The Sister Surprise was refreshing, uplifting, and entertaining chick-lit with City girl to farm life arc and great Scottish getaway.
The Sister Surprise by Abigail Mann
Publication Date : March 25th 2021
Publisher : One More Chapter
Genre : Chick-Lit
Pages : 384
Disclaimer : I received e-copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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Journalist Ava takes a DNA test hoping to discover her roots. Instead, she finds out she has a half-sister … whilst on a live stream watched by 100,000 people. Her boss thinks it’s the perfect click-bait story. Ava just wants to go to Moira’s tiny Scottish village and meet her.
But when Ava arrives undercover as a volunteer farmhand, she realises Moira – who’s her pig-wrestling, chatterbox polar opposite – might not be delighted by the news. And the longer Ava stays in Kilroch, with its inappropriately attractive reverend and ties to her hidden family past, the more complicated this surprise is going to get…
The Sister Surprise is the perfect funny, heartwarming read for fans of Marian Keyes, Beth O’Leary, Sophie Ranald and Mhairi McFarlane.
The Sister Surprise was heart-warming and fun chic-lit that revolved around Ava and DNA test that changed her life. The story was about family, friendship, finding yourself and small-town farm life.
Writing was witty, entertaining and vivid. The story was written in first person narrative from Ava’s POV. Setting of Scottish Highlands was picturesque and lovely.
Plot was interesting and fun that started with Ava’s relation with her mother and feeling anxious for live article she had in line about DNA kit and it’s result being revealed online. She never knew her father and her mum evaded the topic every time she brought it up. When she found out she had half sister, Moira, in Scotland her boss thinks it’s a clickbait story and send her to find her half sister and record her experience for the blog. She decided to volunteer farm in exchange for accommodation and arrived in small town Kilorch with only 300 population. As she get more involved with farm life, town people, finding Moira, things get more complicated with her secret of her main reason coming so far from home to the town that wasn’t touristy.
It was interesting to read how she would meet her sister, how she would find farm life, what drama her secret and work project would cause and how she would tell Moira she was her sister and how Moira would react to it.
First half of the book was all about building story and character. I did struggle a bit at some points in this part but second half was perfect and loved every moment in this part.
Characters were lovely. I enjoyed reading about all characters in this. Both Ava and Moira were my most favourite characters. They were both so different from each other, one city girl and other country girl but with similar looks and some of the habits.
Ava was clumpy, accident prone, lively, lovely, and independent journalist with penchant for highlighter pen and organising documents or work. Her reaction to DNA test was genuine and realistic. I loved her for thinking about her mother first. I could understand why she kept the result and her journey to Kilorch a secret. I get Ava’s feeling being out of country, away from home for the first time. She was developed character and yet it was amazing to see how much Kilorch and working on farm changed her and her life style.
Moira was chatterbox, livelier and free spirited, and like synopsis said, pig-wrestling version of Ava. Her worries for her mother were so similar to Ava. I enjoyed reading about her life in Kilorch, her struggles and dreams. The more I read about her the more I liked her. her reaction to Ava’s secret and lies was natural. I loved how she took it all.
Ava’s relationship with her mother was lovely. She wanted to know about her father all her life but it was great to see she never was desperate. I enjoyed conversations between them and their relationship developed by the end of the book.
Best part of the book was Ava time on farm and in Kilorch. It was hilarious to read antics of farm animals. I enjoyed reading more about the Kilorch, its ups and downs, small town community, and how they helped each other and gave things in exchange for other things not money, and how much work it takes to keep the farm running. Dialogues were fun and enjoyed the conversations between characters.
This wasn’t big on romance and it wasn’t at the centre of the book but it was sweet to read about Moira and Kian (farm owner for whom Ava worked for her stay) and Ava and Ross (the hot church minister). It added more fun to the story.
Twists and turns were well written. Most of them were predictable but some managed to surprise me. Climax with the way Moira found out about Ava’s secret was predictable but what came next was shocking. I loved the way they both talked about it, how things got settled, and confusions and misunderstandings were cleared. End was perfectly uplifting and lovely.
Why 4 stars-
Like I said, I did struggle a bit in first half of the book. I found myself getting easily distracted at some points.
Overall, The Sister Surprise was refreshing, uplifting, and entertaining chick-lit was great plot, characters and setting.
I recommend this if you like,
City girl to farm life arc
countryside small town setting
Good sister relationship
Light romance but not centre of the story
fun and hilarious moments and dialogues
Thank you for reading! Let’s chat…
What do you think about this book and review? Have you read this already or any book by the same author? Which is your favourite book set in Scotland?
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