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To the outside world, Electra D'Aplièse seems as though she is the woman with everything: as one of the world's top models, she is beautiful, rich and famous. Yet beneath the veneer, and fuelled by the pressure of the life she leads, Electra's already tenuous control over her state of mind has been rocked by the death of her father, Pa Salt, the elusive billionaire who adopted his six daughters as babies from across the globe. Struggling to cope, she turns to alcohol and drugs to ease the pain, and as those around her fear for her health, Electra receives a letter from a complete stranger who claims to be her grandmother . . .
In 1939, Cicily Huntley-Washington arrives in Kenya from New York to nurse a broken heart. Staying with her Godmother Kiki, a well-known member of the infamous Happy Valley set, on the shores of beautiful Lake Naivasha, Cicily meets Bill Forsythe, a notorious bachelor and cattle farmer with close connections to the proud Maasai Tribe. When disaster strikes and war is imminent, Cicily decides she has no choice but to accept Bill's proposal. Moving up into the Wanjohi Valley, and with Bill away, Cicily finds herself isolated and alone. Until she discovers a new-born baby abandoned in the forest next to her farmhouse...
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In #6 of the Seven Sisters Series, the youngest of the sisters we know so far, Electra, faces some serious issues. She deals with major challenges directly or indirectly affecting many, many people all over the world today. We get to follow her as she deals with consequences of lifestyle choices. I felt for her in the description of loneliness in her Park Avenue penthouse apartment and find it understandable that she feels vulnerable and tries to distance herself from everybody in her life. I enjoyed following her in her journey throughout the book and found her to be a complex and well developed character even if she really is not the most likeable in the beginning.
Proud, sensitive and trying to not show weakness, I felt relieved when her biological grandmother showed up, even though it took some time before she was actually appreciated and welcome as family.
Morphing from sad, recluse, to a person with a tribe of good people around her, she learns who she really is through her biological background and upbringing. Having good role-models and support, I fell glad and relieved that she develops into a force for good in the area she is passionate about.
I have read all the sisters’ stories and they all face challenges in their own ways, but this is certainly next level challenges. I appreciated all the research that shines through in this work. I don’t feel I know much about African history, so I enjoyed the part of the story set in Kenya 1938-39. The vivid descriptions of the culture and lifestyle of The Happy Valley Set I found slightly off-putting from my own perspective, but probably a really realistic addition to the story. The part about Maasaian life and culture turned out to have a major effect on the development of the plot and I found it an interesting twist how the mindset of the tribe could have panned out like the plot describes.
I think Electra’s story is a bit different from the other sisters’ stories. Being complex and dealing with serious issues, it adds something extra while still keeping the trademark feel we have come to love as readers of the Seven Sisters Series.
You would have no problem reading this as a stand-alone work, but I think if I were to start out fresh, I would consider reading #1 to get a background to the story of the sisters.
Readers who like dual-time novels would love this. Fans of Lucinda Riley’s work have probably waited for months (like I have) and will be thrilled to read this new release in the series.
(All opinions in this review are my own)
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