Sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s sister Persephone never came home. Out too late with the boyfriend she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found—and years later, her murder remains unsolved.
In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her estranged mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Prone to unexplained “Dark Days” even before Persephone’s death, Annie’s once-close bond with Sylvie dissolved in the weeks after their loss, making for an uncomfortable reunion all these years later. Worse, Persephone’s former boyfriend, Ben, is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie’s always believed Ben was responsible for the murder—but she carries her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her.
As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house—and what really happened the night Persephone died. As it turns out, the truth will set you free, once you can bear to look at it.
My Thoughts: As Sylvie returns home, reluctantly, to care for her sick mother, Annie, she is confronted by the past and its dark secrets. Sometimes, studying the past can change one’s perspective and even the reality of one’s relationships.
What would Sylvie learn, as she tried to sort through the events leading up to her sister’s death? Would her view be reinforced, or would she realize that she had it all wrong?
As we follow Sylvie’s story and her interactions with Persephone’s boyfriend, we learn more about Annie’s story. The one loss that changed everything in her life, leading to Dark Days and the inability to really nurture her daughters, could have been the one thing that changed everything for the girls, too.
How can Sylvie sort through the detritus of her sister’s life, as well as her mother’s secrets, and discover the truth? As the final revelations in The Winter Sister are unveiled, everything will finally be brought to light, setting them free. 4.5 stars.