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  • Writer's pictureSelena | Beauty's Library

The Winter Sister Review

I can’t believe I waited so long to read it. I loved it!

Rating: 5/5

Sixteen years ago, Sylvie’s sister Persephone never came home. Out too late with the boyfriend she was forbidden to see, Persephone was missing for three days before her body was found—and years later, her murder remains unsolved.

In the present day, Sylvie returns home to care for her estranged mother, Annie, as she undergoes treatment for cancer. Prone to unexplained “Dark Days” even before Persephone’s death, Annie’s once-close bond with Sylvie dissolved in the weeks after their loss, making for an uncomfortable reunion all these years later. Worse, Persephone’s former boyfriend, Ben, is now a nurse at the cancer center where Annie is being treated. Sylvie’s always believed Ben was responsible for the murder—but she carries her own guilt about that night, guilt that traps her in the past while the world goes on around her.

As she navigates the complicated relationship with her mother, Sylvie begins to uncover the secrets that fill their house—and what really happened the night Persephone died. As it turns out, the truth really will set you free, once you can bear to look at it.


I have been trying to read this book for months now. It’s been sitting on my shelf ever since I got it back in February 2019 in my Book of the Month box. At the beginning of this year, I pulled it forward to read. And I kept running out of time, pushing it into the next month. When May came around, I decided I will be picking this up! And I can’t believe I waited so long to read it. I loved it!

I can’t believe I waited so long to read it. I loved it!

This book is filled with dark family secrets and sneaky twists. The premise follows Sylvie, who’s older sister was murdered when Sylvie was only 14. Sixteen years later, her sister’s murder is still unsolved. Sylvie returns home to take care of her estranged mother dying of cancer. Once close with her mother, Sylvie’s relationship with her mother shattered from the loss of her sister making this return home even more suffocating. Sylvie runs into her sister’s boyfriend, Ben who works at the hospital where her mother is being treated. Sylvie always believed Ben was responsible. But Sylvie has her own secrets from that fateful night. And soon Sylvie must face those secrets if she’s to finally learn what truly happened to her sister.

This book is filled with dark family secrets and sneaky twists.

From beginning to end, I loved this one. I truly felt for Sylvie, we learn at the beginning what her part was on the night of her sister’s murder and the guilt she carried with her years later. While I didn’t find Sylvie’s secret all that drastic, I understood her mental state that led to the guilt. I hated how her sister treated her, I was able to truly connect with Sylvie in how she felt about things and struggled with how she reacted with others. She honestly reminded me a little bit of me in that aspect.

I also connected in a similar manner to Ben. I felt for him too. Though he wasn’t fully innocent in the manner, I thought, I understood his feelings just as much as I did for Sylvie. I really enjoyed getting to know Ben throughout this book.

As I mentioned, this is filled with secrets and twists. While I didn’t find them all necessarily shocking, I was shocked when the details around them came out. One secret in particular, I had sort of guessed but in the wrong way. So when it came out I literally said, “Oh, shit!” I could easily see this as one of those Lifetime movies, and I’d totally watch it!

I could easily see this as one of those Lifetime movies, and I’d totally watch it!

And this flowed so well! I didn’t want to put it down. I managed to read it in just two days. It had an interesting setup where we’re primarily in the present timeline with periodic flashbacks to the past. We saw these flashbacks more so in the beginning portions of the book, as we learn Sylvie’s memories from that day.

As a thriller, this touches heavily on family drama and secrets. We get to see the dynamics between mother and daughters and the bonds between sisters, and what is a healthy relationship. It also has a heavy focus on the idea of grief and guilt which I thought was so well written. This being Megan Collins’ debut novel, I think this was an amazing first book! I so can’t wait to read her other books!

I think anyone who enjoys juicy family drama thrillers will enjoy this one! I enjoyed every moment! I highly recommend picking this one up!


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