Posted by: kimberlysullivan | July 1, 2016

Book review: The Storm Sister

2016_June_StormSistersI’m usually not a fan of book series.

I know they’re all the rage, and authors and readers swear by them, but personally, I tend to avoid them.

I picked up, The Seven Sisters,  the first book of this series by Lucinda Riley last year without knowing it was part of a developing series. I read it and enjoyed it. You can see my review here, but I hadn’t necessarily considered reading the full series.

Still, when I was looking for beach reading and saw The Storm Sister – the second in the series –  in the bookshop window, I picked it up. And I’m pleased that I did.

The Storm Sister was a quick read, and I enjoyed following the story of Ally D’Arpiese through a world I know nothing about – competitive sailing – to the search for her family roots in Bergen, Norway.

Ally’s story moved along quickly, as did the second narrative that ran through the story – taking place in a Norwegian village in 1875 and following the life of Anna Landvik as she blossoms from the rather hapless daughter of farmers who despair their daughter, who lacks domestic talents and cooking skills, will never find a husband to the stages of Christiana, Norway (modern-day Oslo) where Anna will debut as a young singer with the premiere of Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt.

This story is engaging, and I enjoyed following Anna as she falls for a young musician and follows him to Leipzig for a happy-ever after that certainly has quite a few bumps in the road.

My problems with the book were more with the subsequent generations. While I was fully invested in Anna’s story, I felt as if it simply dwindled away (needed, I suppose, because we learn details later). But as a reader, I felt we were rushing through generations for the sake of the story line, and I wasn’t very invested in these characters. I suppose it may have worked better for me had stories been revealed not through the characters’ (historical) points of view, but by the  piecing together of family history through the contemporary characters.

Despite this little gripe towards the end of the book, I did enjoy the story and found it a quick and enjoyable read. I may even be tempted to read a series.



  1. Ah summer reading, and ah novels that speed through generations compromising character depth! I just finished Barkskins by Annie Proulx and while a great historical novel, it also suffers the same, 300 years to get through in 700 pages, so some characters get skimmed.

    • Yes, Claire. I suppose this is common, which is why it’s so surprising when it is done in a balanced way and readers feel fully satisfied. But then again, 300 years is a tough one to tackle… Hope your reading – and your summer – are going well!

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