Rambling about books

Book review: The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1), by Lucinda Riley

Book cover from Goodreads

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️☆☆

Title: The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1)

Author: Lucinda Riley

Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance

Goodreads link

From Goodreads:

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 of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue which 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 and its beginnings.

Eighty years earlier in Rio’s Belle Epoque 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.

Reading this book got me feeling like..

It’s like, please stop talking. Please stop narrating this story, Maia. For the love of God and everything holy, I just want you to shut up. Yep! Just shut up and let other people tell this story, please.

Frankly speaking, when I first stumbled upon this book, I was very excited to read it. What’s not to be interested about? It’s a historical fiction and it is loosely based on a Greek mythology. It has two of my favourite elements in a fiction. But then, not even halfway through the book, my eyes and brain were assaulted by incredibly boring and annoying narration of our beloved (and I use this term lightly) protagonist of the book, Maia. Not only was she extremely frustratingly boring and annoying as a narrator to the story, almost (if not all) the interactions between Maia and her sisters were extremely awkward and feel stunted, that I can feel the awkwardness and the secondhand embarrassment radiating all the way from the words in the book to the back of my neck. I can’t for the life of me enjoy awkward conversations in a book.

But, not all is lost. After a stumbling couple of chapters (I think it was about page 150-ish) that I finally got a hold of the story, I noticed that it’s actually not all bad. This, I noticed, may have something to do with my bias towards any Greek myth-inspired book. Even as I almost decides to just give up all the book together, I had a feeling that maybe it’s not going to be entirely bad, maybe I should give this book another chapter to prove me wrong. And, frankly, I’m glad that I persevere because I was rewarded with an incredible story of Izabela Bonifacio.

Who she, you asked? Well, the story is actually divided between present day Maia trying to cope with the lost of his Father and eventually went to trace back her roots and where she came from, whilst the other story is of Izabela Bonifacio way way way back even before the construction of the Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro. And let me tell you, the moment we are transported to Izabela’s story, things are really picking up. Might have something to do because the juicy part lies in Izabela’s story or just because at least I don’t have to deal with Maia anymore.

That aside, the best part about this book is the incredible weaving of what happened during Izabela’s time and Maia’s. Every time you think that it’s not going to get anymore interesting, it actually got even more interesting. Following Maia’s quest to unravel her past and whatever happened to Izabela is such an amazing adventure, it’s almost like watching a drama show before my eyes. Honestly, if I only have to judge by the early part of the story, I would not have guessed I would actually be so enthralled by the rest of the story. I was pleasantly surprised, you know?

But, if I really did enjoy the story so much, what’s with the three stars, you asked?

Well, there’s only so little stories out there that can get me to give five stars, and frankly this book just didn’t make the cut. No, just kidding. I’m actually a very generous person with my five stars. Any book that can get me bawling in tears would automatically got five stars from me. Then why didn’t this one only got three? Because I didn’t cry my hearts out? Nope. Not because of that, but mostly because of how all the conversations felt so awkward to me. At first I thought it was only between Maia and her sisters, but further down the story, it’s like everybody in this book does not know how to communicate, and for someone awkward like me, it’s heightened everything that I don’t like in making conversations. I really wished I could fling my Nook away every time someone is talking in this book. I really hoped that the book would have just a handful of conversations, alas it is actually chockfull of conversations.

And I’ve insinuate it from the beginning, there’s something about Maia as a narrator to her story that I just don’t quite like. She’s always out there pitying herself. Oh my God Maia, you are a polyglot, you have an amazing job, just because you aren’t as adventurous as your sister, you are not the bottom of the barrel. Ugh I am so sick of reading her narrate her story. Like, just shut up Maia. It is so hard to like you. And then this talk about how love is such an all encompassing thing just doesn’t sit right with me, and I know how ignorant this comment sounds because after all this was a romance book, hence why everyone in the book seems to be so preoccupied by love, but yeah, not a big fan of over glorifying love. And, I just can’t seem to relate to the characters, which is something of a bummer because when I read about a story, I want to feel like I can relate to the characters, if not in story then in how humane you are.

All in all I still thoroughly enjoyed the whole story and I’m curious to see the other sisters’ story and where it might lead. And besides, remember I’m a sucker for anything Greek myth inspired book. That being said, I would still recommend this book, even if you don’t like a Greek myth inspired book (besides,  it is just loosely based anyway),  because this story breathes its own life that you will surely enjoy.


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