The Good Sister by Diana Diamond
Told in mostly 3rd person omniscient, the story follows two sisters, Catherine and Jennifer, and their mentor, Peter. Both intelligent and accomplished, all three are the heads of a multi-billion dollar company. The first chapter and about three others are told in first person. After reading the first chapter, I had to take a moment. The person speaking isn’t named, but it is definitely one of the sisters and she is off. By ‘off’, I mean her view of the world is not-quite-right. She defines sibling rivalry as the continued attempts of her sister to ruin her life and her attempts to make sure she doesn’t succeed.
I enjoyed this insight into one of the character’s mind, but it was more intriguing that I didn’t know which one it was. I had my suspicions about one-fourth of the way through the book, but I second guessed myself later.
What I liked?
The book is divided into 4 parts and each part starts with a monologue or stream of consciousness from the not-quite-right-in-the-head sister. For the first 2 or 3 parts, I had suspicions, but I really couldn’t say for sure which one was talking. I love suspense/drama type stories and this had action, emotion, and mystery surrounding which sister was the voice of the first chapter and ultimately the one that was trying to kill her other sister.
What I didn’t care for?
The location changes – it’s just a personal preference. It’s necessary for the story and the characters had the means to do so, so why not go to Italy, Ireland, and bounce back and forth between New York and Los Angeles. It’s not a negative for the story, it’s just not my preference that characters bounce around the globe.
Words I had to look up?
Word choice is important to a writer. There’s this need to be precise but accessible to your audience. Some genres have a recommendation for the number of words a novel should have and that means choosing the right word is important to maintain your word count goal. Sometimes the word selected is not in my vocabulary. There was only one in this story and I thought I would share.
Prurient – having or encouraging an excessive interest in sexual matters.
The fact that the author didn’t make me run to the dictionary every page is a positive. It’s nice to have an extensive vocabulary, but I don’t believe it’s in the author’s best interest to show off.
I liked the book. I was surprised to learn that the name Diana Diamond is a pseudonym for William P. Kennedy. I would be interested to read another book by him under his real name. Was the pseudonym only to draw a particular reader to the book or does his writing style change depending on his pen name?