REVIEW

The Sisters' Lover, Lily Woodhouse

Review Written By
Karen Chisholm

THE SISTERS' LOVER is an engaging, slightly quirky historical fiction novel set mostly within Australia. Starting out in post war 1950, Flis, Australian by birth, is returning to the family property after many years in Wellington, New Zealand. Flis hasn't been in contact with her younger sister since she left and Gladdie is now missing, presumed dead. Flis and her disabled husband Kip, meet up with a young man on board the ship that bought them to Australia and Roy joins them on this journey.

Combining great characters, and a wonderful sense of place and time, THE SISTERS' LOVER is a fascinating blend of family saga and intrigue, with a criminal motivation at the heart, tending more towards a dramatic novel overall. The disappearance of sister Gladdie supposedly left the family farm deserted, but this paragraph from the blurbs sums it up perfectly:

Or is it deserted? Old neighbours with an adopted Aboriginal daughter, an eccentric living in the hills, a pair of half-tamed dingoes and a shifty lawyer form uneasy company. The farmhouse holds its own secrets - a blossoming wattle grows from a hole in the floor, an ancient Scottish bed proves the recent presence of a child and the cellar is alive with secrets.

The physical jolting of return and remembering, and the characters who turn up are just one thing in Flis's life. Her husband's disability is always present, as is the emotional struggle that both of them experience in their relationship and the way that they have to live their lives. The insertion of the unlikely Roy, a happy go lucky younger bloke who seems to reflect everything that Flis and Kip hoped their lives would be, showing clearly what they never got the chance for it to become, is intriguing to say the least. And the depiction of the landscape - beautiful, stark, sparse, yet overwhelmingly close and slightly intimidating is wonderful.

At the heart of THE SISTERS' LOVER is the constant refrain of why? It lurks within everything in this book, and the closer to an absolutely outstanding ending the reader gets, the more why resonates. Why go back? Why would Gladdie disappear, why did Flis leave, why why why? And why Roy? What is his role? The ending will give you some answers, and then again....

 

Book Source Declaration
I received a copy of this book from the publisher or author.
BOOK DETAILS
BOOK INFORMATION
ISBN
9781798151082
Year of Publication
BLURB

1950 and Flis is returning to Australia after almost twenty years away in Wellington, New Zealand. In all that time she has had no contact with her younger sister Gladdie who is missing, presumed dead. Flis is determined to find out what happened to her. Accompanied by a young man met on the voyage across the Tasman, Flis and her husband Kip travel to the deserted family farm at the foot of the Blue Mountains.

Or is it deserted? Old neighbours with an adopted Aboriginal daughter, an eccentric living in the hills, a pair of half-tamed dingoes and a shifty lawyer form uneasy company. The farmhouse holds its own secrets - a blossoming wattle grows from a hole in the floor, an ancient Scottish bed proves the recent presence of a child and the cellar is alive with secrets.

Review The Sisters' Lover, Lily Woodhouse
Karen Chisholm
Wednesday, August 19, 2020

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