Thursday, January 17, 2019

Review: The Winter Sister by Megan Collins

Publication Date: February 5th 2019 by Touchstone
Pages: 336
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

n this spellbinding and suspenseful debut, a young woman haunted by the past returns home to care for her ailing mother and begins to dig deeper into her sister’s unsolved murder.

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 really will set you free, once you can bear to look at it.

The Winter Sister is a mesmerizing portrayal of the complex bond between sisters, between mothers and daughters alike, and forces us to ask ourselves—how well do we really know the people we love most?

My Thoughts:
The Winter Sister wasn’t something I planned on reading straight through, or even so long before it released (I read this back in November) but after downloading I was in the mood for a mystery and I thought I’d open it up and read a few pages.  I ended up reading straight through until 2am to finish.  I was pulled into Sylvie’s story, the mystery of her sister’s murder, and I had to find out what happened then and how it would all turn out in the present.

Sixteen years ago, eighteen-year-old Persephone snuck out the window to meet her boyfriend, never came home and was found dead three days later, and fourteen-year-old Sylvie’s world is turned upside-down. Their mother becomes a shell of her former self, retreating into her bedroom and staying drunk more than she’s sober.  The mother Sylvie used to have, one that snuggled and loved, disappeared and stopped caring. 

Meanwhile, the murder of her sister goes unsolved even though Sylvie is sure Persephone’s boyfriend, Ben, is guilty.  But not all is as it seems here, both Sylvie and her mother have secrets and guilt, casting a dark shadow over their lives. 

Sixteen years later Sylvie must come back home to care for her ailing mother, and the anger and resentment she feels a palpable thing brewing between them. Even worse is running into Ben, Persephone’s old boyfriend who now works as a nurse at the clinic her mother must visit twice a week.  But meeting Ben, Sylvie discovers a few things about her sister’s murder she didn’t know, bringing up more questions.  She discovers she wasn’t the only one to keep secrets all these years, her mother has secrets of her own, and now Sylvie’s determined to find answers.  Their dynamic was compelling and another interesting mystery to unravel. 

I was glued to the pages to see how this all turned out, fascinated by the intense relationships, between Sylvie and her mother, Sylvie and Persephone and finally between Sylvie and Ben.  I’m glad I took a chance on Megan Collins’ debut because The Winter Sister was fantastic!

5 Suns


  1. This sounds like a great mystery! I love that it apparently takes the time to develop some complex relationships instead of focusing solely on the plot.

  2. Kind of sounds like this book I read, hmm, well it was good so I could read another

  3. I liked this one too! I did feel it was a slower start for me but was sucked in soon enough. Lovely review!

  4. I love when a mystery is so compelling it keeps me up late into the night reading. :)

  5. I've recently started reading more mysteries and this one sounds wonderful! Books that keep you up late are the best -- they're literally too good to put down. Lovely review! I'm definitely adding this one to my list.

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

  6. That's an amazing phenomena. When you start a book and can't put it down. Glad you enjoyed this one so much.

  7. I think you just sold me on this one. Any book that is impossible to put down is one that I want to read. Great review!

  8. This sounds interesting! I haven't heard of this author, but the mystery sounds fantastic so I may have to check it out.

  9. I hadn't heard of this one. I'm adding it to my list. Thanks, Rachel!

  10. This sounds awesome! I may get it. The plot also sounds similar to a book I read called The Window by Amelia Brunskill, where a sister investigates her sister's death after she went out her window one night, and the guy she was seeing is suspicious. I think it's probably more YA than this though, since it sounds here like this is revisiting it years later. I like this premise more with the protag being older and the murder being more in the past.

    Anyway nice review Rachel!