* Originally published on My Chaotically Eclectic Life*
Sam is seventeen, starving herself and longing for oblivion. Her sister, Jena, is mentally scarred and desperate to remember. Between them, they share secrets too terrible to recall.
Eighteen months earlier, Sam was still full of hope: hope that she could piece together Jena’s fragmented memory after the vicious attack that changed their family forever. But digging into the past unearthed long-hidden lies and betrayals, and left Sam feeling helpless and alone in a world designed to deceive her.
Now, in a last bid to save her from self-imposed shutdown, Sam’s therapist is helping her confront her memories. But the road to recovery is a dangerous one. Because Sam has not only been lying to her doctors: she’s been hiding dark secrets from herself.
“The brain is not like the body: it does not let go so easily and is harder to control, and as I drift to sleep it takes me elsewhere, to the place of all my nightmares.”
After reading this book I can safely say that the subject matter is not for the faint-hearted. The topics include self harm, eating disorders and crimes of a sexual nature.
This is the first book I’ve read by Ruth Dugdall and although the story is a little uncomfortable at times, it made for compulsive reading.
The book focuses on Sam, a patient in a specialist hospital dealing with eating disorders. We follow her story as she works with her therapist on the run up to her review hearing.
Sam believes she deserves to die due to events in her past and her doctor is trying to get her to open up. The story is set in the present, although we share Sam’s memories from the past as she talks to her doctor.
We hear about her sister and how she was attacked on Sam’s 16th birthday and left with disabilities. We are also introduced to her parents and a few other characters.
I felt the some of the characters were a little unbelievable, such as why a 16 year old was taking on the role of detective to find out who attacked her sister. Surely the police would have done a much better job than they appeared to have done.
I’ll admit to figuring out some of the secrets before they were written but the identity of the attacker eluded me almost until the end.
If you can bring yourself to read this dark and gritty thriller then I would highly recommend it.
Have you read anything by Ruth Dugdall? Do they all cover controversial topics such as this one?
Title: My Sister and Other Liars
Author: Ruth Dugdall
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Page Count: 364
Publication Date: 1st May 2017