This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Identical twins Sinead and Sheila have always done everything together. You couldn’t find two closer sisters, but when Sheila goes missing, presumed dead, Sinead can’t accept it. Would her best friend really leave her behind without a word?
Having read a lot of books that centre around female protagonists in the fashion world I was pleasantly surprised to find that these two sisters have made it big in millinery. It’s not an area of fashion that is particularly focused on in novels and I was enchanted by the colourful descriptions of the hats and headpieces. Having graduating in millinery, the two sisters start their own business, but it only takes off when one of their designs is bought and worn by a young actress at the BAFTAs and suddenly their business is skyrocketing. They even appear on The Late Late Show to be interviewed about their sudden success in America.
This is where the story begins. Sinead is watching a re-run of the taped interview and wondering where exactly her sister is and why she would take her own life? If that is indeed the case and Sinead doesn’t believe it is. She has a feeling – a twin feeling – that just won’t allow her to believe that her missing twin is dead. Not yet anyway. Sinead’s depression is not only affecting her life but also her business and soon the thing that they built together is crumbling around her. But then, out of the blue, Sinead’s hope is reignited when a possible sighting of Sheila is reported. Could she be alive after all?
I’ll admit this isn’t my usual type of novel. Having never read a Colette Caddle before, she isn’t usually an author that I would pick up in a bookshop, but I enjoyed this chick-lit/crime mash-up. What you have here is a book with bags of glamour, but also a dark side, with twists and turns guaranteed to keep you into the night. At the centre of everything is family, lies, confusion and betrayal.Sinead is easy to like. She is clearly devastated about the apparent loss of her sister at the beginning of the book and refuses to accept that she is gone despite the search being called off months ago. She is also incredibly frustrated at the rest of the family’s attitudes, including that of Sheila’s politician husband, Phillip, whom Sinead secretly suspects has something to do with her disappearance. The secondary characters are incredibly important to this story; in fact, I wouldn’t even call them secondary, Sinead’s family are vital to the storyline and advance the plot threat as well as Krystie, an Irish girl who moved to New York with a dream and designer talent but not much else. After a chance meeting in front of a shop window, she suddenly becomes a very important person.
Set between Ireland and New York, this book is full of glamour and intrigue. You’re constantly questioning whether all is as it seems or brimming with secrets and lies. Did Sheila, the girl with hopes and dreams and happiness, really kill herself? Or are there secrets yet to discover?