Sister Cover

Rosamund Lupton

Nothing can break the bond between sisters ...When Beatrice gets a frantic call in the middle of Sunday lunch to say that her younger sister, Tess, is missing, she boards the first flight home to London. But as she learns about the circumstances surrounding her sister's disappearance, she is stunned to discover how little she actually knows of her sister's life - and unprepared for the terrifying truths she must now face. The police, Beatrice's fiance and even their mother accept they have lost Tess but Beatrice refuses to give up on her. So she embarks on a dangerous journey to discover the truth, no matter the cost.


This is a debut novel, but you'd never believe it. It's beautifully written, and when you read it you feel that you are truly listening to the writer's authentic voice. That's rare. You believe every word.

Two sisters, separated geographically, the elder, ambitious and sophisticated, working in New York. The younger, a hippy-ish art student, studying in London. The older sister, Bea, gets a frantic phone-call from their mother one day, saying that her sister Tess has gone missing. Bea flies back home, and rapidly becomes involved in a nightmare.

The book is written as a long letter from Bea to her lost little sister. It's a mystery, a complex thriller about a terrible crime committed in the name of genetic research. Tess, unmarried, was pregnant before her disappearance. She had told no-one except her sister. But there was Cystic Fibrosis in the family. Their brother Leo died from it as a child. And so Tess becomes part of a medical trial to find out if the baby she is carrying has the CF gene, and, if so, to see if the disease can be eradicated from her unborn foetus.

Tragedy follows, as Bea desperately searches to find out what happened to her sister; the more questions she asks, the more deeply she becomes involved in a designer-baby genetics programme gone evilly wrong. Eventually, in a thrilling denouement, her own life hangs terrifyingly in the balance.


I found the relationship between the two sisters deeply moving. Bea has a really good job in New York, a swish apartment and a preppy, successful fiancé. Tess's life in London couldn't be more different. She's an art student, living in a scruffy basement flat, with no interest in money or success. She's a free-thinker, and what's more she's got herself pregnant by a louche, married lecturer at her college. But Tess is much happier than her buttoned-up sister, who does everything by the book, never takes a risk and clings on to her stuffy, un-spontaneous fiancé only because he makes her feel safe.

And yet the love between these women is obvious from the first paragraph. Bea begins her touching, never- to- be- delivered letter to Tess, as she watches the press gather outside Tess's flat, avid for news of the missing girl.

The science is clever too. Judy and I have a personal interest in cutting-edge gene therapy, which holds so much promise for the treatment of Cystic Fibrosis, a cruel and horrible disease. So the idea of a trial aimed at pregnant women who are carrying a foetus with CF, in the hope of curing the baby in the womb, is extremely realistic. And the thought that such a miraculous search for a cure could be hijacked by a sinister bid for medical glory is very much of our time.

But above all, this is a clever crime mystery - tense, gripping, and a total page-turner.

Rosamund Lupton talks to Richard and Judy

Reviews & Comments

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  • Wonderful to see you both back. Looking forward to some good reads. All the best and hope you get lots of encouragement.


  • This book totally blew me away!! It's one of the best and most beautiful reads i've had in a long time. I urge you to read it but do keep a box of tissues handy as it will have you in tears. Very moving and haunting.


  • Just been to buy all 8 books, and starting with this one, as R&J suggest! Cannot put it down - except briefly to write this! great suggestion - Yay! Welcome back R&J bookclub... :O)


  • Captivating story bought it on Thursday and finsihed it Friday. I just couldn't put it down. I cannot believe it comes from a debut author - highly recommended.


  • Hi Richard and Judy! We've missed you! Can't wait to get stuck in to your chosen 8 over the coming Winter nights.


  • Great idea, given me the encouragement I needed to start a book club up to discuss the books, thanks


  • A great read. Couldn't put it down. Clever twist at the end - quite unexpected. Fascinating subject and really thought provoking. I loved it.


  • Have just read the list of reads for this year and they look promising. Have always enjoyed the books recommended by yourselves so it's great that you are back. Haven't got on as well with other books recommended(as on tv book clubs)sO WELCOME BACK!

    Kathy w

  • I really enjoyed this book,in fact I read it in one sitting as I couldn't wait to see what happened.I was moved to tears on more than one occasion.I found it very interesting and moving.I will definitely buy the author's next book.


  • I have just started this and i am really enjoying it so far. My sisters have been looking after me at the moment too x


  • Will any of the titles have Reading Guides?

    Maxine Haddleton

  • I've sneaked off work to come home and finish this fantastic book. Sobbing while reading it on the Eurostar on page 10, too scared to sleep last night, and I still don't know who the killer is! Quite, quite brilliant! Best book I've read for many years.


  • I read this book in a day and loved it.! The characters are brought to life brilliantly! The story line takes you through so many twists and turns and leaves you trying to guess all the way through who could have committed the crime.This book has everything!

    Sally Howell-Bewsey

  • I really liked this. Thanks, Richard and Judy, for recommending it. Being 37 weeks pregnant at the moment, the bit about Xavier creeped me out a bit and i agree that you really can hear a realistic voice in the writing...I shed a tear or two x


  • Glad to see you have got the bookclub running again, i look forward to sharing evenings discussing your choices with 'The bad girls book group', we have read all your past choices over many a bottle of wine!! hope you are including readers guides, best love x chris


  • A great read. Couldn't put it down! Let out a loud sob after reading the last page, startling my snoozing hubby! Well worth a read!


  • So glad to see you back! Love the book club's you do. I think W H Smith's are lucky to have you! Just bought Sister and I can't wait to read it.


  • I have just finished Sister and it did not disappoint. The letter was such a clever and original way of narrating the story. The book was thought provoking and heartbreaking dealing with ethics, tragedy and the love between sisters. I really could not guess how it would end and read the last half of the book in one sitting. Well done Rosumund Lupton!


  • Halfway through this and im not disappointed at all. Real page turner.

    Tracey Smith

  • I have just this minute finished 'Sister'. What a brilliantly written book with a very clever twist to it. Throughly enjoyed every page of it.

    Ali Osmond

  • A very exciting book that is impossible to stop reading! It keeps you interested the whole way through and I liked the concept of the story being narrated to the reader by the main character after the events had happened. One slight criticism that I have is that I didn't feel like the blurb truly reflected what the story was fully about. Overall a really enjoyable book.


  • Loved this book, having two very young children to look after i often find it hard to keep the memento of reading a book going but not this one, i looked forward to being able to sit down in the evenings and read Sister rather than just sit cabbage like in front of the tv. I found myself being totally engrossed in the who did it and trying to work it out for myself but with all my second guessing i still did not see the twist with the fictional characters coming. Would recommend this book to anyone because with Sister once you've read the fist page your not putting it down until you've found out who done it.


  • A great novel, loved the narrative style which constantly drops bombshells and twists throughout. A brilliant thriller without being a traditional thriller at all.

    J Spears

  • I bought this book as part of a special offer (it was half price with another book) and have to admit that it would not be one of my usual reads. I don't know what I was expecting - but I found myself drawn into a cracking yarn. The story is not just a detective story, but also filled with suspense and drama, twists here and there, and when you were least expecting them, but what was beautiful was the feeling of loss that the main character has, I really fell for the line where she writes that grief was the worst kind of unrequited love. Have no trouble in recommending this book to one and all


  • I found the relationship between the two sisters both moving and truthful. My own sister died earlier this year and I felt that the author captured the sheer awfulness of losing a close sibling.

    Sister combines well drawn relationships with a clever plot and that makes it extremely difficult to put down. I didn't see the ending coming and as a result the book kept me gripped until the final word.


  • Not my usual typr of read but I really enjoyed this book. The author has such a good storytelling voice, you get immediately drawn in. Beatrice's story is so well told and I didn't guess who the killer was. I had a few ideas - none of them right. This is not just a thriller story though - it's more than that. I would say that the synopsis isn't really right for the book. We find out very early on that Tess is dead, so it's not a case of Beatrice finding her sister, but a case of her finding her killer. The one disappointment for me was the ending. Although I liked the fact that we are left wondering what happens to Beatrice, I don't think we needed the whole 'this is a dream' element. It just seemed a little silly. All in all, I look forward to the author's next book and I would recommend 'Sister'.


  • This is the best book that I have read this year! EXCELLENT - can not wait for her next book. GOOD TO SEE THE BOOK CLUB BACK - you have been sorely missed x


  • Sister - Rosamund Lupton Incredible, this book had me at page one and I have just put it down 'in tears' just a few days later. I have never been so moved .. Superbly written, so easy to read yet interesting and captivating.. Can't wait for novel no 2 now... Well done!


  • After a few years of reading mainly 'chick lit' I was ready for a change. This was the first book I chose from the current reading list and I was so pleased I did. The way in which Rosamund Lupton explores the bonds between sisters and also those around them was done so well the characters sprung to life from the page. I didn't see the end coming, which I always appreciate in a good story.

    I have passed this book on to my Aunt because I can recommend it without any worry that she won't like it and I need someone to talk to about it!


  • This book is brilliant and the best thing I've read in a long time, once I picked it up I couldn't put it down, the story really does take you on a journey and the twists and turns are excellent.

    Cannot recommend this book highly enough.


  • One of the best books I have read. Really enjoyed the plot which twits and turns.The characters are so real and the story was so believable. I wanted to savour every page but also wanted to keep reading. It was so different from other thrillers and didn't guess the ending until the final pages. Can't wait for her next book. Thanks for recommending this great book.h


  • This is a really brilliant book! It is really thrilling with a very unique twist at the end which was totally unexpected. It showed the bond between sisters beautifully! I couldn't put it down! A vey exciting book, I really recommend it.


  • Absolutely brilliant, Once started could not put down. Best book read in a long time and fantastic twist at the end. It is a definate must to read!!

    natalie hurst

  • OMG. I couldn't put the book down, very gripping and had you in suspense all the time, I found the ending a bit of a let down after being so gripped, but still a great read.

    karin jeggo

  • This novel was an excellent read once I got used to the way it was written. It jumped a little from character to character and I found myself having to re-read the previous paragraph to see who I was 'with'.

    Good research which has promted me to find out more about genetic medicine and all it's implications.

    My favourite novel so far is still the 'Crying Tree'


  • Really loved this book especially the ending, reminded me a bit of my favourite book, Life of pi at the end. I totally felt the pain Beatrice felt at losing her siblings and also her determination at finding out the truth about Tess, still i was not expecting that ending, am still thinking about it days later.I cannot recommend this book highly enough.


  • It is a very good book. Not a typical thriller. Rather an insight how we change, how we love and how our hearts and instincts have more power in our lives than a simple logic.


  • What a wonderful book, just looked forward to all my reading time so I could pick it up. Such a page turner that it is our book for the book club next month. Yes, really will not mind reading it again...slower this time. Thanks Richard and Judy

    Yum Yum

  • Nearly halfway through Sister and really enjoying it. The book is full of emotions of all sorts, it is profound and heartbreaking (I've never been so close to crying over a book), and a touch manipulative. Shame about the appalling punctuation and lack of proofreading - it's so bad, I sometimes have to read sentences several times before I can make sense of them. Editing could have been better, too. Intrigued by the story and wondering how it develops.


  • Sister is a great read. As much about love, loss and grief, as it is about Beatrice trying to find out what really happened to Tess. It is a very moving book, with all sorts of other emotive aspects as well, eg, guilt, sibling rivalry, nostalgia, etc. Some very profound insights, too.

    It surprised me that Beatrice seemed so naive as to not even suspect Tess's death was anything to do with the CF trial until well into the story; it would have been first on my list to investigate!

    I was stunned by the twist at the end - did not see it coming at all (other than doubts about whether certain things leading up to it would really happen).

    Unfortunately, the very poor punctuation and grammar (and/or appalling proofreading and editing) detracted from the story for me: I had to read some sentences several times before I could make sense of them. (In the book I'm reading now, I've noticed I'm automatically ignoring the punctuation and, as a result, mis-reading sentences which are, in fact, written correctly!)

    Also, from about half way through, the book seems to lose it a bit, going very slowly (it's slow to start with), which is fine for me, maybe not for others; but some sentences just seemed to lose the will to live, making them even more difficult to interpret.

    In the final quarter, the book picked up a lot and had me captivated to the last page. I would like to read future books by this author, especially if she finds a decent proofreader and editor! As I read elsewhere: "This author should read 'Eats, Shoots & leaves'." Yes, punctuation does matter, a great deal - "eats, shoots and leaves" means something very different from "eats shoots and leaves".


  • wonderful to have you both back, have missed your Book Club (and your tv programmes) so much. Keep up the good work it would be a gloomier place without you.

    Barbara Worthington

  • Not a page turner did not enjoy this book.

    Karen Walker

  • One of my favourite reads of 2010 I was wishing the train ride to work was longer so I didn't have to put it down. Ended up buying it for my Gran for Christmas everyone should read it, just fab!


  • I thoroughly enjoyed Sister( of which I have 4 ) it really kept you wondering all the way through and the ending was a complete surprise to me. Wonderful book for a first timer cant wait for the second one


  • An amazing book i cannot wait to read the next novel from this author, i just could not put it down. its a novel that had me both simultaneously smiling and crying and with an amazing twist at the end that made me question things for hours afterwards. it has definately been well recommended to family and friends.


  • What a book! Fantastic twists and turns. Couldn't put it down. Highly recommended!


  • What a fantastic book with such an unexpected ending. Reminded me of how I felt after reading My Sister's Keeper by Jodie Picoult. Excellent first novel and would recommend. Look forward to the next.


  • I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It kept me guessing which I loved and the twist was clever too. I'd recommend it to any of my friends. Easy to read and it flowed so well. Thumbs up for me!


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