Based on a tragic and mysterious true story, The Forgotten Sister is the story of two vastly different but closely connected women. Lizzy Kingdom is a celebrity falling from grace in modern-day London, while Amy Robsart is a noblewoman coping with an unhappy marriage in the tumultuous Tudor era. The secret that binds them is mainly revealed through Lizzy’s unique gift of psychometry. For those of us unfamiliar with this term, (myself included), it translates into the ability to read and experience an object’s history simply by touching it.
Nicole Cornick continually switched between Lizzy and Amy perspectives, each time revealing little clues and connections without giving too much away. Lizzy’s chapters were narrated in third-person and Amy’s in first-person, which helped avoid any unnecessary confusion. The chapters set during the Tudor era were particularly well-researched, most notably when it came to royal figures such as Elizabeth I, Mary Queen of Scots and the nine-year-old King Edward VI (referred to as the “boy king” in the book). This is not surprising since Cornick herself is a dedicated historian. The depictions of Amy’s struggles as a woman in the 1500s were especially poignant, as they showed how sexism and emotional abuse were prevalent even amongst the upper-class. However, despite the suspense created by the ever-intertwining destinies of the main characters, the ending left many questions unanswered or not fully expanded upon. In short, while the ride was fun, the destination was lackluster.
All in all, I would recommend this book for GBC. The backdrop of the Tudor dynasty will appeal to historical fiction fans and Lizzy’s psychometric abilities add a fun dose of fantasy. Although the ending could have been better, the book’s central mystery makes for a compelling and fun journey along the way.
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