Friday, December 11, 2015

The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon + Make it a Gift

The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon

Review by Lauren

Source: copy for review; all opinions are my own

Official Summary: Once the thriving attraction of rural Vermont, the Tower Motel now stands in disrepair, alive only in the memories of Amy, Piper, and Piper's kid sister, Margot. The three played there as girls until the day that their games uncovered something dark and twisted in the motel's past, something that ruined their friendship forever. 

Now adult, Piper and Margot have tried to forget what they found that fateful summer, but their lives are upended when Piper receives a panicked midnight call from Margot, with news of a horrific crime for which Amy stands accused. Suddenly, Margot and Piper are forced to relive the time that they found the suitcase that once belonged to Silvie Slater, the aunt that Amy claimed had run away to Hollywood to live out her dream of becoming Hitchcock's next blonde bombshell leading lady. As Margot and Piper investigate, a cleverly woven plot unfolds—revealing the story of Sylvie and Rose, two other sisters who lived at the motel during its 1950s heyday. Each believed the other to be something truly monstrous, but only one carries the secret that would haunt the generations to come.

Review:  This was my first book by McMahon, but it will most definitely not be my last. The Night Sister is such an intriguing story. It's one where you find yourself really caring about the characters, but at the same time, you aren't sure if what is happening is supernatural or related to mental illness or something else.

The book is broken into three parts, yet these sections go back and forth. At one point you are in the present (2013) with mostly Piper's point of view. She is back in town to be with her sister, who is pregnant and due soon. Their childhood friend, Amy, and her family is dead and they are saying that it was Amy who did it. Another section is when Piper, Amy, and Margot are young. Amy lives in the Tower Motel with her grandmother and they happen upon a mystery. Piper isn't sure if Amy is making things up to create an adventure, but she doesn't care. The final section takes place in the 1950's and 1960's when Amy's mom, Rose, is little. These point of views are mostly Rose, but we do get letters that Sylvie, Rose's older sister, writes to Alfred Hitchcock.

There is a mystery that weaves its way through all of these decades, and as you go back and forth between the years and the point of views, more and more is revealed. I won't try and explain this mystery, because I think it's important to read the book and discover things for yourself. I found myself questioning a lot of the characters through the book, especially Rose and her daughter, Amy.

As for the setting, this book takes place around the Tower Motel that starts to lose customers when Rose and Sylvie are young, because of a main highway being built. Sylvie talks about her motel in letters to Hitchcock, so when the film Psycho comes out (featuring a very similar motel that loses customers), Sylvie thinks that maybe she helped inspire the film. If you have seen the movie Psycho, then you can kind of picture this idea of a run down motel where mysterious and deadly things happen.

The Night Sister was such a great novel. I read it quickly and would definitely suggest you find a good time to dive in. You're sure to keep reading until all is revealed!

As I already mentioned the similarities to the film Psycho above, it shouldn't be a surprise that the DVD is what I am suggesting you add to this novel to truly make it a gift!

You can buy Psycho on Amazon now for a little less than $10!!


Melliane said...

it's great when the mystery is kept like that. I didn't know about this one but I'm intrigued

Christy LoveOfBooks said...

I love when it's hard to tell what's really going on, like mental illness or paranormal. It's fun trying to pick out clues. This sounds really good and something I'd read.

Tracy Terry said...

Loving the cover, not so much the summary which to me sounds somewhat familiar. That said, great review, I'm having second thoughts having read it - perhaps it is one I'd enjoy after all.

Erika Sorocco said...

Ooh this one is going on my must-read list ASAP - it sounds fantastic!


Kindlemom said...

Yay for discovering fantastic new authors! Wonderful review and have an amazing weekend Lauren!

Heidi Rainy Day Ramblings said...

I read this in the fall and my review still hasn't posted. I liked this, but I was a bit disappointed with the final reveal, still it was interesting and different.

Nicole Hewitt said...

Love this spooky gift suggestion. Not sure if I could handle it, though! :-)

Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

Midnight Cowgirl said...

Sounds like a really interesting read!

Grace @ RebelMommyBookBlog said...

This sounds so good. I love a mystery and also multiple POVs/time periods. Greta review!

Trish Hannon said...

Love the inclusion of Alfred Hitchcock and how well strung out the mystery was. Great idea to match book and dvd for a pressie too. Sounds like a book I'd enjoy.