Thursday 27 June 2013


Book review: The Sea Sisters by Lucy Clarke

My edition: Paperback, published on 9 May 2013 by Harper, 388 pages.

Description: There are some currents in the relationship between sisters that run so dark and so deep, it’s better for the people swimming on the surface never to know what's beneath...

Katie's carefully structured world is shattered by the news that her headstrong younger sister, Mia, has been found dead in Bali – and the police claim it was suicide.

With only the entries of Mia's travel journal as her guide, Katie retraces the last few months of her sister's life, and – page by page, country by country – begins to uncover the mystery surrounding her death.

What she discovers changes everything. But will her search for the truth push their sisterly bond – and Katie – to breaking point?


Katie and Mia are two sisters that couldn't be more different from one another. Katie is the eldest; she is responsible and leads a predictable and perhaps slightly dull life. Mia on the other hand is the loose cannon; she doesn't have a goal and is often perceived as a screw-up. The two women are so engrained in their respective roles that even when they attempt to change their relationship they continue to end up on opposite sides of the spectrum.

So when Mia in a spur of the moment decides to pack up her things and go halfway across the world to travel, she continues on in a familiar pattern and Katie knows there's little she can say or do to change her sister's mind. During the time apart the two have little contact other than a handful of phone calls and email exchanges and they seem to drift further apart than ever before.

One day Katie is awoken in the middle of the night by two policemen standing outside her flat. They break the terrible news to her that Mia has committed suicide and her body has been found in Bali. Katie finds it hard to believe that her sister would take her own life and is confused by the location the body was found as Mia was supposed to be in New Zealand at the time. Going against her own predictable nature she impulsively decides to follow in Mia's footsteps and travel across continents using her sister's journal as a guide. The journey does not only bring her closer to her sister, but Katie also discovers some unexpected things about herself along the way.

I was surprised to read that The Sea Sisters is author Lucy Clarke's debut novel as it is just so good! The characters are all well rounded and believable, the countries visited are lush and beautifully depicted, and the mystery slowly builds up throughout the novel, gripping the reader within its clutches.

Above all, it is in an incredibly compelling read. In fact, when I was nearing the end of the novel and the conclusion of the mystery surrounding Mia's death was at my fingertips I was literally unable to put the book down and continued reading while walking (even when crossing the street, oops). It has been a while since I was so intensely gripped by a story that I finished reading it at lightning speed.

Highly engrossing and filled with complicated family dynamics, exotic locations and a good dose of intrigue, The Sea Sisters is the perfect addition to anyone's summer reading list.

Would you like to know more about author Lucy Clarke and/or let her novel how much you loved The Sea Sisters? You can find her online at:


Twitter: @lucyclarkebooks


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