This is an emotional and intense read that explores the complexities of family relationships, grief, loss and trauma, and our expectations of others – especially those who are closest to us, and those who represent certain societal roles.
Nina’s sister Marie has been savagely attacked in her apartment, and left for dead. In having to deal with this traumatic event, in relation to her role as a wife, mother, daughter, sister and also a professional who often has to work with difficult cases, Nina quickly comes to realise that she is unable to successfully juggle everything without letting something drop. Inevitably though, when one ball drops, the others come falling down after that too.
Adding to Nina’s frustration is the red tape she has to endure from the police department investigating the crime. She feels like she’s wading through endless, unnecessary circles with no end in sight. The discovery of the many secrets that her sister kept from her, leads her to think that she never knew Marie at all … a fact that she simply cannot reconcile herself with, after believing that they were relatively close.
What does it take to completely destroy a person’s psyche? Where is the fine line between that person being able to function and breaking down? What causes it? Juliet Conlin takes her readers on an intense, often extremely uncomfortable journey as we follow Nina’s soul-destroying experience.
This is 4-star reading, that although difficult to get through at times due to the nature of its subject matter, is highly relevant and necessary. The author doesn’t avoid sensitive topics, but deals with them in a way that is direct and authentic, for which I applaud her.
Juliet Conlin was born in London and grew up in England and Germany. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Lancaster University and a PhD in Psychology from the University of Durham. She works as a writer and translator and lives with her family in Berlin. Her novels include The Fractured Man (Cargo, 2013), The Uncommon Life of Alfred Warner in Six Days (Black & White, 2017), The Lives Before Us (Black & White, 2019).
Thank you to Kelly Lacey of Love Books Tours for inviting me on this blog tour. Take a look at what other bloggers are saying about Sisters of Berlin: