Book Review: The Lost Sister By Tracy Buchanan

It was the beautiful cover of this book that initially caught my eye and I was thrilled when Avon Books UK accepted my Netgalley request for an advance copy. Massive thank you to them and of course not forgetting author Tracy Buchanan, Happy Publication Day!


Summer, 1991: A trip to the beach leads to disaster for Becky’s family. It is the day a boy nearly drowns, and the day Becky’s mother decides to abandon her own husband and child for the mysterious man who saved him.

Now: It’s been ten years since they last spoke, but Becky’s mother has just weeks to live. And she has something important to tell her.

I had another child.

How far would you go to track down the sister you never knew existed?
And how can you trust a woman who has lied to you your whole life?

lost sister


Becky’s Mother Selma left the family home when she was only eight years old, running off to live in a cave with mysterious Idris and his creative ‘children’. Of course, as a child this left Becky feeling confused and abandoned by the one person she thought she could count on. It’s understandable then that she is shocked when years later, after their sporadic contact has dwindled, she receives a call out of the blue from her Mother saying that she is dying. Despite their turbulent history Becky rushes to her side and is shocked to the core when in her dying breath her Mother reveals she has a sister.

This revelation sets Becky on an unexpected journey of discovery that sees her travel across Europe in the search for her lost sister. With very few details she must carefully piece the clues she finds together to find not only her sister, but also the truth about her Mother’s life in the intervening years since she left.

This story is told from two perspectives, Becky’s in 2018 and Selma’s back in the 90’s. Often focusing on the same past events it’s interesting to see the different viewpoints and impact those scenarios had on each of the characters. It’s clear early in the book that Selma struggles with her mental health which is apparent in her decision to leave and is a topic which is really at the heart of the whole story. As a child it is of course difficult to understand her Mother’s depression and how it left her vulnerable and easily open to suggestion, but as Becky discovers more about her past she gains a deeper understanding of Selma’s actions.

This book is a drama, mystery and thriller combined making it the perfect page turner. It’s a story filled with secrets, revelations and an enormous number of twists and turns along the way. I like to think after reading as many books as I have in my time that I’m quite good at guessing how a novel will conclude, but this one got me with a fabulously, shocking plot twist right at the end that I just didn’t see coming!

This is the first of Tracy Buchanan’s books I have read and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Her writing is wonderfully descriptive allowing me to visualise the wonderful landscapes and scenery she describes. At 448 pages it is longer than some of my recent reads however it didn’t feel long or like a chore in any way, I was drawn into the story immediately and gripped until the end.

The Lost Sister is available to buy from Amazon* now

*This post contains affiliate links

*We were gifted a copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are our own

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