The Forgotten Sister is an emotionally charged slow burner. This is a skillfully crafted novel about adoption. It is raw, thought-provoking and a definite must-read.
I really felt for each of the characters as Caroline Bond explores the impact of adoption for all those involved; the family adopting, the adopted child and those left behind. I’m not going to lie, I shed a tear at the end, especially as the ending is so subtly powerful but also hopeful.
Seventeen year-old Cassie has always known she’s adopted but it has never been a big issue for her. Then something happens and she starts having dreams and flashbacks of being loved and cared for as toddler. Yet these flashbacks do not marry up to the story her adopted parents have told her; the story of being neglected by her birth mother.
As she becomes more withdrawn from her adopted parents, Cassie secretly posts an online appeal to find her birth mother. It is Leah that makes contact telling Cassie that she is her sister. Yet a sense of menace surrounds Leah; she is volatile and her hatred for Cassie’s adopted family is visceral.
As Cassie attempts to forge a relationship with Leah, she realises that her adopted parents have been lying to her all her life. Why the lies? Why does Leah feel so much hatred? What does Leah really want from Cassie and how far will she go to get it?
For me my favourite character is Leah. That may seem controversial, but she is a complex character that tore at my heart. Her hatred and lack of trust powerfully conflicts with her feelings for Cassie. There is bitter jealousy between Leah and Erin, Cassie’s adopted sister that creates a raw tension. That, adding to never quite trusting as reader what Leah and those around her will do gives the novel a menacing edge. And the exploration as to why Cassie’s adopted parents lied and continue to lie further adds to the emotional family dynamics.
Published on 2nd May 2019, The Forgotten Sister is one read that you cannot afford to miss this summer. Just remember to keep your hankies close by!
Thank you to NetGalley and Anne Cater from Random Things Tours for my advance copy of The Forgotten Sister. Thank you also to Anne Cater for inviting me to take part in the blog tour of this poignant read. To read the reviews of my fellow book bloggers also taking part in the blog tour, please see below.