Riley, Lucinda. The Seven Sisters. New York: Atria Books, 2015. ISBN-13: 978-1-5990-6. Hardcover List Price: $24.99. Paperback List Price: $16.99.
I adored Lucinda Riley’s first four books, but I didn’t keep up with her once she started the Seven Sisters series. And despite something of a slow start, this one proves to be just as good as her previous work. Riley does have a sort of “formula” with a double love story: a past one that ends sadly, and a present one connected to and learning from the past. But while her books are somewhat predictable, they are no less heart-wrenching in their portrayal of human emotions.
Maia is a great modern heroine. Even though I haven’t gone through the same experiences, I can relate to her and the journey she goes on. I find it fascinating how her story had parallels with those of the women in her birth family, but also noted where it diverged, in terms of the decisions they made. And despite her arc being told entirely through her perspective, I truly felt that Floriano was a great romantic interest and an ideal match for her.
The historical arc felt a bit lacking, particularly in the romance department. I was fascinated by how Riley situated it within the construction of Christ the Redeemer. But when it came to the romance between Bel and Laurent, I just did not get it. I mean, he’s a nice guy, and I get that artists are romantic. But if she actually left her privileged life to be with him, would she find the lifestyle romantic in the long run?
And at one point she says she is beginning to detest her husband, Gustavo. While at first he seems awful, Riley does make a point of humanizing him, instead of making him an antagonist, so it’s not another Cal Hockley situation. I honestly felt sadder when I heard about what happened to him than what happened to her in the end.