Katie and Mia couldn't be more different. They might share the fullness of their lips, and the arch of an eyebrow but that's about where the similarities end. Katie, the eldest, is the sensible one, with flourishing career and a stable, smart and loving fiance. Mia on the other hand is flyaway, with no ties and no responsibilities, no one to think about except herself.Katie had hoped the death of their mother would bring the two of them closer together and bridge the differences that had become more apparent as they got older. Persuading Mia to move to London with her, Katie tries to shoehorn Mia into her life, find her a job she can hold for more than two weeks and maybe even someone to settle down with.Wow, The Sea Sisters is a stunning debut by Lucy Clarke. I was completely absorbed by the story and I felt as though I knew the characters so well by the end of the book.
Mia hates London. She misses the freedom of their home in Cornwall, the endless blue sea meeting somewhere in the middle. As their relationship looks set to reach breaking point Mia decides to go travelling. Katie mainly feels relief.
Then, one devastating night, Katie's told the news that Mia is dead- and it was suicide. When Mia's things arrive back from the other side of the world, Katie clings to the travel journal she finds in Mia's backpack. Although they've barely spoken since Mia left, Katie refuses to believe that she would take her own life. Heartbroken that they never made their peace, Katie decides to leave London, and using the journal as a guide, follows in Mia's footsteps to get to the bottom of the mystery surrounding her sister's death.
The Sea Sisters is told in alternating narratives by Katie and Mia so we often get both sisters views on the same situations which is a fantastic way of exploring their complex relationship.
Lucy Clarke examines the bond and relationship between sisters. I have an older sister myself so I very much identified with the feelings of Mia and Katie. Underlying everything is their love for each other but there are so many other emotions involved, some that they aren't even aware of themselves.
Lucy Clarke creates great suspense in this book, the reader is left wondering right until the very end as to whether Mia took her own life. We find out about events at the same time as Katie, just as Katie can't stop reading Mia's journal; we can't stop reading this book.
The Sea Sisters is an excellent debut. Lucy Clarke's writing is deep, thoughtful and moving; I highly recommend this book.
Many thanks to Harper Collins for sending me a copy of this book to review, it is out now.