I read this book for the first time back in the summer of 2015 and I remember how much I loved reading this book and especially how it made me fall in love with a new author.
I recently read the latest Seven Sisters novel, The Moon Sister, and was thinking how much I love this series as a whole and will be so sad to see it come to an end. I have all the books but with my review schedule, it’s often hard to fit in rereads of old favorites.
Well thanks to Audible, I don’t have to worry about fitting in old favorites. I have recently become such a huge fan of audiobooks because of how much driving I do with my kid. I mean it’s not like we do a TON of driving, but a couple of trips to the store or running errands throughout the day can often add up to a lot of listening! And frankly I am sick to death of the radio so I thought why not try Audible?
I splurged and got the $6 Romance package add on and found that the first Seven Sisters book was on there for free! I downloaded it and started listening while I waited for my new month credit.
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 (summary from Goodreads)
One of the things I remember from my first time reading this book was how exotic and romantic the location was. I have never been to Brazil but after reading this novel, I definitely want to. I had forgotten how much I adore Maia’s story. I love all the sisters for different reasons, but as the oldest, Maia’s story holds such a special place in my heart as I am also the oldest child.
In this reread as well as the first time through, I was totally cheering for Maia and Floriano. Theirs is a tender and delicate romance that I felt was so beautiful. Throughout the novel, I was most eager to see their story unfold. However, this time while I was still focused on Maia’s romance, I took the time to appreciate Belle’s and Laurent’s romance.
The historical contrast between Belle and Laurent’s romance and Maia’s and Floriano’s was pitch perfect. I loved seeing the similarities and contrasts between the two, but I felt like this time around I had a better appreciation and interest in the historical romance angle.
The amount of historical detail in this book is incredible, I loved the building of the Christ the Redeemer statue as the backdrop in this one. I had forgotten how much I loved it and how well it worked in this book.
I thought the narrator was ok. I thought she did a good job trying to stay true to Maia’s ‘voice’ and character in this book, at times she was a little flat but as the story picked up I could see that she really got into the story itself and provided a colorful voice to the narration.
After re-reading this one, I decided to download the second Seven Sisters book to listen to just for fun. It’s nice being able to listen to a story that I already know but hearing the story in a completely new way.
Side note, this is my favorite cover in the series so far. It’s vibrant and beautiful!
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