Tuesday, July 11, 2017

My Sister's Bones by Nuala Ellwood

Good morning, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC blog tour for Nuala Ellwood's My Sister's Bones.

Kate's childhood was not a happy one. The day her father died was the day her family was finally freed from his tyranny. Kate was close to her mother, as a result, but not her sister who tended to side with their father. In fact, all these years later it's their father Kate's sister seems to take after most. 

Kate herself has spent over a decade traveling the globe reporting on the worst atrocities. An award winning war reporter, she most recently spent three weeks in Syria, where she was posted when she found out her mother had passed away. She missed the funeral. 

Now, she's returned to her hometown and her mother's home ostensibly to help put her mother's affairs in order. In truth, Kate needs time to recover from the things she witnessed and experienced overseas. Haunted by her time in Syria and her own childhood memories, Kate begins to hear screams coming from the neighbor's house. She's also seen a young boy in and around the yard, but when she calls the police she's told there are no children in the home. Can Kate be certain of anything she sees and hears? Or is her own mind playing tricks on her?

My Sister's Bones is an intriguing read and, I have to say, a pretty fantastic debut. We begin with Kate being held by the police, so we know things have not gone well on her trip home. The story immediately jumps back one week to her arrival. She meets the neighbor, a refugee who appears to be living alone, and, as she recalls both her own experiences at the hands of her abusive father and what was clearly a very traumatic time in Syria, begins to hear and see strange things at the neighbor's house.

Pretty early on, the reader - just like the local police - questions whether Kate has really seen what she says or if it's flashbacks from her own past. And as the story progresses, Kate doesn't make it any easier to believe her. We, the readers, know that she's experiencing auditory and visual hallucinations. We also know that her reports of the boy next door bear a marked resemblance to both her childhood (she reports seeing the boy laying in her yard just chapters after recalling a night she spent under her mom's rosebushes after her father banished her for the evening) and her hallucinations/memories of Syria.

Of course wondering if there's something to her suspicions drives the story, but so does Kate herself. We know she's yet to deal with something huge in her immediate past. There are hints of it throughout, especially in her talks with the psychiatrist at the police station. Her relationship with her sister, who's holed herself up at home except for her missions to acquire more alcohol, is terrible. And there's an increasing suspicion that even if Kate isn't 100% sure of what she's seen, something is not quite right. All of that rolled up into one neat story package means that My Sister's Bones is a hard one to put down!

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Nuala Ellwood and her work you can visit her website here. You can also follow her on Twitter.

Purchase Links: HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

1 comment:

trish said...

Sounds really intriguing! Books like this make me super annoyed when my reading is interrupted. :)

Thank you for being on this tour!