The first book in a series from #1 internationally bestselling author Lucinda Riley, author of The Midnight Rose—hailed as “an extraordinary story [and] a complex, deeply engaging tale filled with fascinating characters” (Library Journal).
Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each sister is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue that takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story.
Eighty years earlier in the Rio of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to complete his vision. Izabela—passionate and longing to see the world—convinces her father to allow her to accompany him and his family to Europe before she is married. There, at Paul Landowski’s studio and in the heady, vibrant cafes of Montparnasse, she meets ambitious young sculptor Laurent Brouilly, and knows at once that her life will never be the same again.
In this sweeping, epic tale of love and loss—the first in a unique, spellbinding series—Lucinda Riley showcases her storytelling talents like never before.
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First book in series!
The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley is the first book in the Seven Sisters series. Maia D’Apliese is in London when she gets the news that Papa Salt (her adoptive father) has passed away. Maia is one of six children that her father adopted during his travels and then brought home to Atlantis. Atlantis is their home in Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Maia is the eldest of the six girls. The others are Alcyone (Ally), Asterope (Star), Celeano (CeCe), Taygete (Tiggy), and Electra. They are named after the star cluster the Seven Sisters. There is a seventh name, but their father never brought home a seventh girl. The lawyer gives each girl a letter from their father and shows them an armillary sphere. It was made special and there is one band for each girl. On the band is the girl’s name, a saying, and coordinates. The girls (well, all but one) never asked Papa Salt about their origins and now he is giving them an opportunity. Maia’s letter also contains a little tile with names written on it. Maia decides to look into her birth parents and sets off for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The coordinates lead her to the house of the Carvalho family. With the help of Floriano Quintelas (an author for whom Maia translated his work from Portuguese to French), Maia sets out to find out her origins.
The story goes from 2007 (which is present for Maia) into the past as Maia reads letters from her ancestors. I found The Seven Sisters to be a long, long book. The author includes many descriptive paragraphs (of Atlantis, Rio, statues, etc.) which I started skimming over after a while (the book just seemed to go on forever). The Seven Sisters is basically a romance novel with Maia’s search for her family as well as Maia finally getting confidence (and believing in herself) thrown in. I give The Seven Sisters 3 out of 5 stars. I think The Seven Sisters could have been much better with some editing. I thought this novel would tell the story of all the sisters (at the beginning), but it only told Maia’s story (I imagine that there will be five more books). Overall, it was a satisfactory novel. I just kept hoping for a twist about Papa Salt to be thrown in (clues that he was still alive).
I received a complimentary copy of The Seven Sisters from NetGalley (and the publisher) in exchange for an honest review.