turn to the
unbelievable. Victoria is too good to be real.
It is more chick lit than psychological thriller and I didn't care
for any of the characters by the end. The ending itself is a sudden
twisty reveal, but at that point you are already anticipating what
happens so it's not shocking. I admittedly had to force myself to continue reading this after the halfway point, but it did end up holding my attention and I finished it, so kudos for that.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of MIRA Books.