Sister by Rosamund Lupton.
I was bought this book for Christmas and have stoically put off reading it because it has been so acclaimed, that may sound odd but it makes sense to me! I like to read books and judge them for myself rather than having a preconceived expectation.
That said, this book IS worth all the hype. It is beautifully written. It does touch you. The prose throughout the whole book is just lovely and poignant, it is incredibly clever the way that sometimes you feel you are reading a story and then suddenly it hits you in the face that the book is talking to you, and makes you look at yourself in a new way.
That makes it sound preachy and predictable, it truly isn’t. An example of such a passage would be:
Before this, I’d confidently assumed myself to be a considerate, thoughtful person, vigilant about other people. I scrupulously remembered birthdays (my birthday book being annually transcribed onto the calendar); I sent thank you cards promptly (ready-bought and waiting in the bottom drawer of my desk). But with my numbers on your phone bill I saw that I wasn’t considerate at all. I was conscientious about the minutiae of life but in the important things I was selfishly cruel and neglectful.
Out of context it probably doesn’t hit home as hard as it does when woven into the excellently written story. And it really is excellently written, it is a story based on one person’s desire to find the truth about the death of her sister, about her need to prove that she knew her sister and that their connection was real. It exposes a lot of emotions and touches on hidden family frailties while still being an engaging crime thriller. I don’t use the ‘a real page turner’ words lightly, but it was one. I loved it.
I don’t want to give away any of the story, as that would spoil it for you, but I do urge you to read it; even if you read it as I did – fully prepared to be scathing! I am quite confident that you will love it within the first few pages.