The Wildling Sisters

An evocative novel in the vein of Kate Morton and Daphne Du Maurier, in which the thrill of first love clashes with the bonds of sisterhood, and all will be tested by the dark secret at the heart of Applecote Manor.
Four sisters. One summer. A lifetime of secrets.
When fifteen-year-old Margot and her three sisters arrive at Applecote Manor in June 1959, they expect a quiet English country summer. Instead, they find their aunt and uncle still reeling from the disappearance of their daughter, Audrey, five years before. As the sisters become divided by new tensions when two handsome neighbors drop by, Margot finds herself drawn into the life Audrey left behind. When the summer takes a deadly turn, the girls must unite behind an unthinkable choice or find themselves torn apart forever.

Fifty years later, Jesse is desperate to move her family out of their London home, where signs of her widower husband’s previous wife are around every corner. Gorgeous Applecote Manor, nestled in the English countryside, seems the perfect solution. But Jesse finds herself increasingly isolated in their new sprawling home, at odds with her fifteen-year-old stepdaughter, and haunted by the strange rumors that surround the manor.

Rich with the heat and angst of love both young and old, The Wildling Sisters is a gorgeous and breathtaking journey into the bonds that unite a family and the darkest secrets of the human heart.

Few authors can make dragging a seemingly dead, bloody body seem beautiful but somehow Eve Chase pulls it off. The book opens with a mystery of whose body is being dragged, who killed them and why along with proof Chase knows a thing or two about getting a reader’s attention.

 Her writing style of evoking beauty in the simplest of sentences continues throughout this story which at its heart is one about family and the relationships we create under that banner; the boundaries we’re willing to cross for them. Chase has created a set of incredibly complex and descriptive set of characters. The angry teen upset at her father’s new wife who in her mind is trying to replace her dead mother. A step-mother trying to figure out her place when she’s acutely aware she’s seen as a replacement and not her own person. A father who is on some level naïve to it all as he tries to rebuild his life. A second mother in the past who couldn’t be more different from the one written about in the present. Four sisters who prove the bond between families can survive even the worst of acts. There are family dynamics here that most can relate to or at least feel sympathy for as they play out their respective roles.

 The narrative moves back and forth between the past with a story about sisters and the present with a family trying to figure out how they fit in each other’s lives. Chase does a good job with the transition so as the stories change you’re able to movie between them easily especially as the chapters about the sisters are written in the 1st person from Margot’s point of view and the ones with the family are written in 3rd.  Eventually everything becomes intertwined in quite a sweet way.

 I couldn’t stop reading this because there is just something so hauntingly exquisite about the way Chase writes a story that examines the fragility and strength of family bonds. It’s the kind of book you curl up with when you have uninterrupted time, a hot cup of tea nearby and a nice breeze wafting through the window so you can be reminded how precious live is.

 Thank you to Netgalley and Penguin Group Putnam for allowing me to review this book.

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*synopsis and pic from

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