The Sun Sister is the sixth book in the acclaimed Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley. It is important to read the first book called The Seven Sisters in order to understand the basic premise of the series. I have not read books two through five but was able to follow the sixth book easily.
As told in the first book, six infant girls from very diverse backgrounds are adopted by a mysterious billionaire, Mr. d’Aplièse. The girls are cared for by his assistant, Maurine. The sisters refer to them as Pa Salt and Ma. The girls are raised in a mansion known as Atlantis on an island on Lake Geneva. The readers aren’t told anything about Pa Salt’s background, but apparently there are some hints in each of the sister’s stories. Lucinda Riley makes it known that there is an underlying ‘hidden’ plot that runs through the books… or the allegorical Greek references and anagrams that form the backdrop to the series”. I have to admit I was pretty excited when I saw there brief meeting with a character named Mr. Tanit in The Sun Sister. I believe that Tanit is an anagram for Titan and that this character is actually Pa Salt. This is just a wild guess on my part, so I do not consider it a spoiler.
Each of the sisters is named for one of “The Seven Sisters of the Pleiades” constellation. In Greek mythology, the Pleiads were the seven daughters of Atlas, a Titan who held up the sky, and the Oceanid, Pleione, protectress of sailing. The sisters were Maia, Electra, Alcyone, Taygete, Asterope, Celaeno, and Merope. Apparently Merope was “lost” and her star often cannot be seen. Pa Salt refuses to tell the girls what he does for a living or why they were chosen to be adopted. He tells them he has been looking for Merope for many years.
After his unexpected death and secret burial at sea, each girl is given hints as to their true ancestry. The first book continues with the story of Maia, the eldest daughter and also looks back to the story of her grandmother, who lives in Rio de Janeiro. The next five books tell the story of one of the other daughters combined with the historical fiction story of a female ancestor. The author has published the books in the order of each of the girls’ adoption by Pa Salt. The historical characters follow a chronological timeline going from the construction of the Christ The Redeemer Statute in the 1920s through post World War II in the 1940s.
Review of The Sun Sister
The Electra “Sun Sister” storyline deals with the modern-day issues of substance abuse, bullying, friendship, and the definition of strength. The Cecily story shows us the history of the Happy Valley in Kenya where the British had very loose morals. There is also an incident with a princess of the Maasai people that has a lasting impact on all the characters. Cecily’s story tells of the sacrifices made by strong women to overcome racial inequality. Both stories deal with friendship, familial love, trust, overcoming hardships, prejudice, trust and above all, hope.
I recommend this series to readers who like historical fiction about strong women characters. I am excited to read the subsequent books and hope to find out about the missing Merope as well as to understand the mystery of Pa Salt.
Thank you to Netgalley and Atria Books for my digital Advanced Reader Copy of The Sun Sister. The book is currently available in hardcover. It will be published for Kindle on May 19, 2020.