We Were Sisters by Wendy Clarke
I turn to where I left my baby in his pushchair and pull up short. With a racing heart, I look around wildly, fear gripping my stomach. I only looked away for a moment. The pushchair and my baby are gone.
Our protagonist is Kelly. She is married to Mitch and they have three children; the twins Isabella and Sophie and newborn boy Noah. Just your regular family living in Brighton you’d say. But you never know what goes on in someone’s mind…
We meet Kelly for the first time when she brings the twins to their first day of school. It’s immediately clear that Kelly suffers from OCD, she’s counting steps between streetlights.
The twins’ first day of school is worrying her. Yet she tries to hide her worries and her OCD from her family. But is it just the first day of school that triggers her anxiety?
Our first clue something more might be going on is when she’s walking back to Noah’s pushchair and she realises it has been moved. At least that’s what Kelly thinks. All the classrooms look the same, so maybe she just made a mistake. Yet, there’s a locket in Noah’s pushchair. Very similar to the one she owns, and very similar to the one her sister Freya used to wear.. but Freya died years ago!
Past And Present
Wendy Clarke alternates the story telling between Kelly “now” and Kelly when she was a child. Slowly but surely the reader discovers Kelly’s troubled past, as well as the effect it has on her adult life. The other way around we learn that the small -albeit scary- things that happen to adult Kelly, like the moved pushchair that could be a simple mistake, or an open door, might not be so simple and innocent after all.
Has a secret from her past come back to haunt her? And what has her sister Freya, who died when Kelly was a child, have to do with all this? Or doesn’t she have to do anything with all of this and is it really all in Kelly’s head?
All The Feels
I felt really sad for adult Kelly that the people in her life make her feel like she’s crazy. That the things she is experiencing are immediately categorised as nothing or that they must be caused by “baby brain” because taking care of Noah is leaving her physically and emotionally drained. Not once do any of these people, least of all her husband, stop to ask themselves what is going on. I can’t understand why Mitch would just dismisses Kelly’s claims of someone having been in the house. I’d like to think a caring, loving father and husband would at least check the house or change locks or something. His lack of empathy got under my skin a bit and his behaviour annoys me to an extend.
Which is all good! I love it when a book evokes emotion towards characters, whether it’s joy, laughter, anger or annoyance. When an author can make you feel things you know they have really good writing skills!
This book kept me on the edge of my seat, literally! At one point, I was so engrossed in the story, I literally sat on the edge of the settee! And just as you think you have it all figured out, PLOT TWIST! This book left me guessing to the last minute.
We Were Sisters is available from August 08, 2019
Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC from Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own.