The Missing Sister

The Missing Sister

It was an unexpected treat when a pre-publication copy of The Missing Sister by Lucinda Riley arrived at my door in early May. It’s the seventh instalment of the Seven Sisters series (see my blogs on the rest of the series). Having been following these interweaved stories since the series began back in 2014, I was looking forward to finding out how it all ended.

The Missing Sister starts with a clue that takes one of the sisters, Ce-Ce, across the world to New Zealand, to a tucked away vineyard where adopted Mary-Kate lives with her brother Jack and her Mum, to find out if Mary-Kate is their missing sister. The clue is a ring, but unfortunately Mary-Kate’s Mum Merry has taken the ring off on a world tour, leading to the sisters following in hot pursuit to Norfolk Island and then on to Toronto and London. Merry is understandably quite freaked out as different sisters of the D’Apliese family keep turning up in the lobbies of the hotels she is staying in, using various subterfuges to try and speak to her and to see the ring. Becoming more frightened by the day, she leaves for her homeland of Ireland, hoping to seek out the truth to her own past through a dear old friend in Dublin.

It’s here that we start to uncover Merry’s connection to the Irish War of Independence, as we go back to the story of Nuala in West Cork in 1920, who is a member of Cumann na mBan, the Irishwomen’s Council. I knew nothing about the role of women in the fight for Irish freedom and it was fascinating to read Nuala’s story of spying through her work at the local ‘big house’ belonging to English landed gentry, and the price that her family paid as they took different sides in the civil war that followed the war of independence. It definitely made me want to visit Cork, when international travel post-Covid is allowed again.

As Merry begins to piece together how Nuala’s story fits with her own, her own children arrive to help and the D’Apliese sisters continue trying to persuade them all to join them on a sailing trip to remember their late father, Pa Salt. Is Mary-Kate the missing sister? You’ll have to read this yourself if you want to find out.