The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley

Release day May 5, 2015!
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Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings.

Eighty years earlier in Rio’s Belle Epoque of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to complete his vision. Izabela—passionate and longing to see the world—convinces her father to allow her to accompany him and his family to Europe before she is married. There, at Paul Landowski’s studio and in the heady, vibrant cafes of Montparnasse, she meets ambitious young sculptor Laurent Brouilly, and knows at once that her life will never be the same again.

In this sweeping, epic tale of love and loss—the first in a unique, spellbinding series of seven novels—Lucinda Riley showcases her storytelling talent like never before.
3 stars***

I loved the beginning of this book where we get to meet all of the sisters as they slowly return to their childhood home fondly named Atlantis. I loved Pa Salt and the mystery that surrounded him and why he decided to adopt 6 little girls and name them after the stars. Really loved the mythology connection. His passing came with many questions as to who he really was and why he kept so many secrets. That is the part of the story that had me intrigued and turning the pages. I also loved the inclusion of the History of Brazil and the creation of the Christ the Redeemer statue. Very interesting...
Unfortunately, the story kind of lost me when the attention fell to only the story of Maia(present) and her great-great-grandmother, Izabella(past). Even though the story of Izabela from the past was a very interesting one, it wasn't the story that I wanted to hear. I would've liked to have followed the story of Maia's mother and hopefully learned how Maia ended up being adopted by Pa Salt. Perhaps the moral of the story is that adopted children will always live their lives with a perpetual question mark as to why they were given up. If that was the point, then I guess that part of the story was successfully portrayed.
I was very disappointed that we didn't get to spend more time with the other sisters. We only got to meet them briefly as they came home for a very quick visit after Pa Salt died. And then the story focus shifted to only Maia. I know there will be future installments to the series but with the book being as long as it was, I was surprised that we never re-visited them.
I was also disappointed that after spending 630 pages with these characters we are left with so many unresolved questions. It was a little to open-ended for me. I needed more closure.
I feel like this book should've been divided into two separate books. Izabella's story really should have been a book on it's own. Then maybe Maia's story could've been more fleshed out. As it was the ending felt very rushed to find some sort of HEA for her. And, without revealing any spoilers, I was very disappointed in the choice she made that left her feeling hollow and wanting to seclude herself on the island. Why would she do such a thing when she was surrounded by so many people that loved her and would've helped. That part of the story really left me feeling a little bewildered.
So, some parts I loved, others not so much... but, I am intrigued by the story enough to move on to the next book in the series when it comes out. Hopefully, we will get some of the unanswered questions resolved.
This is not a book for anyone who does not have some reader patience, it's a long one! And, you need to have some fondness for Historical Romance as well since half the book takes place in the past.

ARC was provided by ATRIA publishing via netgalley 

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