PLOT: 3/5
GENRE: Psychological Thriller, Domestic Drama cum Thriller

Let me first begin by telling how much I enjoyed reading my first ever book by the same author – The Girlfriend. That book was truly exceptional and it completely blew my mind. So, when browsing through my Storytel app led me to the book – “Sisters” by Michelle Frances, my interest was piqued and I quickly sat down to listen to my next audiobook.

But alas, my expectations were short-lived, for I did not enjoy this book as much as I had anticipated.

What to expect?

Expect a domestic drama cum psychological thriller that is primarily set in Italy and in other countries of Europe. This 300+ page read is filled with ample thrill and mystery, perfect for devouring in 3 to 4 sittings.

What is the story all about?

As is obvious from the title, Sisters narrates the story of two sisters – Abby and Ellie, sisters who have never been close to each other, and who have reasons and valid ones to hate each other. Their resentment stems from childhood but goes well into their thirties, the age they are currently at.

Abby hates Ellie because of all the attention and unconditional love that she gets from her mother, and because of her effortless beauty.

While for Ellie, it is Abby’s perfect life – her over-achieving career, top-of-the-class grades, a handsome and caring husband, a picturesque villa in Italy which Abby calls home now, loads of money – in short, a perfect life.

Things are set into momentum when Ellie arrives in Italy at Abby’s invite for a relaxing break, but tagging along, arrives their mother and instead of helping make amends, she seems to be stirring the pot.

After a disturbing incident, things spiral out of control, leaving the sisters uncertain of how to act. Who is hiding deep, dark secrets? And can they really trust each other?

Let’s talk about the plot

There is no doubt that the premise is interesting. The idea of a no-holds-barred sister rivalry spanning three decades is intriguing, as is the perfect Italian setting. However, the plot has many loopholes that are not watertight.

In creating twists and turns, the author often charts a trajectory that seems unrealistic and implausible. Many actions taken by the characters don’t make rational sense, and that is my main qualm with the plot—there are undoubtedly some serious flaws in the story itself.

The characters

Abby and Ellie are decent characters—not mind-blowing, but not forgettable either. Their mother and grandmother are intriguing as well, though I didn’t understand why the grandmother was suddenly pushed in and out of the story. Matteo, Abby’s husband, also left me puzzled. There was no passion in their relationship. I didn’t need any intense scenes, but the way Abby acted considering these actions’ impact on Matteo just didn’t make sense to me. He just felt like a doormat of a character, and that’s such a shame.

The mystery and thrill

While this won’t be such a bad read otherwise, my expectations from it were based on my previous read by the same author, so for me, it was – a letdown. The mystery is maintained right till the end, and one wouldn’t know whom to trust and whom not to trust.

Overall, the intrigue is good, the pace is great, and the plot unfurls with fervent action, but as I pointed out earlier, certain things are too unrealistic to digest. Another thing that works well in the book’s favour is that despite all its flaws, I couldn’t put the book down. I read it in one day straight.

In the end

“Sisters” is a gripping, fast-paced domestic drama and psychological thriller centered on two vastly different sisters. Spanning three decades, their intense rivalry forms the heart of the story. A decent read, it offers high-octane drama against the backdrop of stunning European landscapes, making it a compelling choice for book lovers craving thrilling entertainment.

Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Sisters using the link below.