I am over the moon to be hosting the Blog Tour for Blood Sisters by Jane Corry today! I’d like to thank Annie Hollands and Penguin Books for the opportunity!
Title: Blood Sisters
Author: Jane Corry
Publisher: Penguin Books
Date of publication: June 29th 2017
Number of pages: 456
From the author of the Sunday Times bestseller MY HUSBAND’S WIFE
Three little girls set off to school one sunny May morning.
Within an hour, one of them is dead.
Fifteen years later, Alison and Kitty are living separate lives. Kitty lives in a care home. She can’t speak, and she has no memory of the accident that put her here, or her life before it.
Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. When a job in a prison comes up she decides to take it – this is her chance to finally make things right.
But someone is watching Kitty and Alison.
Someone who wants revenge for what happened that day.
And only another life will do…
Take a look at the cover. (No, I’m not a cover fetishist!!!) Such a cute and innocent view cannot hide anything bad, can it? We’ve all seen coat racks. I remember mine from elementary school. Only the words, black and white, tell you something is wrong. And wow, something is indeed very wrong in this book. Lots of things are, actually.
It starts well, though. A light but somehow foreboding poem. A hint. Then you’re in.
A split narration introduces us to the lives of two women. Two timelines take us from the present to the past, dates make sure you don’t get everything mixed up in your head, and here you go, navigating between days and places.
Meet Alison and Kitty. At first, I couldn’t see any links between the two women, I won’t give any details but they are complete opposite. Everything is slowly revealed through a smooth process of passing days, and while I often prefer the highway to the dirt road, I rapidly became engrossed in the story, looking for anything that would give me a hint of what to look for, marking dates in my head, quietly enjoying every word that presented me with dreadful, sad, painful, lonely moments. Although I read Blood Sisters in a day, I took my time and let each chapter create a movie in my head, brilliantly orchestrated by a clever and delicate quill.
Rhythm is what makes some people going.
It was easy to fall for Alison, whose guilt is glued to every movement she makes, every thought she dares having, every minute of every hour of her life. I don’t have the artistic vibe in me but I liked how it allowed her to either escape or connect with people. I warmed to her instantly, my instinct telling me I wish I were her friend. I wondered if those broken parts of hers were the reason why she applied for a job in a prison. I questioned her ability to emotionally handle it, and Jane Corry did a fantastic job at making me want to protect the lost, vulnerable woman holding to life with only one hand.
Kitty is a case. A difficult character to describe and a difficult mind to temper! Of course, my heart ached for the way she was trapped, the pity she saw reflected in people’s eyes while her head came up with creative ways to call them. I was surprised by how her brain seemed to work, and it felt as though the author had crept inside minds to perfectly describe what it feels like to live a life with such brain injuries. There was a certain logic behind her thoughts and reactions, and it felt even more difficult to bear.
How had those two grown-ups had ended up this way? The slow pace of the first part managed to keep me on my toes, looking for a word, anything, that would explain how a long-forgotten news item was still hovering over their heads, and what would life had to add to their already heavy shoulders.
But there are some things you can’t make right.
I was not disappointed! As new steps in both lives offered new paths, it also revealed new doors. Ominous, difficult, dangerous, different doors that brought with them new and old faces, and most of all, tension. I could feel the memories of the horrendous day of those three girls floating just below the surface of Alison’s skin and Kitty’s brain, hoping to make waves, bringing back things, and people, of the past that weren’t as well buried as some would have expected.
Because even if this book flickers between Alison and Kitty, a presence is forever anchored in the pages, darkening the present with its secrets and bad seeds. One Dead. My naivety had me believe in one secret. Oh foolish of me. This book is a web of bloody secrets and unsaid words. And before you know it, any slowness is gone. The past gets unearthed, the present gets a lot more complicated, and like a nursery rhyme, Jane Corry’s words lulls you into a red song you can’t tear yourself away from, your eyes can’t seem to read fast enough for you to make out what is happening in front of you.
I knew something was wrong. I knew there had been blood. But I just had no idea how much! The cards were played well enough for me to not see the ending coming! Big Twist Alert! I was fooled, you will be too!!
As I neared the end of Blood Sisters, I realized everyone had blood on their hands. The author sprays blood on you as soon as you open this riveting and heart-breaking story of stolen innocence and mistakes, leaving you wondering long after you put the book back on your nightstand.
Sweet, sweet little girls,
a random sight on the sidewalk,
the chipping of birds,
and it’s one’s turn to part.
(I am terrible at this!!!)
The book will be ready for you on June 29 in paperback on Amazon
Jane Corry is a former magazine journalist who spent three years working as the writer-in-residence of a high security prison for men. She had never been inside a jail before and this often hair-raising experience helped inspire her Sunday Times bestseller My Husband’s Wife. Jane is a regular life story judge for the Koestler Awards given to prisoners for art and writing. Until recently, Jane was a tutor in creative writing at Oxford University. She now runs writing workshops in her local area of Devon and speaks at literary festivals all over the world. She has three grown up children and writes the “Diary of a First-Time Grandmother” column for the Daily Telegraph.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on the other stops of the blog tour!