Two sisters in love with the same man, a mother who keeps secrets, and a son who gets in the way of both. This is a tale of sibling rivalry, love, betrayal and murder. Told in alternating narratives by aging folklore expert and historian Mac, and her wayward assistant Lucie, the story mixes the legend of two doomed sisters with a contemporary tale of passion, deceit and betrayal. Set against the brooding presence of the watermill, a structure with its own deadly history, secrets began to unravel, as the past catches up with the present.
This is the first book I’ve read by Sandra Ireland, but it won’t be the last. Beginning with a seemingly ordinary story this is an enthralling novel, written in alternating voices, mixing folklore and legend with a richness of language that is an absolute delight to read. As ‘The Cruel Sister’ story is revealed alongside the contemporary one, the parallels draw the two tales into one, in a masterful and totally believable way. The author’s talent lies in her ability to create two very different voices while telling a story that simmers away innocently enough at the start but builds to a thrilling and unexpected climax at its conclusion.
A beautifully written and thoroughly absorbing book.