The Other Sister
By: Dianne Dixon
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: 11/1/2016
My Rating: 5 Stars +++ Top Books of 2016 One sister has everything. Her twin hates her for it. Would life be better without Ali? Probably. At least then people might think about Morgan. Ali's always gotten everything ― she doesn't even realize how much Morgan resents her. Ali also doesn't realize that when she shuts Morgan out entirely, she will unleash a chain of events that show just how dangerous the underside of love really is. As their lives spin toward something neither one of them can control, a terrifying crime reveals how those who know us best can destroy us...or save us.
A special (big) "thank you" to Sourcebooks Landmark and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Sooooo Good! Life is the process of becoming. "It starts with your first breath and stays with you until your last. Just think of the power of it being able to continually reach toward the light. The possibilities are infinite.” Talented storyteller, Dianne Dixon returns following (2013) The Book of Someday with her best yet, THE OTHER SISTER!. The puzzling; the beautiful concept of forgiveness. Action-packed, beautifully written, compassionately told, and relentlessly suspenseful! From saints to sinners, narcissists to decent and caring, love and hate—a wide range of emotions and contrasts; with one of the most profound and stunning journeys of two sisters and the people who come in and out of their lives. Evil versus good. Violence to peace. A page-turner with all the ingredients to become a bestseller and a box office smash hit!. An emotional, thought-provoking, chilling psychological thriller. Set in Providence, Rhode Island, a disturbing glimpse into the darkness that can cling to the underside of love. The opening, a mysterious Newport cliff-side mansion. A wedding. In years to come, seemingly random events taking place in the mansion that night would lead to brutal, unexpected violence—and to the discovery of something so bizarre it would be heart-stopping. No one could have known. Someone would shatter Ali’s life. What would be less painful—to find out it was a stranger or someone close? Someone she loved. Ali was stuck with a lifelong guilt of her sister Morgan’s loneliness. We hear from POV: Morgan, Ali, Matt. There is also another mysterious evil voice sprinkled throughout; however, the reader is kept in the dark, until the identity is unveiled with the explosive conclusion (in a highly creative manner). Ali, the pretty one- marries Matt. There were parts of him that he kept private. Hurts that she assumed were connected. Places no one would ever be allowed to go. Places that were closed and locked. She wanted to own a restaurant to carry out her grandmother's wishes. A husband, family, and a baby.Life gets complicated. An ex-boyfriend Levi. A tragedy. A professional hockey athlete. A dreadful past. Morgan, an art curator at a museum. A devious miserable person, living in her sister's shadow. Full of blame, spite, bitterness, and evil. She was ordinary. Ali and Morgan were not identical. Fraternal. Two people who shared a womb. Living in her sister's shadow. She seeks justice, revenge, and thinks this will bring balance. Two sisters. Now age twenty-seven. A complex relationship. Morgan loves her sister. She would kill and die for her, and at the same time furious she even exists because she makes her invisible. Soulmates; thorns and comfort. Ali has always carried Morgan. However, by Ali turning her back on Morgan, could Morgan possibly see her mistakes and view their relationship from a different perspective? When there is more to show the world than the injuries. Morgan receives a mistaken text from a mysterious sender. She now calls Sam. He is like a therapist on call. She has never met him; however, his words will change her life. Sometimes the wrong person can turn out to be the right person. Sam was unlike anyone she had ever talked to. Never judgment or criticism. From Maine, a place called BerryBlue Farm, where two young girls had spent the best time of their lives when they were kids. Not far from the quaint town of Kennebunkport, a loved grandmother’s death. Memories. Love of cooking. Passions. Family. A sister’s relationship of love and hate. Secrets. Grudges. Guilt. Always a dance between exasperation and delight. From Rhode Island to California—an unleashing; a chain of events spiral out of control. Readers meet a variety of characters, connecting the twin sisters. The mysterious brown suitcase. There is SO much here beyond the surface. Not only is this a mysterious, domestic suspense, and delicious crime thriller; it is deeply psychological, thought-provoking, and soul-searching. There is tremendous growth from the characters from the beginning of the book to the ending. Wisdom. Faith. Forgiveness. Atonement. “The place where you don’t forget the hurts, but you let go of them and hold on to the love.” What sets THE OTHER SISTER apart, is the HOOK! It is bold, engrossing, spellbinding. Character and plot-driven! Dixon never strays with needless side stories. The entire book is heart pounding, not knowing what is coming next. You are glued from page one to the final ending. Engrossing! An emotional roller coaster of suspense that will keep you guessing until the final page is turned. Even at 94% to the Epilogue, Dixon continues to add compelling twists and turns and many surprises. There is nothing ordinary here, and cannot adequately describe the uniqueness of her writing. I loved the texting, which again continues the theme of contrasts: revenge texts which destroyed. Mistaken texts, which come to heal. I would encourage readers to review Dianne Dixon’s blog post-"the inspiration" behind THE OTHER SISTER. My New Book Solved an Old Mystery. (thanks for sharing). It is powerful and a takeaway message for all. An ideal choice for book clubs! There are many red herrings; however, each and every one was worth the ride. Matt and Sam were the most mysterious of all with the unknowns. (I could almost see another novel featuring Sam's life; intriguing). You root for Ali, and despise Morgan; however, Dixon allows readers to view these characters from the "inside out," and below the surface. The heart of the matter. Unforgettable characters captivate as they confront their hidden pasts and build upon their futures with faith, love, and grace. People can grow and change. They can keep on giving to each other, no matter what life throws at them. Every moment is a new opportunity to grow and change—the possibilities infinite. If you appreciated this story of forgiveness, recommend reading Charles Martin’s (2016) Long Way Gone. “The Prodigal Son” retelling with a modern-day twist and Water From My Heart (2015). THE OTHER SISTER is absolutely amazing! Brilliantly crafted, crossing many genres, making "My Top Books of 2016." Move this one to the "Top" of your list! Trust me, when I say, "it is like no other book I have ever read." Fans of Heather Gudenkauf, Diane Chamberlain, Jodi Picoult, and Mary Kubica will appreciate the writer's ability to cross several genres, with highly charged emotional topics. A suspenseful, yet moving tale of lost dreams, unending love, truth seeking and in the end, inspiring redemption and discovery. This one is not to be missed! Review Links:
"Through acute imagery and with beautifully deep insight, Dixon unveils the complex rawness of human beings and demonstrates how even the ugliest incidents and secrets can still lead to joy." - Booklist
About the Author
Photo credit: Bill Youngblood Photography
Dianne Dixon has been nominated twice for an Emmy and is a recipient of the prestigious Humanitas prize for outstanding accomplishment in writing for television. She was Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Pitzer College in Claremont, taught screenwriting at Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film & Media and co-hosted the afternoon drive talk show Peter & Dianne on KABC Radio.
Now, Dianne is receiving enthusiastic response to her work as a novelist: “Captivating, fascinating,” (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) “Absorbing and provocative,” (Huffington Post) “Convincing prose, particularly the dialogue,” (Kirkus) “An exciting new writer, capable of creating a well-paced, emotional page-turner of the best kind,” (Katie Crouch, New York Times bestselling author of Girls in Trucks and The Magnolia League).
Dianne’s third novel The Other Sister, released in November of 2016, got excellent advance reviews from Booklist and on Goodreads. Her second novel The Book of Someday was chosen as a 2013 Buzz Book by the largest publishing trade fair in the US. And her debut novel The Language of Secrets was named a Top Ten New Fiction title by Amazon. Read More