Jan 15, 2015

The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain (Unabridged Audio Version)

This is a story about family and the secrets that lie just beneath the surface.  Riley is twenty-seven and the youngest of three children in the MacPherson family. She has an older brother, Danny, whom she used to be close with when they were kids, and an even older sister, Lisa, who committed suicide when Riley was just two years old. She has virtually no memory of Lisa aside from a few photos and the violin that she played masterfully.

After losing her mother several years earlier, her father has now also passed, so Riley has returned to her childhood home in New Bern, North Carolina to settle his affairs. Danny is of no help since he's made it clear he doesn't want anything to do with the family home, its contents or even any memories, for that matter. Faced with this daunting task, Riley is anxious to get it sorted out as quickly as possible but along the way she uncovers information that makes her question everything she ever knew about her own family. The most shocking being that Lisa didn't commit suicide at all and that she may actually be alive and living under a different name.


...On the Story: 
This is the second book of Diane Chamberlain's that I've read, the first being NECESSARY LIES last year, which captivated me. I can now say the same for THE SILENT SISTER. What I liked about this story is that it was not only about family, but it also held a mystery. Though Chamberlain clues the reader in to a point, there are still many things we learn the same time Riley does.  I felt it was a well thought out plot and one that was believable.  It was also very well paced and kept my attention all the way through. Like the story, the characters were real and believable as well. I felt connected to Riley with everything she was going through.  That being said, the only character I didn't fully connect with was her brother, Danny. For all his anger and resentment, I felt that the character could've been developed a bit more.  Even though parts of the story were told in flashbacks it wasn't overdone but necessary in order to reveal a major part of the story. (Over the last year or so I've grown tired of storylines traveling back and forth through time)

...On the Audio:  The narrator, Susan Bennett, did a great job interpreting the story. She also recently narrated  A LONG TIME GONE by Karen White. I recognized her voice immediately.  This audio was over 11 hours long but it seemed to go quickly probably because Ms. Bennett's voice was so easy to listen to.  Though I really enjoyed the audio, I think I would like the print version just as much.

Interestingly, I've seen this book listed as 'Riley MacPherson, Book 1' which would indicate the beginning of a series, so I'll be watching for information on that. Diane Chamberlain has become an author that I automatically put on my TBR list. Her stories have deep Southern roots, interesting family dynamics and usually include some sort of mystery or buried secrets, which are very enticing to me. The bottom line is I would recommend this book in either format and I also think it would be a good selection for book club.      

THE SILENT SISTER (Unabridged Audio Version)
Author: Diane Chamberlain
Narrator:  Susan Bennett
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Published: Oct 7, 2014
Series:  Riley MacPherson Book 1
Length: 11hrs 39mins


  1. I really want to read this book. The whole premise is intriguing to me. I've read maybe 2 other books by this author - can't think of names right now. I did enjoy them. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Hi Lisa. I'm Diane Chamberlain's assistant. Diane asked me to let you know that The Silent Sister is not part of a series but is a standalone book. The Broken String would be considered a novella or short ebook associated with The Silent Sister. Her next book Pretending to Dance will be out in October, 2015.


Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment! I look forward to hearing from you again soon!