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From the New York Times bestselling author of My Name Is Mary Sutter comes a rich and compelling historical novel about the disappearance of two young girls after a cataclysmic blizzard, and what happens when their fate is discovered
New York, 1879: After an epic snow storm ravages the city of Albany, Dr. Mary Sutter, a former Civil War surgeon, begins a search for two little girls, the daughters of close friends killed by the storm who have vanished without a trace.
Mary’s mother and niece Elizabeth, who has been studying violin in Paris, return to Albany upon learning of the girls’ disappearance—but Elizabeth has another reason for wanting to come home, one she is not willing to reveal. Despite resistance from the community, who believe the girls to be dead, the family persists in their efforts to find the two sisters. When what happened to them is revealed, the uproar that ensues tears apart families, reputations, and even the social fabric of the city, exposing dark secrets about some of the most powerful of its citizens, and putting fragile loves and lives at great risk.
Winter Sisters is a propulsive new novel by the New York Times bestselling author of My Name Is Mary Sutter.
Second book in Mary Sutter series
Winter Sisters by Robin Oliveira is the second book in the Mary Sutter series. In Albany, New York in March of 1879 the O’Donnell family heads out. David to the lumber district, Bonnie to her millinery shop and the girls (Claire and Emma) to the grammar school. That afternoon a horrible blizzard strikes the area. After the storm, David and Bonnie are both found dead. Claire and Emma were released from school after the storm, but they never made it home. Dr. Mary Sutter and her husband, William search for the girls, but they are unable to locate them. Mary routinely visits the police station, but Captain Arthur Mantel urges her to give up her quest. If the girls have not been found by now, they are presumed dead. Mary is not about to give up that easily. What happened to the O’Donnell girls?
While the Winter Sisters is the second book in the series, it can be read alone. My Name is Mary Sutter is summarized early in the Winter Sisters along with the history (backstory) of each main character. I like that the main character is a female doctor (such a rarity in that time period). I found the pace to be lethargic which can be attributed to the abundant details and the authors formal (and descriptive) writing style. The author’s descriptions help readers visualize the scenes. However, she needs to find a balance between not enough and too much. I was amazed to find that the age of consent (for relations) for “women” was ten in New York (how sad and disturbing) in 1879. The author included some fascinating historical information into the story which helped capture the era. The attitude towards women by many men (but not all) was accurately portrayed. The mystery was simple and easily solved before the answers are revealed. Winter Sisters contains foul language as well as vivid descriptions of violence and child rape (described in graphic detail from a medical viewpoint by Dr. Sutter). I read Winter Sisters, but I could not get into the story (it failed to hold my attention). The ending wraps up all the storylines neatly and happily.