*Lucinda Riley. The Sun Sister.
Read by Weruche Opia and Sophie Roberts.
22 CDs. 26.25 hours.
Clipper Audio/Recorded Books. 2019
The sixth book in the Seven Sisters series, The Sun Sister, focuses on Electra d'Apliese, a woman of color and beautiful, and a rich, famous Manhattan fashion model, whose total self-absorption doesn't allow her to fit easily into Pa Salt's unique family. Like her other sisters, Electra receives a letter from Pa after his death, revealing details about her past and clues to reconnecting with her birth family.
All of the seven sisters were adopted by millionaire Pa from around the world for various reasons. Five of Electra's other sisters have read their letters from Pa and followed the trail to discover their identity, but Electra resists. She was devastated by Pa's death and feels like an outsider in the family. In her life of luxury and world fame, however, fortified by drugs and alcohol, Electra isn't happy; in fact, she is depressed much of the time. A letter from her grandmother, Stella, leads to a tenuous first meeting. Electra, very upset, overdoses on alcohol and drugs, ending up in the hospital. Stella and others who love her, urge her to attend a recovery clinic. She grudgingly agrees to go, but is resistant to the limitations imposed by that setting. While there she finally reads Pa's letter, in which she learns a little more about her background.
At the clinic Electra makes some friends, renews ties with her family, and starts to clean up her life. When she returns to Manhattan, no longer dependent on drugs and alcohol, Electra begins a series of conversations with Stella, which reveal Electra's very complicated family history – both in New York City and in Kenya beginning in 1939. Ultimately, Electra realizes that she has choices in her life and begins making changes in her priorities. The question is whether she can succeed in her new life.
This is an excellent audiobook spread over 22 discs, very long, indeed, but well worth the journey. Narrators, Weruche Opia and Sophie Roberts expertly manage to represent each distinct character, providing appropriate accents for those from other countries. Lucinda Riley's novels have a special quality in that they tell each sister's story, weaving them into the fabric of the family's story.
The seventh sister, missing in the series so far, is just discovered at the end of this book, so another installment is coming. Readers who like generational and somewhat exotic, family stories, detailed introspective novels, and stories about relationships will enjoy The Sun Sister and the other seven sisters books.
Reviewed by Susan Allison