The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley is loosely based on the Seven Sisters of the Pleiades, a constellation next to the belt of Orion. Real life sisters, Maia, Electra, Taygete, Alcyone, Celaeno, and Sterope were all adopted by a rich man "Pa Salt". Their adoptions are a mystery in themselves as their father never discussed it. They were adopted from various places around the globe all from different nationalities.
Maia D'Apliese was away on a needed getaway in London to visit a friend when she gets word that Pa Salt passed away. She is the first of the sisters to arrive at the Lake Geneva estate, Atlantis. Their father has already been buried at sea and they are all there for the reading of the will. They are all given a clue as to their birth and they need to figure it out from this clue.
Maia's clue takes her to Rio de Janeiro where she discovers who her family is. Her journey takes her to her dying biological grandmother. She is given letters from her grandmothers caretaker that tells her the story of Maia's great grandmother, Izabela Bonifacio, daughter of Italian immigrants, whose fortune comes from coffee farms. Izabela is betrothed to a man, her father has chosen for her and prior to the wedding her intended allows her to go to Paris with a friend. While there she meets Laurent, a handsome sculptor who is assisting in the creation of the famous Christ the Redeemer monument that looks over Rio.
While in Rio, Maia meets a novelist, Floriano Quintelsas, who she has translated a novel for, and he accompanies her on her discovery of her birthright. While learning about her great grandmother, Maia also learns about herself and what is really important, it helps her get out of her own seclusion and discover her heart. This is a wonderful story, full of love passion, history and the beauty that is Paris and Rio de Janeiro. This story is very well written and will have the reader wanting more, and of course there will be as this is the first in a series of books featuring each of the sisters as they explore their ancestry. I loved everything about the book, the complex characters. The story takes the reader from the shores of Lake Geneva, Switzerland to Rio de Janeiro and then back to 1920's Paris.
I recently went to the Dominican Republic and went up the mountain to see the replica of the Christ Redeemer statue and reading this story gave me more insights as to how the original was constructed. The author gives us an idea about the art of sculpting and the history of the monument itself. Very interesting indeed. This is a historical fiction novel that you won't want to end. I highly recommend this book, but be prepared to stay up late to get to the last page and then eagerly awaiting the next in the series.
I received a copy for review and was not monetarily compensated for my review.
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