I have enjoyed many of Diane Chamberlain’s full length novels so huge thanks to St Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy of this short story in exchange for an honest review.
This story acts as an introduction to Chamberlain’s new novel, the Silent Sister. As it opens we meet Riley, who is flying to be with her brother Danny, who we learn has been injured in Iraq.
What the blurb says:
Some secrets need to be told . . . As a child, Riley always suspected there was a secret her parents and brother protected her from, a secret that ruined the bond between her and her brother and threatened to tear her family apart. Now seventeen years old, Riley is flying out to visit her brother Danny who has been wounded whilst fighting in Iraq. And she’s is determined to find out what this secret is. But will uncovering the truth bring her and her brother together again and give her the answers she craves, or will it simply lead to more questions . . .
Chamberlain is a master of creating tension and intrigue. There are so many elements in this story that pique the reader’s interest that you just HAVE to keep reading: ‘ “Yes, we’re close,” I said, although it wasn’t the truth. Somehow my brother and I had lost our closeness. I felt as though I didn’t know him’. You just have to find out why. And why aren’t Riley’s parents on this flight?
The story is interspersed with flashbacks to Riley’s childhood which help fill in the blanks. We learn that family life has been far from perfect with a cold, materialistic father and an often mentally absent mother: ‘She was in her own world, a place where the memories were happy and pure. I tried hard to get in there with her’. As the story unfolds we start to learn why.
Riley seeks (and finds) solace in her big brother: ‘He was so brave! I couldn’t imagine watching those streaks of lightning on purpose’. But the road ahead is far from smooth – why did their relationship break down? As she travels to meet him she resolves to mend their rift: ‘He would never let me fall. I wanted to be that net of safety for him now. For always’.
Chamberlain perfectly captures the innocence of childhood in this story and I actually found myself quite choked reading the descriptions of neglect. The story packs a punch – particularly considering it is less than 50 pages in length. I will definitely be reading The Silent Sister as I need to know more…
You can read this short story on kindle for only 59p: The Broken String: A SHORT STORY
And the new novel, The Silent Sister is here: The Silent Sister
And the paperback version: The Silent Sister