I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for My Sister is Missing by Julia Barrett. Julia and I connected on Twitter a while back and it’s been a joy to see her publishing journey come to fruition. Thank you to Anna Burtt at Red Door Publishing for inviting me to take part and sending a copy of the book. Before I tell you my thoughts, here’s the blurb.
I’m not the wife you think I am
Jess’s sister Stephanie loves being a new mum, and is besotted with her baby daughter Natalie. She’s tired and a bit anxious, but that’s natural, isn’t it?
However, one night Stephanie disappears, taking Natalie with her. Jess tries to convince herself that there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation but as time goes on and CCTV images appear of a young woman with a baby, jumping in front of a high-speed train, Jess fears the worst. But was it Stephanie? And if not, where has she gone? And what does husband Adam have to hide?
In turmoil Jess goes in search of answers, but she isn’t prepared for what she uncovers… or for what happens next.
My Sister is Missing is an intense, twisted, psychological thriller that will make you question what is real, and whether you really can trust those you love.
When Red Door Publishing sent me My Sister is Missing, a bookmark was included. There was space to write three words to sum up the book. My words were secrets, mystery and chilling. So let’s look at that in a bit more depth.
From the opening section, we know someone has a major secret. A secret that has the power to destroy relationships and life as that person knows it. We soon find out that the person is Stephanie, new mum to Natalie. After years of trying for a baby, this should be the happiest time in Stephanie’s life. But the secret is eating her up inside. And leads to disastrous consequences.
When Stephanie disappears with her baby, it’s a complete mystery to her sister, Jess. Stephanie has always been the strong older sister, the one that kept Jess going after their parents’ break-up. She appeared to be relishing her now role as a mum. Aware that the police can only do so much, Jess starts to investigate. And that includes looking at her brother-in-law, Adam, whose behaviour is somewhat disturbing.
But there’s someone else hovering on the fringes, just slightly out of sight – Stephanie and Jess’ mother. This is the chilling part. Her influence over her daughters pervades their thoughts and deeds. Can the sisters break free of their mother to live their own lives?
Told through the viewpoints of Stephanie, Jess and Adam, we begin to piece together the narrative. There are various themes that come up which are handled very sensitively by Julia Barrett. Reading about Stephanie’s experience as a new mum reminded me of how tricky that time can be. I don’t want to tell you too much of the plot as I’d rather you experienced it yourself. Suffice to say though, the secrets are exposed, the mystery is finally solved and the chilling atmosphere is there until the very end. A very accomplished debut novel. I look forward to reading more from Julia Barrett.
To pre-order My Sister is Missing click here.
Julia Barrett began her working life as a primary school teacher. She has worked in Public Relations for the NHS and as an in-house journalist for Queen Mary, University of London. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of Hull. She is a Faber Academy alumna and is currently working towards the completion of an MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London. She grew up in Yorkshire and now lives in Essex with her husband and two children.