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The Better Sister Reviews

The Better Sister by Alafair Burke

The Better Sister

Alafair Burke

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Harper
Publisher: Harper
Publication date: 16 Apr 2019
ISBN: 9780062853370

Though Chloe was the younger of the two Taylor sisters, she always seemed to be the one in charge. She was the honor roll student with big dreams and an even bigger work ethic. Nicky--always restless and more than a little reckless--was the opposite of her ambitious little sister. She floated from job to job and man to man, and stayed close to home in Cleveland.

For a while, it seemed that both sisters had found happiness. Chloe earned a scholarship to an Ivy League school and moved to New York City, where she landed a coveted publishing job. Nicky married promising young attorney Adam Macintosh and gave birth to a baby boy they named Ethan. The Taylor sisters became virtual strangers.

Now, more than fifteen years later, their lives are drastically different--and Chloe is married to Adam. When he's murdered by an intruder at the couple's East Hampton beach house, Chloe reluctantly allows her teenage stepson's biological mother--her estranged sister, Nicky--back into her life. But when the police begin to treat Ethan as a suspect in his father's death, the two sisters are forced to unite . . . and to confront the truth behind family secrets they have tried to bury in the past.

4 stars out of 5
Alison Flood
23 Apr 2019

"another classy slice of psychological drama from Alafair Burke"

The Better Sister is another classy slice of psychological drama from Alafair Burke. Chloe Taylor, a prize-winning publisher, is married to her estranged sister Nicky’s former husband, Adam, and has brought up their son, Ethan. When Adam is murdered in the family’s home, Ethan falls under suspicion – “Whatever test she had in mind for how a kid should act when he hears his father’s been murdered, Ethan had failed it, and now the police were going to put our family under a microscope” – and the troubled Nicky comes back into her life.


4 stars out of 5
21 Apr 2019

"a highly accomplished and absorbing blend of psychological and courtroom thriller"

Although the odd hole in the plot is discernible, for the most part this is a highly accomplished and absorbing blend of psychological and courtroom thriller. Burke sets herself an exacting test of technique — Chloe’s first-person account has to at once destroy her in our eyes and solicit our admiring complicity in her flinty efforts to regain control of her life — and somehow pulls it off. A film adaptation must be on the cards.