The Lost Sister by Kathleen McGurl

I was drawn to this book as I am absolutely loving historical fiction lately, and particularly if I think a book is based around a different part of history than my “go to” books (Holocaust/WW2 historical fiction). The title and tag line hooked me in and made me very intrigued. I also think the cover is absolutely stunning.


Three sisters. Three ships. One heartbreaking story.

1911. As Emma packs her trunk to join the ocean liner Olympic as a stewardess, she dreams of earning enough to provide a better life for both her sisters. With their photograph tucked away in her luggage, she promises to be back soon – hoping that sickly Lily will keep healthy, and wild Ruby will behave. But neither life at sea nor on land is predictable, and soon the three sisters’ lives are all changed irrevocably…

Now. When Harriet finds her late grandmother’s travelling trunk in the attic, she’s shocked to discover a photo of three sisters inside – her grandmother only ever mentioned one sister, who died tragically young. Who is the other sister, and what happened to her? Harriet’s questions lead her to the story of three sister ships, Olympic, Titanic and Britannic, and a shattering revelation about three sisters torn apart…

Don’t miss the latest novel from the USA Today bestselling author of The Secret of the Chateau. Perfect for fans of The Beekeeper’s Promise and The Forgotten Village!

My thoughts:

I love the fact that this book focuses on life at sea, and I have found this journey quite turbulent and unpredictable, much like life at sea itself! I think writing a historical fiction book on this topic is original and refreshing.

I like, in principle, the idea of a time slip and a connection between the past and present. However, in this case, I definitely preferred reading about the ‘past’ based chapters, as this is where I felt most of the shocking twists and gripping narrative happened.

The character development is strong throughout, though. The author deals with quite a cast of characters from both the ‘past’ and ‘present’ timelines and develops their personality in such a way that they appear realistic, and I was definitely able to feel sorry for them, for a variety of reasons, during emotional pinchpoints of the story. My favourite character was definitely Emma. She was loyal, brave and selfless. I admired these qualities in her.

Overall, this has been a book which in many ways is twisty, gripping and unpredictable. It is emotional and heart-wrenching, and carries an important message about family loyalty. I would definitely recommend this book to fans of character driven historical fiction.


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