A book for readers who love history and travel served with a bit of romance.
Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters are called back home upon the death of their beloved adoptive father, billionaire Pa Salt. Upon his death he leaves each of the sisters a clue to their past — for Maia, it’s a house in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Her story intertwines with that of Izabela Bonifacio’s, a socialite in the Belle Epoque of Rio’s twenties.
I got this book on impulse at the Notting Hill Bookshop — the one in the Hugh Grant/Julia Roberts movie (‘I’m just a girl standing in front of a boy…’) — because well, I wanted to buy something from the shop and I got hooked.
The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley sets off a series of seven books loosely based on the Pleiades of the Greek Myths, after whom the sisters are named. Each sister has her own history and, as they are all adopted, an origin story that takes them to different parts of the globe.
Maia’s story is fascinating and her history, as well as that of Izabela’s in 1920s Brazil, is richly depicted. I felt immersed in the culture of the time, and like Maia, I wanted to find out more. Izabela’s story is tied to the story of Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer), the famous statue that is now an icon of Rio de Janiero. And yes, Maia does get her own romance…
Along the way the author drops tidbits about the other members of her family — very effective sequel bait for the next books. As a traveller and history nerd I really enjoyed the detail and unusual setting this book provided. I would recommend it for anyone looking for a quick, entertaining read, something that will pull you in and keep you going. It would make a good summer or holiday read or just something for someone who wants an unusual setting with a richly drawn set of characters. I can’t wait for the next book. (Disclaimer: I’ve read it, now I want book three…)
Content advisory: Beware wanderlust.
You can find an extract of the book here. Published by Pan Macmillan.