It is an absolute pleasure to be taking part in this blog tour today. ‘My Perfect Sister’ is Penny Batchelor’s debut novel and it is being published in paperback on the 18th June 2020 by RedDoor Press. It is also available as an eBook.
I would like to thank Lizzie Lewis of RedDoor Press for inviting me to participate in this tour and for my review copy.
You will find out in a minute what I thought about ‘My Perfect Sister’. First though here is the book blurb.
How can you ever live up to the memory of someone you hardly remember?
Annie is five when her sister Gemma leaves for school one day and never returns. The family’s lives are changed forever with Gemma’s disappearance and Annie feels neglected and unloved. When she is just sixteen, she decides she can no longer live in the shadow of her perfect but absent sister and she leaves home, falling in and out of jobs and relationships, her resentment for Gemma always there, bubbling under the surface.
Many years later she reluctantly returns home to care for her mother, ill with cancer. Her anger only grows when she sees Gemma’s room still kept as a shrine while hers is now her mother’s sewing room, but as she cares for her mum she begins to soften and egged on by her best friend Priti she realises she has to uncover what happened to Gemma, for all their sakes.
Her research puts her in danger but with the help of a fabulous cast of characters and a satisfying twist in the tale, she finally discovers the truth but can she ever accept it?
I really did like the sound of ‘My Perfect Sister’ and was very much looking forward to reading it. I liked the author’s style of writing and the shortish chapters which had me turning the pages.
I found myself drawn to the story almost immediately. This was such an intriguing read and there were just so many questions going through my mind. I knew I would have to be patient though.
For Annie it must have been really difficult going back to look after her mother after years of hardly any contact. I cannot even begin to imagine all the emotions she must have felt. I would say it was definitely meant to be.
I think revisiting her past really opened Annie’s eyes and made her realise quite a few things. She was only five years old when her sister disappeared after all and she didn’t really have an easy childhood. But maybe things were not as she thought they were.
Throughout the story the reader is given an insight into what happened on the day Gemma disappeared. This I felt really spiced things up and added to the mystery.
I didn’t know what to expect with regards to Gemma’s disappearance and I found myself mentally making a list of who if anyone could have been involved. There were so many possibilities and at least two or three explanations as to what happened to Gemma.
There were some great characters in this story, some of whom were flawed. I really liked Aunty Lena, Annie and her best friend, Priti. They were my favourites.
‘My Perfect Sister’ looks at a number of topics including mental health. It is a thought-provoking read and has a lot of meaning. If you like family drama with a twist, then I highly recommend this book.
I will definitely be following this author’s work and I look forward to reading her next book.
‘The Perfect Sister’ can be pre-ordered/purchased from:-
Amazon UK – https://amzn.to/2U4KKVj
About Penny Batchelor
Penny Batchelor previously had careers as a Content Producer at the BBC and Web Editor at various educational institutions but due to ill health now works at home as a freelance journalist and award-winning knitting blogger. She is physically disabled and is keen to bring disability into mainstream literature. She lives with her husband in Warwickshire.
Website – http://www.pennybatchelor.co.uk/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/penny_author
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pennyauthor