Cover image for Blood sisters : a novel / Jane Corry.
Title:
Blood sisters : a novel / Jane Corry.
Author:
ISBN:
9780525522188
Publication Information:
New York, New York : Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, [2018]

©2017
Physical Description:
viii, 340 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
"A Pamela Dorman book"
Abstract:
"Three little girls set off to school one sunny morning. Within an hour, one of them is dead. Fifteen years later, Kitty can't speak and has no memory of the accident that's to blame. She lives in an institution, unlikely ever to leave. But that doesn't keep her from being frightened when she encounters an eerily familiar face. Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. She's struggling to make ends meet and to forget the past. When a teaching job at a prison opens up, she takes it, despite her fears. Maybe this is her chance to set things right. Then she starts to receive alarming notes; next, her classroom erupts in violence. Meanwhile, someone is watching both Kitty and Alison. Someone who never forgot what happened that day. Someone who wants revenge. And only another life will do..."--Inside jacket flap.
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1 Bob Harkins Branch COR Book Adult General Collection
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Summary

Summary

THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING PSYCHOLOGICAL THRILLER YOU CAN'T MISS!

Three little girls. One accident. A lifetime of lies. From the bestselling author of MY HUSBAND'S WIFE.

Three little girls set off to school one sunny morning. Within an hour, one of them is dead.

Fifteen years later, Kitty can't speak and has no memory of the accident that's to blame. She lives in an institution, unlikely ever to leave. But that doesn't keep her from being frightened when she encounters an eerily familiar face.

Art teacher Alison looks fine on the surface. But the surface is a lie. She's struggling to make ends meet and to forget the past. When a teaching job at a prison opens up, she takes it, despite her fears. Maybe this is her chance to set things right. Then she starts to receive alarming notes; next, her classroom erupts in violence.

Meanwhile, someone is watching both Kitty and Alison. Someone who never forgot what happened that day. Someone who wants revenge. And only another life will do. . .


Author Notes

Jane Corry is an author and journalist, and has spent time as the writer-in-residence of a high-security prison for men--an experience that helped inspire My Husband's Wife , her bestselling debut thriller. Blood Sisters is her second thriller.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Two young women inextricably linked by a catastrophic car crash-and secrets one will never forget and the other may never remember-drive this engrossing, if ultimately unconvincing, psychological suspense novel from British author Corry (My Husband's Wife). Chapters shift perspective between that of London art teacher Alison Baker and the institutionalized Kitty James, and from the present back to 2001-when everything changed for both of them, trapping the former in a prison of guilt and the latter in a brain-damaged body unable to communicate the thoughts she still experiences clearly. Ironically, it's cash-strapped Alison's dangerous decision to take a part-time job teaching inmates at a men's prison not far from where she grew up that just may offer her a more lasting release than her habitual self-cutting-if it doesn't destroy her first. Though readers may suss out the relationship between Alison and Kitty well before Corry makes it explicit, she maintains momentum with several startling late plot twists-a number of which, unfortunately, are far-fetched. Agent: Kate Horndern, Kate Horndern Literary Agency (U.K.). (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Alison has been living with secrets for 15 years. She tries to lead a normal life teaching art at the local community college but still goes home each day and cuts herself and remembers. Most of the time she recalls her sister Kitty, who hasn't been able to speak since the tragic accident. One day at the college, Alison learns of an opportunity at the local prison for an art teacher to work with the inmates. Although hesitant, she goes ahead and takes the position, hoping to pay off debts and begin anew. But all is not as it seems, and someone who was also affected by the accident is waiting for Alison. VERDICT Cory's second thriller is a solid follow-up to My Husband's Wife. Readers will think they know how the story will end, but they will be surprised by the final twist. For fans of Gillian Flynn, Paula Hawkins, and Ruth Ware. [See Prepub Alert, 7/24/17.]-Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., OH © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

***This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected copy proof*** Copyright © 2018 Jane Corry   1 September 2016 Alison   Careful. It's not the size that counts. It's the sharpness. And the angle. The blade must sing. Not scratch. I hold the piece of blue glass up to the window light. It's the same color as the type you occasionally see in bottles lining the shelves of old-fashioned pharmacies. A nice clean cut. No sharp bits that need trimming, which is always tricky. So easy to get splinters of glass in your skin or on your clothes. Or in your mind. Now for the acid test. Does the glass fit the lead outline? My heart always starts to beat wildly at this stage, as though it's a matter of life or death. Silly, really, but that's how it feels. After getting this far, you don't want to get it wrong. "Would you mind helping me with this, Mrs. Baker?" "Actually, it's miss," I say, looking up from my demo piece. "And please, call me Alison." A new student stands in front of me. He's substantial without being  chunky--six foot one and a half, at a guess, and three inches or so taller than me. As a child, I was teased mercilessly for being the tallest in the class. I did my best to shrink, but it didn't work. "Stand up straight," my mother would plead. She meant well, but all I wanted to do was blend in; not to be  noticed--to hide my slightly overlarge nose, my thick-framed mud brown glasses and my braces. My perfectly put-together sister, on the other hand, had that gift of innate confidence that made her naturally poised. Nowadays, I've learned there are some advantages to my height. You can carry off clothes that others can't, or put on a pound or two without it showing. Yet, every time I pass my reflection in a mirror or shop window, I am reminded to push back those offending shoulders. "Alison?" I am jolted back to the present. The man asking the question is--at a guess--in his mid- to-late thirties like me. The more the years go by, the less I want to give out an exact figure. It makes me panic about the things I thought I'd have done by now and that somehow haven't happened. In fact, this is the one place where maturity doesn't matter. It's the steadiness of the hand that counts. Making stained glass windows might seem like an innocuous craft, but accidents happen. "I can't quite remember, Alison, what you said about stretching the lead." The man's voice is deep as it slices through my thoughts. Not many men sign up for these weekly courses I run at the local college. When this particular student arrived at the first session last week, I felt an instant fluttering of unease. It's not just the way he keeps staring. Or his intelligent questions. Or the confident manner in which he scores his glass, even though it's a beginners' class. Or his  name--Clive Black, which has an authoritative abruptness. Nor is it even the way he said "Alison" just now, as though he found it intriguing rather than everyday. It's all of these things. And something else, too, that I can't put a finger on. Over the years, I've learned to trust my instinct. And it's telling me, right now, to watch out. Wearing my protective gloves, I pick up a thin, slightly twisted piece of lead, about a foot long. It always reminds me of a strand of silver licorice, the type my sister and I used to buy from the corner shop on the way back from school. Swiftly, I hand Clive a pair of pliers. "Take one piece--the flat edge of the pliers needs to be on  top--and pull. I'll do the same at the other end. Lean forward. That's right." "Amazing how it doubles in length!" he says in awe. "Incredible, isn't it?" breathes someone else as the class gathers round. I love this bit. Excitement is catching. I pick up a different trimming knife. The funny thing is that I've been clumsy ever since childhood, yet this is the one area where I never falter. "Next, we'll wiggle the blade from side to side and then push down," I say. "Anyone want to try?" I address my question deliberately to a horsey-faced woman who has been in several of my courses. Once, she even offered to leave a positive review on my Facebook page and was distinctly disappointed when I confessed to not having one. "Don't you need it to publicize your work?" she'd asked incredulously. I'd shrugged casually in an attempt to hide the real reason. "I manage without it." Class is ending now, but the man with the deep voice-- Clive--is still lurking. In my experience, there's always a May I ask a final question? student who doesn't want to go. But this one is unnerving me. "I was just wondering," he says. Then he stops for a minute, his eyes darting to the blank space on my wedding ring finger. "Are you hungry, by any chance?" He laughs casually, as if aware he is being slightly too forward on the strength of a short acquaintance in which I am the teacher and he is the pupil. "I don't know about you," he adds, "but I didn't have time to eat anything after work before coming here." His hand reaches into his pocket as he talks. Sweat breaks out round my neck. Then he brings out a watch and glances at it. The face appears to have a Disney cartoon on it. I'm both relieved and intrigued. But not enough to accept his invitation. "Thanks," I say lightly, "but I'm expected back at home." He looks disappointed. "OK. I understand." Turning round, I tidy up the spare glass offcuts, putting one of them away for later. On paper, Clive seems like someone my mother would approve of. Nice manners. Seemingly educated. A man of means, judging from his well-cut jacket. A good head of light brown hair, flicked back off a wide forehead. "Maybe you're being too choosy," my mother is always saying, albeit kindly. "Sometimes, you have to take a risk in life, darling. Mister Right can come in all shapes and forms." Was this how she'd felt about marrying my father? I'm stung by that familiar pang of loss. If only he was still here. Clive has gone now. All I want to do is go back to my flat in Elephant and Castle, put on some Ella Fitzgerald, knock up a tinned tuna salad, take a hot shower to wash out the day, then curl up on the sofa with a good book and try to forget that the rent is due next week. Peeling off my rubber gloves, I wash my hands carefully in the corner sink. Then, slipping on my fluffy blue mohair thrift store cardigan, I make my way downstairs, pausing at reception to hand in the classroom key. "How's it going?" asks the woman at the desk. I put on my cheerful face. "Great, thanks. You?" She shrugs. "Fine. I've got to rearrange the noticeboard. Someone's just dropped this off. Not sure that anyone will be interested. What do you think?" I read the poster. WANTED: ARTIST IN RESIDENCE FOR HMP ARCHVILLE (A MEN'S OPEN PRISON). ONE HOUR FROM CENTRAL LONDON. THREE DAYS A WEEK. TRAVEL EXPENSES PAID. COMPETITIVE REMUNERATION. APPLICATIONS TO archville@hmps.gsi.gov.uk   My skin breaks out into goose bumps. "You wouldn't catch me in one of those places," sniffs the receptionist. Her words bring me back to myself, and I fumble for a pen. "You're not really interested, are you, Alison?" I continue writing down the e-mail address. "Maybe." "Rather you than me." The pros and cons whirl round in my head as I make my way out into the street. Steady income. Travel costs. Enough to stop me worrying over my bank balance every month. But I've never been inside a prison before, and the thought terrifies me. My mouth is dry. My heart is thumping. I wish I'd never seen the ad. I pass a park with teenagers smoking on the swings. One is laughing, head tossed back in a happy, carefree laugh. Just like my sister's. For her, life was a ball. Me? I was the serious one. Earnest. Even before the accident, I remember a certain mysterious heaviness in my chest. I always wanted to make things right. To do the best I could in life. The word "conscientious" featured on every one of my school reports. But there are some things you can't make right. "It wasn't your fault," my mother had said, time and time again. Yet, when I replay it in my mind, I keep thinking of things I could have done. And now it's too late. I'm walking briskly through an evening market. Silk scarves flutter in the breeze. Turquoise. Pink. Primrose yellow. On the next stall, overripe tomatoes are going for 50p a bag. "You won't get cheaper, love," says the stallholder, who is wearing black fingerless gloves. I ignore him and take a left then a right. I go down a road of identical Victorian terraces with overflowing wheelie bins and beer bottles in the streets. Some homes here have curtains, while others have boarded-up windows. Mine has shutters. There are three name stickers by three bells: my landlord's, the other tenant's, and a blank--mine. I reach for my key and move into the main hall where the post is left. Nothing for me. The second key lets me into my ground-floor one-bedroom apartment. I'd have liked a room on the second floor, as it would have felt safer, but I couldn't find one at the time, and I was desperate. Now I am used to it, although I always make sure the windows are locked before I leave the house. Shutting the door, I kick off my shoes and chuck my bag on to the secondhand beige Ikea sofa. The yearning starts inside me. Hurry. Fast. My hands dive down for the sliver of blue in my jacket pocket like an alcoholic might reach for the bottle. To think that something so small can do such damage! Today it's the turn of my right wrist. Far enough from the artery, but deeper than yesterday's. I gasp as the jagged edge scores my skin, and a dark thrill flashes through me followed by the pain. I need both. But it's no good. It doesn't hurt enough. Never does. For it's the cuts we hide inside that really do the damage. They rub and they niggle and they bruise and they bleed. And as the pain and anxiety grow in your head, they become far more dangerous than a visible open wound. Until eventually, you have to do something. And now that time has come. Excerpted from Blood Sisters by Jane Corry All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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