Review of My Sister’s Secret by Tracy Buchanan

Published: 13th August 2015


Everything you’ve built your life on is a lie.. Willow’s memories of her parents are sun-drenched and full of smiles, love and laughter. But a mysterious invitation to a photographic exhibition exposes a secret that’s been buried since a tragic accident years ago. Willow is forced to question everything she knew about Charity, her late mother, and Hope, the aunt she’s lived with since she was a child. How was the enigmatic photographer connected to Willow’s parents? Why will Hope not break her silence? Willow cannot move forward in her life without answers. But who can she really trust? Because no one has been telling the truth for a very long time.


Thank you to Avon for kindly sending me a review copy.

The prologue opens in Busby-on-Sea in 1977 where the three sisters; Faith, Charity and Hope are discussing their plans to hunt down underwater forests when they’re older. Straight away, Tracy informs readers of how different the three sisters are; Faith is the adventurer, Charity is the pretty one and Hope is the creative one.

“It’s not just that. That rich dude who owned the ship? That was my Dad.”

The plot swifts quickly into 2016 where Willow (niece of Hope) is diving in Greece with some members of a crew. I could sense that she was desperate for some sort of answers; whether she would find them in the sea was a whole other question. It is when Willow discovers a necklace in one of her Mum’s purses that the mystery of who ‘N’ is begins and with Charity’s point of view from the past, the clues quickly added a lot of drama to the narrative. The other sister, Hope was quite miserable to say the least and as the plot thickens early on, we learn how she lost both of her sisters and I could help but feel sorry for her.

“Whatever it was they decided to do, it was time to stop living in the past.”

In the flashback chapters with Charity, she strikes up quite a friendship with a rather rich couple Dan and Lana, who insist on setting her up with her old childhood friend Niall. Yet their story isn’t as simple as that and in actual fact, it’s quite dark. I surprised myself by enjoying Charity’s chapters a lot more than I did with Willow’s, which isn’t usually the case. I liked the aspect of wherever Charity went throughout the world, Willow also went as she looked for clues about the mystery man who loved her mother so much. The relationship between Charity and Niall was a forbidden one; but I still wanted them to be together despite knowing they weren’t.

“The three sisters all seem so different on first glance. But on closer inspection you can see they have the same shape to their faces: cherub cheeks, high foreheads, full lips.”

Just when you think Tracy can’t throw another twist in any more, SHE DOES! What a messed up family they are but it’s quite the sweet ending that I had hoped for. With beautiful descriptions of Busby-on-Sea, India and Austria, an enchanted love for underwater forests and a range of characters, this is a book to sink your teeth into.

Twitter: @TracyBuchanan