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Sister Dear

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Beauty. Wealth. Success.

She’s got it all.

And it all should’ve been mine.

When Eleanor Hardwicke’s beloved father dies, her world is further shattered by a gut-wrenching secret: the man she’s grieving isn’t really her dad. Eleanor was the product of an affair and her biological father is still out there, living blissfully with the family he chose. With her personal life spiraling, a desperate Eleanor seeks him out, leading her to uncover another branch on her family tree—an infuriatingly enviable half sister.

Perfectly perfect Victoria has everything Eleanor could ever dream of. Loving childhood, luxury home, devoted husband. All of it stolen from Eleanor, who plans to take it back. After all, good sisters are supposed to share. And quiet little Eleanor has been waiting far too long for her turn to play.

347 pages, Paperback

First published May 26, 2020

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About the author

Hannah Mary McKinnon

10 books1,413 followers
Also known as Holly Cassidy (romantic comedies)

I was born in the UK grew up in Switzerland, and moved to Canada in 2010. Unsurprisingly I love chocolate, mountains and cheese, and books, of course.

My first novel, TIME AFTER TIME, a light-hearted romantic read, published in 2016, after which I moved to the dark side.

My internationally bestselling thrillers include: THE NEIGHBORS (2018), HER SECRET SON (2019), SISTER DEAR (2020), YOU WILL REMEMBER ME (2021), NEVER COMING HOME (2022) and THE REVENGE LIST (2023).

I've returned to my romantic comedy roots with THE CHRISTMAS WAGER , written under the pseudonym Holly Cassidy (2023).

My next thriller, ONLY ONE SURVIVES, will publish in July 2024, followed by a second Holly Cassidy holiday rom-com later that year.

To find out more please visit:
Website - www.HannahMaryMcKinnon.com
Instagram - www.instagram.com/HannahMaryMcKinnon
Facebook - ww.facebook.com/hannahmarymckinnon
Bookbub - www.bookbub.com/authors/hannah-mary-m...

Ask me questions on Goodreads, too. I love hearing from readers :-)

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5 stars
1,066 (26%)
4 stars
1,578 (39%)
3 stars
926 (23%)
2 stars
292 (7%)
1 star
93 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 945 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,304 reviews44k followers
March 25, 2021
What the hell! This is nerve bending! This is so twisty! This is sick! This is dark, intense! Those characters are one of the worst mother…..!(Biiippp) And guess what! I’m sitting on the edge my couch! I’m cursing the end, cursing the characters, hardly gathering my words to write something meaningful but as you can see my emotions are everywhere! This book ruined me!

Did I enjoy it at the end? Of course I did. I couldn’t stop reading. I read in the car, ignored the honking sounds, the furious drivers saying bad things about my parents and I also read it at my spinning class, using my flashlight , making my instructor screamed at me but I didn’t care. And of course I read at home, skipped the meals (actually that was my husband’s meatball day and I’m not happy to miss them when my stomach’s growling sound was more irritating than death metal concerts!) and kept reading.

I went back and forth between 4 and 5 and finally I said “luck that!” (Of course the original word was not starting with “L”) and I rounded up 4.5 stars to 5!

Poor Eleanor raised by a mother Kris Jenner meets Joan Crawford and Mama June kind of mother, lost her dear father to big C but at his last moments she finds out he is not even her real father. Her real father Stan (he’s so famous, Eminem made a song for me, okay, that was my worst joke ever!) is multimillionaire, successful businessman, married with an elegant woman and had a daughter Victoria who has same age with Eleanor. As you may imagine, he doesn’t want to do anything with her.

But Eleanor loses only person she loves. She is antisocial, having so much insecurities about her appearance (Thanks to her monster mother’s bodyshaming her for years), no friends, no special one (her hottie neighbor Lewis doesn’t count! He seems interested in her but she cannot believe a guy like him can get interested in a girl like her) so she’s lonely, living in a shithole, resuming her miserable life as his step sister is living a fairy tal-ish, glamorous life! It’s not fair, right?

Eleanor is so adamant to open the can of worms and meet with her sister. But as soon as they meet, she finds out, her sister has relationship issues. She needs help. But poor, chubby, neglected, verbally abused, traumatized Eleanor (it’s impossible not to feel sad for her!, the author writes an amazing portrait, making you ache for her, clenching your fists, doing something to help that girl but unfortunately she turns her life into hell at each chapter which was so depressing to read!) wants to help her sister and there are so many surprises, mind bending twists follow each other. So what will happen to Eleanor? Why is she in jail? (We read that in the beginning but is it true?) Let’s find out! Shall we? You gotta read this ASAP!

This was gripping, heart throbbing, depressing, dark, intense, riveting reading! It was not easy if you’re really feeling sorry for the heroine as much as I did.
I’m so happy to be introduced to a new author and I cannot wait to read more works of Hannah Mary McKinnon!

Special thanks to NetGalley and HARLEQUIN TRADE PUBLISHING (Canada)/MIRA for sharing this mind-blowing ARC with me in exchange my honest review!

Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,609 reviews10.7k followers
December 12, 2022
**3.5-stars rounded up**

As her beloved Father lay on his death bed, Eleanor Hardwicke, overhears a family secret that challenges everything she thought she knew about her life.

It turns out that her Dad, the closest person to her in the whole world, isn't actually her biological father.

She can't believe it. She feels betrayed. He has lied to her for her entire life.

She would expect something like that from her mother, who is a vile woman, but her Dad? It's a complete shock, one Eleanor doesn't handle well.

In the days that follow, she's torn apart by how she behaved upon hearing the truth. She lashed out in the heat of the moment, leaving her with huge regrets.

It's too late to make amends, so instead she focuses her energy on learning as much as she can about her biological father.

When she discovers who he is, she can't believe it!

An influential real estate magnate who owns half of the city she lives in; Portland, Maine.

In fact, he lives in the Portland area as well, with his beautiful wife. The power couple have a grown daughter, Victoria, meaning Eleanor has a half-sister she has never had the opportunity to know.

Upon further investigation, she discovers Victoria is everything she is not: stunning, successful and married to an extremely handsome man.

The narrative follows Eleanor as she slowly infiltrates unsuspecting Victoria's life. The tension steadily builds, as you know this set of circumstances cannot end well!

Sister Dear is an intense Domestic Drama that kept me glued to the pages. I read this so quickly. I had to discover what would happen for Eleanor.

While definitely a quirky, slightly-unreliable narrator, I couldn't help but be drawn in by Eleanor. I found her to be so interesting.

Far from perfect, there was a lot going on there. Her relationship with her mother, that made me feel for her right from the start.

There were times when I want to reach through the pages, grab her by the shoulders and shake her! Why are you making these choices, Eleanor!?!?

As you race towards the conclusion, everything gets flipped upside down. The plot twist was so fun. I didn't see it coming!

For me, the end was great. It definitely left me with an evil grin on my face, which is absolutely how I like to wrap-up my dramatic reads!

Thank you so much to the publisher, MIRA, for providing me with a copy of this to read and review, as well as including me in the Blog Tour for the release.

Hannah Mary McKinnon has a new fan in me. I look forward to reading more from her in the future!

Profile Image for Lindsay L.
679 reviews1,322 followers
May 22, 2020
2 stars.

A great start that quickly turned extremely unrealistic.

The first few chapters set up an intriguing storyline that piqued my interest and curiosity. That quickly dwindled away as I read past chapter 4 (7%). Most of the plot points throughout the rest of the book felt implausible (and had my eyes rolling).

Although I wish I could simply read for entertainment and not over-analyze, I am the type of reader who needs a believable storyline and realistic characters. I can handle hints of unrealistic scenarios but this one was over the top far-fetched and cringe-worthy. This simply comes down to me not being the right reader for this book which is highly disappointing after loving her other novel, The Neighbors, so much. Hope you have better luck with it if you do give it a chance!

Thank you to Edelweiss for my review copy!
Profile Image for Jayme.
1,189 reviews2,259 followers
March 28, 2020
These reviews are the hardest to write...

But, this one did NOT work for me at all, and I was granted a digital ARC through NetGalley in exchange for a candid review!

Eleanor had always been treated like an unwanted step child, by her biological mother...who always favored her half sister, Amy.

So when she finds out upon her beloved father’s passing that he was NOT actually her biological father, she goes in search of the one who is.

She discovers that she has another half sister, Victoria, who has been brought up in a life of privilege, and luxury, while she, Eleanor has gone unrecognized as another heir.

In three weeks time, Eleanor transforms herself, physically and mentally, going from Victim to Villain, and not caring who she hurts in the process. I didn’t like who she became, or how she treated her new Insta Love, Lewis.

So, how could I feel sympathetic for her when she was served her “just deserts”??

At 25% I thought about DNF
At 50% I really wanted to DNF
And, by 100% I wished I had DNF!

Yes, there ARE some twists you won’t see coming, but the drudgery of getting there, did not make it worth it for ME.

I cannot recommend this one.
But, if you read it, I do hope it works better for YOU!

A big Thank You to my buddy reader DeAnn...did she agree? Read her review to find out! 😀

Releasing on May 26, 2020
Profile Image for Debbie W..
760 reviews569 followers
September 30, 2021
If you are hoping for a high-octane driven plot, then I recommend reading a "Jason Bourne" novel, because you're not going to find it here! In true suspense/thriller fashion, this is a slow-burn story where all the twists and surprises come at the end.

I enjoyed:
1. the build-up of suspense, and even though I figured out the "who" mid-way through, I looked forward to the "how", "why" and "WTF"! and,
2. in regards to Eleanor's character, I can understand why some people could relate to her low self-esteem and self-loathing passive behavior, because it was quite realistically portrayed!

Why this story lost a star for me:
1. even though I felt some empathy for Eleanor's character, many times she came across as downright rude which just didn't jive with her above-mentioned personality; and,
2. when I reviewed The Widow of Pale Harbor, I mentioned that the narrator made the male voices sound constipated. When the male voices on this audiobook once again sounded "bowel movement challenged", I just had to compare the narrators, and yep, she's one and the same! I really had to "grit my teeth" to get past the irritation I experienced!

Overall, this was a fun suspense/thriller, one you might choose to read rather than listen to!
May 28, 2020
A secret is revealed that sends our main character grieving Eleanor on a path of deception, revenge motivated by grief jealously and the need for a family connection.

The story starts slow as Hannah Mary McKinnon delves into Eleanor's mind, where we see her thoughts of self-loathing, paranoia, desperation and jealousy. This took on a depressing and sad mood to the story for me, and I didn't get the emotional response I was looking for.

The pace picks up near the end, and Hannah leaves those twists and reveals till that explosives ending that felt exciting. I was tapping my kindle faster than a line of tap dancers.

Some clues and actions by the characters are a little too convenient, and not as convincing as I would have liked them to be. However, that ending took me surprised and was thrilling and twisted, just like this twisted dark reader likes!

I received a copy from the publisher on NG
Profile Image for Ceecee.
2,079 reviews1,662 followers
June 30, 2020
Eleanor Hardwicke overhears something devastating between her beloved dying father Bruce and his ex wife Sylvia, who is Ellie’s mother. This turns her world upside down and nothing will be the same again. She learns that Bruce is not her father and when she seeks out her biological father, she finds he is wealthy, a devoted husband and father to Victoria. Eleanor makes some decisions that she will live to bitterly regret and pay dearly for.

The power of the novel lies in the portrayal of the characters who are so well described. Eleanor, though naive and though she doesn’t always do the right thing, she has good intentions and is very likeable. He mother Sylvia has undermined all her confidence and feelings of self worth over the years which leads to bouts of binge eating. As the story progresses, Eleanor is able to throw off her ugly duckling shackles and a more confident swan emerges. Eleanor meets neighbour Lewis who is an extremely likeable character with the added bonus of being a bit phawww! Sylvia is the only weak character in my opinion as she feels like a stereotype and as for Victoria, what can I say about her. Let’s settle for a manipulative chameleon. The novel is well written, the plot is good with the right pace. There’s tension, suspense, oodles of buried secrets, guilt, greed, anger and evil which makes for s gripping storyline. I did see the ultimate twist coming as the signs are there but that doesn’t detract from enjoyment.

Overall, a gripping, enjoyable read.

With thanks to NetGalley and Hodder and Stoughton for the ARC.
Profile Image for Norma.
551 reviews12.7k followers
May 24, 2021
Wowzers!! Surprising, thrilling, and a compelling page turner!

SISTER DEAR by HANNAH MARY McKINNON is a dramatic, cleverly layered, twisty, and crafty slow-burn suspenseful psychological thriller that was quite the surprising book to read. The story progresses at a steady pace and the tension subtly increases throughout. There is an unpredictable and pivotal moment in the story that changes the dynamics totally and makes this quite the apprehensive non-stop, exciting read.

Normally I don’t do all that well with slow-burn character study sort of reads but Eleanor’s character totally hooked me in right from the beginning. There were some characteristics to her personality that were so wickedly interesting, emotional, and relatable to me that totally fascinated and immersed me in this storyline. What I especially connected to was how Eleanor perceived her body. I definitely shared some of her body image issues.

HANNAH MARY McKINNON delivers an entertaining, well-written, and absorbing read here that had me immediately questioning each of the sisters' characters and what exactly and who exactly I was supposed to pay attention to. For the most part I thought this was extremely unpredictable even though I guessed one aspect to the twist: the end result was totally mind-blowing. I couldn’t read the book fast enough to see how this was all going to play out in the end.

Thank you so much to Edelweiss for my eGalley. This book has one of the best cleverly crafted endings that I have recently read. It is twisty, thrilling and totally took me by surprise! Can we have a sequel please?
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,182 reviews30.5k followers
May 25, 2020
What would you do if someone stole everything from you? Your childhood and potentially your future?

When Eleanor’s loving father passes away, she finds out he’s not her biological father. That man is somewhere out there with another family living his life.

This revelation shatters Eleanor’s world, while she’s determined to find her father. As she searches, she runs across a half sister, Victoria. Perfect Victoria who has it all.

Eleanor wants all of that. She’s done playing nice.

Sister Dear is dramatic fiction with a nice side of tension and suspense. It’s over-the-top, and well, over-the-top! Sister Dear Kept me guessing from start to finish, and I never knew just how I felt about one sister versus the other!

I received a gifted copy. All opinions are my own.

Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
Profile Image for Mary Kubica.
Author 27 books15.6k followers
September 14, 2019
Loss, love, revenge, buried secrets and greed add up to make SISTER DEAR an electrifying read. If you think you know where this story is headed, watch out. Hannah Mary McKinnon has a few tricks up her sleeve. A must read!
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
2,024 reviews15.7k followers
May 29, 2020
Women’s fiction with a twisted thriller ending. Eleanor has never had a good relationship with her mother or her sister, thank goodness her father has always been there for her. But when she learns on her father’s deathbed that he is not her biological father she is devastated. When she reaches out to her biological father he also rejects her. Eleanor is now furious and ready to seek revenge. She masterminds a plan to befriend her half sister Victoria and ultimately destroy her. The thing is she likes Victoria and soon the girls form a strong friendship, but what will happen when Eleanor tells Victoria the truth? This part of the story was engaging and I liked that these girls had formed a friendship especially because technically they were half-sisters. Elinor also started a romance with her neighbor Louise who was such a good guy, but Elinor had a lot of insecurities that she still needed to work through that messed with the relationship. Sounds like a complicated domestic drama, doesn’t it? Well not so fast... at about 75% things start to hit the fan, and I started to second-guess everybody’s intentions. The end of this book was fraught with tension as everything started spinning out of control.

This was an entertaining story, but I think it would have been stronger had I been more sympathetic towards Eleanor. I did understand that she had suffered quite a bit from the way her mother had treated her. Her inner dialogues and self loathing were depressing. However she really thrived on playing the victim and didn’t necessarily want to take any responsibility for her own life. The audiobook is narrated by Lauren Ezzo Who did an incredible job. I do think I enjoyed this book even more because the narration was really well done as always by Lauren. This was a good book with a few issues just like its main character.

This book in emojis 👭 🧬 💍 👠 💻 💇🏻‍♀️ 🤳🏼

*** Big thank you to Harlequin and Harper Audio for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,230 reviews1,562 followers
June 13, 2020
Sister Dear by Hannah Mary is a thriller novel that will take readers on a rather twisted journey. This novel is one that gives readers a glimpse of what is happening to the main character at the current moment but then goes backwards in time to lead readers up to the point we have a glimpse of in the beginning.

Eleanor Hardwicke was always daddy’s little girl and really still is now that she’s an adult. However, Eleanor is about to live her worst nightmare when her father passes after fighting a long illness. As Eleanor comes to visit him in the hospice though she overhears her parents talking and learns that her father wasn’t really her biological father after all.

After her father does pass Eleanor learns of the identity of her biological father and since she has a strained relationship with her mother and sister she decides to look into meeting her real father. This meeting doesn’t go well however when she learns he wants nothing to do with her but that won’t stop Eleanor from getting close to the half-sister she never knew she had.

Sister Dear by Hannah Mary McKinnon really was a rather engaging and twisty read as it went along. There was always that feeling of who do I trust as you are reading which for me makes the pages turn even faster as I begin to suspect them all. However, the one thing I found was as twisty as the end is I felt it would have had an even greater impact if you weren’t given a glimpse to the outcome in the beginning but overall it was an enjoyable read.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for Bridgett.
Author 22 books466 followers
May 13, 2020
If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance. --George Bernard Shaw

3.5 stars

While many of the reviews seem to be lukewarm for Sister Dear, I actually enjoyed it...for the most part. I'll start off by saying, though, it's not a thriller...well, at least not until the final 10% of the story. I'd probably classify it as contemporary/domestic fiction.

Told entirely from Eleanor's point of view, she was a character who grew up with an emotionally abusive mother, a sister who loathed her, and a father who wasn't actually her dad...a fact she discovered on the day he passed away. She was an incredibly sympathetic character--at first. However, upon meeting her biological father, she became vindictive and revenge-seeking, after which she decided that didn't suit her purpose, and instead became loving and helpful. She was so annoyingly wishy-washy, I had a hard time deciding how I felt about her as our protagonist.

The story was somewhat predictable. Actually, it was very predictable, yet I still enjoyed the journey. I'm not sure how or why, but it did work for me, despite my gripes. The conclusion left an opening for a sequel, and I do believe I'd check it out if it ever materializes.

Available for purchase on May 26, 2020.

As an aside, I will mention the cover, which is just awful. It looks more like a political/espionage novel with the red, white, and blue...and the building looks like it should be placed in Washington DC.

**My sincere thanks to the publisher for my review copy.
Profile Image for Kimberly Belle.
Author 18 books4,152 followers
February 5, 2020
A grieving daughter, a jealous sister - nothing is as it seems in Hannah Mary McKinnon’s latest slow-burn suspense, Sister Dear. This one creeps up the back of your neck then explodes into an ending that I guarantee you won’t soon forget…and will leave you begging for a sequel. Smart, addictive, and genuinely surprising.
Profile Image for Mandy White (mandylovestoread).
2,137 reviews580 followers
June 6, 2020
What the??? Where do I start? Seriously, Sister Dear is one dark and twisted psychological thriller and I couldn't put it down! I stayed up way to late to start and finish it last night, so today I am looking a bit like a panda! But it was absolutely worth it. This was my first Hannah Mary McKinnon book and will not be my last, in fact I have already ordered 2 more of her books.

Eleanor Hardwick is devastated when her father is diagnosed with cancer and is given 4 months to live. She is especially close to him as her mother has always put her down and favoured her sister, an actress in LA. She overhears her parents talking on her way to visit him in the hospice and learns that he is not her biological father. She is heartbroken and angry. When he dies she sets out to learn about her other family and find that they live in the same part of Portland as she does. She discovers that she has a half sister Victoria who is everything she isn't - glamourous, wealthy, married and successful. And loved by both her parents. She has to get to know her so sets out a plan to infiltrate Victoria's life.

This was such an addictive and original story with an ending that absolutely blew my mind! A story of greed, grief and jealousy - you need to read this book!

Thank you to Hodder and Stoughton for my advanced copy of this book tp read. All opinions are my own and are in no way biased.
Profile Image for Ash.
127 reviews135 followers
March 27, 2020
Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

I’m taking a star off of my original rating because I can’t stop thinking about how much I hated this book, especially the ending. I don’t give one-star ratings often, but this book clearly left an impression on me in the worst possible way.

I wasn’t a fan of the book’s protagonist, Eleanor Hardwicke. Sister Dear is written entirely in first person, from Eleanor’s perspective, and let me tell you, her mind is not a pleasant place to stay for nearly 400 pages. Which doesn’t make sense, because I should have related to her, and in some ways I did relate to her. I have also dealt with crippling self-esteem issues and emotional eating. But her relentless self-pity, defeatist attitude, and wishy-washy decision-making were too much. She read like a poorly written young adult protagonist… except she’s almost thirty.

Eleanor had just enough good moments to keep me reading. Her grief over her father’s death and her frustrating relationships with her mother and sister tugged at my heartstrings. Lewis, the love interest, was pretty typical: handsome, fit, nice. But at least he’s inoffensive. I might not have minded the romance so much if Eleanor hadn’t sabotaged her budding relationship with Lewis at every turn (and if it hadn’t ended the way it did).

In terms of plot, boy was this book a disappointment after reading the blurb. I was expecting an unrepentant, conniving protagonist who, motivated by jealousy and grief, sets up an elaborate scheme to take over her half-sister’s life. That’s not what this book is at all. Eleanor oscillates between fretting over what a good person she is who has never hurt a fly and deciding she’s a ruthless you-know-what who takes no prisoners (but never showing it). She briefly considers taking petty revenge on Victoria for living a privileged life, but instead ends up befriending her.

Sister Dear is marketed as “psychological suspense.” There is no suspense. There wasn’t even a solid narrative arc. There was some rushed excitement and a twist toward the end that would have been clever if there’d been any build-up to it, but at that point it was too little, too late.
Profile Image for Frank Phillips.
528 reviews262 followers
June 24, 2020
You know when you are really, really into a book and thinking it's going to end up being a easy 5-star read and then the ending is completely predictable and just ruins everything? That was my experience with this book. It was so good and had so much potential up until the big twist came, which was incredibly sinister and demented in itself, but SO entirely predictable! Let's just say I knew what was going to happen a couple of chapters into this novel, but held out hope that I was wrong and would be surprised, which is becoming harder and harder the more thrillers I read. Predictable ending aside, the only other observation that could be remotely negative about this book is that our protagonist, Eleanor, was SO incredibly dumb and easy to deceive. That being said, you cannot help but empathize with her considering the circumstances she's experienced at start of this novel. Very empathetic, but so frustratingly stupid to the point it was laughable, if it weren't so frustrating! Some of her actions and motivations made no sense to me and I just had to roll my eyes and move on. Outside of Eleanor, mostly all of the other characters were extremely unlikable and fairly transparent, to me anyway. What a rough time this gal had in all of her relationships!
All in all, this was another great novel by my girl McKinnon, and I just love her writing style. Every book of hers I have read has been a 4-star read, or higher, so she has set the bar incredibly high for herself. I think her first novel, The Neighbors, is still her best, but this is second, followed by Her Secret Son. Despite my two main issues with this novel, i would still recommend my fellow thriller enthusiasts go out and pick this one up, as I might very well be in the minority with these opinions, who knows! I can say in my honest opinion, this was her darkest book yet. All things considered, this was a good book, but had potential to be great. Despite this being a little bit of a let down (as far as McKinnon goes), I still can't wait for McKinnon's next release!
Profile Image for "Avonna.
1,201 reviews359 followers
May 27, 2020
SISTER DEAR by Hannah Mary McKinnon is a new psychological thriller that starts out more like a general women’s fiction story, but it is a slow burn that builds to a definite twisted thriller ending.

Eleanor Hardwick’s parents divorced when she was young. She was the apple of her father’s eye, but her mother constantly criticized her weight and looks which leads to extreme self-esteem issues and binge eating. Her father is dying of cancer and when she goes to visit her father in hospice, she overhears her mother and father arguing. She is shocked to learn the father who loved her is not her biological father.

Eleanor’s biological father is a multi-millionaire property mogul with a beautiful wife and beautiful daughter the same age as Eleanor. When her biological father rejects her, she is determined to become a part of her half-sister’s life. Victoria is not everything she appears to be and Eleanor is drawn into wanting to befriend her as much as wanting to take what she has.

I really felt for Eleanor. I felt Ms. McKinnon did a good job of portraying a woman with extremely low self-esteem and an eating disorder. The family dynamics in this story are dysfunctional and there are few likable characters, but they are all interesting. I especially felt for Eleanor when her father died and yet even as I empathized with her, she made some poor decisions that had me wondering about her overall character arc because she was more flawed than vindictive which was not what I was expecting. The plot is dark with some unexpected twists. The pace does not pick up speed until the last half of the book, but the shocking ending was worth the wait.

I can recommend this book as a different and dark women’s fiction story with a thriller’s ending.
Profile Image for Sonica.
428 reviews62 followers
April 30, 2021
There is no greater feeling than hearing about a new book your favourite author is coming out with – it feels like Christmas, no matter what time of year it is.

When Hannah Mary McKinnon told me about her upcoming book, Sister Dear and shared a bit of the premise with me, I’m pretty sure I squealed.

I had just finished two of her previous books (The Neighboursand Her Secret Son) when I started this one and all I can say is that Hannah went darker, with this storyline, than both these books combined.

Sister Dear was BRILLIANT, well-executed and is as DARK as it is TWISTY. I devoured it in two nights and was immediately sucked into the story from the first page. This was a well-paced thriller that will have you gasping until the very last page with its twists and turns - that you won’t see coming. Sister Dearwill have you turning pages faster than you thought possible.

This was one of my first 2020 advanced reads and it has already proven to be a tough act to beat. Sitting at 5-stars, Sister Dear is a must-read psychological thriller that you will not want to miss out on. Do your reading self a favour and grab a copy of this book as soon as you can
Profile Image for Melissa (Semi-hiatus Very Behind).
4,648 reviews2,112 followers
April 28, 2020
For most of the book, I was thinking this was a 2 star book. I pretty much knew where it was going and the characters are unlikable for the most part. All of them do stupid things and there are some absolutely unbelievable things that would never happen in real life. Yet I bumped the rating up in the end because this is one twisted story, meaning that it doesn't go exactly where I thought and some of the characters end up being quite twisted themselves.
It's quite a head-shaker, but for a thriller it moves quickly and has a story that will keep readers entertained if only in a watching-a-car-wreck kind of a way. I didn't care for the ending at all, it left me with a bad taste in my mouth (and almost made me take that star back again). I can't give out more information without giving spoilers, so go read the book and decide for yourself.

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Lisa.
782 reviews
April 1, 2021
This was not for me the plot to unrealistic & blase was completely mind wandering throughout.the characters were not appealing either drags badly.
Profile Image for DJ Sakata.
3,063 reviews1,754 followers
June 2, 2020
Favorite Quotes:

Her glacial tone would freeze hell over when she left this world. No way would she go anywhere but south when she did.

Today, all of those choices seemed as appealing as a bowl of hair soup.

Penelope had unearthed my cheekbones with the skill of a veteran archeologist.

I wasn’t just up shit creek without a paddle, I’d fallen out of the boat.

Malcolm looked as if he’d time-traveled from Wall Street circa 1985. Pin-striped suit, slicked-back hair— revealing a widow’s peak Dracula would’ve run through sunlight for— and a chunky monogrammed ring.

…if still waters ran deep, he was the human equivalent of the Mariana Trench.

My Review:

I have been on a lucky streak lately and seem to be discovering a new favorite author every few days. I appear to be as fickle as an eighth-grade girl but it bares shouting that the clever Hannah Mary McKinnon is a wily minx. This twisty thriller kept me taut with tension, nibbling on my cuticles, and feeling on edge due to the mousy main protagonist's out of character behaviors putting her at constant risk of discovery. Eleanor was a binge eater who ate her emotions, something I well understand, and given the treatment she had received from her horrid harridan of a mother, Eleanor had a lot of them to swallow. The storylines were oozing with apprehension, heartbreak, indecision, bad choices, inner conflicts, guilt, resentment, bitterness, indignation, triumphs, empowerment, duplicity, and an awe-inspiring and shocking conclusion that left me addled with the taste of ashes in my mouth while my gaping lips flapped like a goldfish who had jumped the tank– it was outstanding!
Profile Image for Myrna.
714 reviews
June 19, 2020
This is a quick, amusing read that held my attention throughout. I was very eager to see how it was all going to come together. Then I got to the ending. Ugh, that ending... I HATED it. Some readers love the ending and some hate the ending. It’s up to you to decide. This is a mystery/thriller story, yet most of the book felt like a drama. 3.5★s
Profile Image for Denise.
509 reviews385 followers
February 18, 2020
This book was a mixed bag for me. While I've read many glowing reviews from several of my favorite authors, and there were some flashes of greatness; overall, it was very predictable (save for the ending), and it wasn't one of those books that I just couldn't put down.

For one thing, I thought the blurb on the back of the book was somewhat misleading. It basically says that Eleanor, who has a completely crappy life, finds out that her dying father is not her biological father, sets out to find her "real dad," and once she does, she learns that she also has a half-sister. Half-sister Victoria is perfect, rich, and beautiful and has everything Eleanor has ever dreamed of, including an idyllic childhood, a fabulous house, and a handsome, devoted husband. All of that is true, but here's where it gets murky, it goes on to say, "All of it stolen from Eleanor, who plans to take it back. After all, good sisters are supposed to share. And quiet little Eleanor has been waiting far too long for her turn to play." From the blurb, I expected Eleanor to be a conniving (almost diabolical) villain, hell-bent on her quest to steal Victoria's life - but that’s just not at all what this book is about. While Eleanor does briefly consider revenge on Victoria and her father, it's so obvious from the beginning that that is not her character in any way. I would have preferred the hell-bent Eleanor, as that family was deplorable any which way you slice it, but instead Eleanor grated on my last nerve with her wishy-washy behavior.

There were a few good twists toward the end, but I saw the plot progression a mile away. The ending was somewhat clever and does leave it open for a sequel, but honestly, I don't think I cared enough about any of the characters to read it. From the early reviews, I definitely seem to be in the minority on this one so far, so take my review with a grain of salt. For me though, it was just middle of the road. 3 stars.
Profile Image for Helen Power.
Author 10 books534 followers
May 12, 2020
When Eleanor's father dies, she's devastated to learn that he wasn't her biological father. Since she has a terrible relationship with her mother and sister, she decides to track down her birth father.  Eleanor is envious when she learns that she has a half sister, Victoria, who has everything in life: the perfect body, the loving husband, a promising career, and a doting set of parents. Eleanor will do whatever it takes to take what's rightfully hers...

My Thoughts
Sister Dear is a fast-paced thriller. Told in the first person, we’re privy to Eleanor’s thoughts, and I couldn’t help but relate to her on a deep level.

I think that is part of what made this book so darn distressing to me. I was very invested in what happened to Eleanor, and every time something terrible happened it was like a knife through my heart.  Every time she made a bad decision, I was like “Oh no, honey”. I had to put the book down a few times to pace and let out some pent-up frustration.

As the novel progresses, Eleanor’s mental stability begins to come into question. McKinnon’s writing style demonstrates this descent perfectly—with Eleanor’s intrusive thoughts and her outlook on the world in general.  The way that she interprets people’s reactions to her is heightened by her paranoia, self-loathing, and desperation.

The side characters in this book are also fascinating, though they can’t hold a candle to Eleanor.  Readers grow to love Eleanor’s half-sister almost as quickly as she does.  Lewis is the perfect boy next door, despite owning a gym (You’d think he’d be all muscle talk, but he’s much more than that).  Her mother is the type of monster that readers just love to hate.

The plot itself is very engaging.  While there are quite a few twists and turns in the story, the real strength of this novel lies in the shock ending. I won’t say any more, but this book is definitely worth reading if only for the slap-in-the-face of a conclusion.
Sister Dear

I recommend this book to those who're looking for a gripping, twisted thriller, and to those who won't mind not being able to look their own sister in the eye ever again.


* Thank you to MIRA and the author for the arc to review! *
This review appeared first on https://powerlibrarian.wordpress.com/

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Profile Image for Catherine McKenzie.
Author 30 books4,660 followers
March 3, 2020
This was a fast-paced read full of twists. When a woman finds out that the man who raised her is not her biological father, she goes looking for her original family and finds more than bargained for. My first read of McKinnon's but won't be my last!
Profile Image for Nina (ninjasbooks).
953 reviews372 followers
May 22, 2022
I’ve been on a McKinnon binge, with good reason. I simply love her novels. This wasn’t a disappointment either. Deliciously devious and clever. A twisted tale about revenge and jealousy. For those who enjoy twists, sister dear will leave an impression.
Profile Image for K.A. Tucker.
Author 60 books19.9k followers
March 9, 2020
I read Sister Dear on my trip to Punta Cana and found myself looking for excuses to curl up on a beach chair, just so I could finish it. Eleanor is a sad creature and I thoroughly enjoyed watching her character unravel with jealousy and envy. This story will keep you on your toes. It's fast-paced, twisty, and insidious... and I could not put it down.
Profile Image for Samantha Downing.
Author 5 books5,184 followers
October 18, 2019
A stunning achievement! Just when I thought I knew what was going to happen, Hannah Mary McKinnon proved me wrong. Beautifully plotted story with characters that left a mark.
Profile Image for Debbie.
948 reviews95 followers
March 29, 2020
LOVED this novel!

Eleanor Hardwicke's father is dying of cancer. They are quite close so she is devastated. To add to the devastation, just before his death it is revealed that he wasn't her biological father and she is in shock. As Eleanor seeks out her real father, some family secrets are uncovered and her family tree isn't what she expects. While she has lived a modest lifestyle, her real father and his family, live in luxury. Her sister Victoria seems to have everything and Eleanor wants her to share. Just how far will she go to get what she is entitled to? You will have to read this and find out.

This was such a wild and twisted suspense that kept me hooked throughout. I knew right away I was going to love this novel, as before I knew it I was at page 40 in the blink of an eye. This was such a fabulous novel about greed, revenge, secrets and family relationships. Sensational!!
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