CeCe D’Aplièse has never felt that she fitted in anywhere, and following the death of her adoptive father, the elusive billionaire Pa Salt, finds herself at breaking point.
In desperation, and armed with only scant clues her father has left her, CeCe begins a search to discover her true origins….a search which takes hero the searing heat and dusty plains of the Red Centre of Australia.
But what is her connection to Kitty McBride, a Scottish clergyman’s daughter wholes there over a hundred years ago?
As CeCe unearth deeply buried and long forgotten secrets, she starts to believe that this wild, vast continent could offer her something she never thought possible: a sense of belonging and a home…
I have previously reviewed the first three books in this series, The Seven Sisters, The Storm Sister and The Shadow Sister, so I have been eagerly waiting for the release of this fourth book in the series. In my opinion The Pearl Sister is the best so far, I was immersed in CeCe’s story, I really couldn’t put this book down.
CeCe’s story takes the reader to the beautiful and exotic beaches of Thailand, and its antithesis the desolate outback of Australia. As with the previous three books, Lucinda Riley’s skill as a writer brings these contrasting places to life. You can really visualise the dusty, hot and desolate Australian Outback, the red dust coating everything in sight, and the intense heat of the sun. Lucinda also brings to life the history of Australia; the pearl industry, the discrimination towards those of colour and even more towards children of mixed race, and the shipping of orphans to Australia after the war and their treatment in orphanages. It was also very interesting to read about the aboriginal myth of The Seven Sisters of Pleiades, and how important it is in their culture. It is amazing that The Seven Sisters are part of many different cultures, whose basic story names the same but with small differences important in that culture. I certainly learned a lot reading this book, which enhanced CeCe’s story, and in some way the story of the other sisters as well.
I loved CeCe as a character, she has many insecurities stemming from looking different from her sisters, her dyslexia but most of all from being separated from her sister Star, whose story is told in The Shadow Sister. Throughout the book we see her grow as an independent young women, and accept who she is as a person and as an artist. I also admired Kitty MacBride who travelled to Australia as a ladies companion in the early twentieth century and ends up staying there and making a new life for herself. Her strength of character really shines through as she faces many challenges and continues to thrive in the face of adversity. Her strength is mirrored in her house maid and friend Camira, a woman of mixed race who is been and grown out of her previous job after she became pregnant. As her child is mixed race she faces having the child taken from her, but Kitty doesn’t have the prejudice of others and helps her. Overcoming adversity, both in the present and the past, is a strong theme in this book as is the strength of the female characters. The thing I enjoy about Lucinda Riley’s characters is that she doesn’t overload the reader with a lot of extra characters, there is a small cast of central characters that are important to the plot.
The Pearl Sister is a beautiful book, it will captivate you from the first page with its breath taking plot that will sweep you up in CeCe’s journey. The Seven Sisters series is getting better with each book, and we fall in love with each sister as they start the journey to find out their true heritage. They truly are a magical and captivating read, and like those before The Pearl Sister is a superb read that will stay with you long after you have finished it; a sublime reading experience.
Keep an eye out next week for my interview with Lucinda Riley which I will post on 2nd November to coincide with the release of The Pearl Sister.