Author: Lucinda Riley
Provided Synopsis: 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.
Review: After the sudden death of her adoptive father, Maia is provided clues should she decide to look into her past to discover where she came from. Thus, the story takes us to Brazil during the late 1920s at the time of the building of Christ the Redeemer and the life of the young woman who lives in the shadow of the mountain. Izabela is a beauty, and her father, to secure her a good match in order to raise the status of their immigrant family, uses her outer appearance to his advantage. A trip to Paris before her wedding changes Izabela, however, as she meets a young sculptor and the two fall in love. As their story unfolds Maia comes to learn more about who she is and how she must change in the future in order to live her own life.
Romance plays a large role in this story, but I unfortunately found the romances of the past and the present to be weak. Izabela and Laurent told me they were in love, rather than allow me to feel much of anything; Maia and Floriano had the most stilted conversations that I never saw what made him appeal to her at all. The love story of the past was also something that I had read numerous times before.
The Seven Sisters serves as the first of what is to be a series about Maia and her five other sisters (yes, there is mysteriously only six of them), who were all adopted by a rich man they come to realize they knew nothing about. He has named each one of them after The Seven Sisters of the Pleiades, and the mystery surrounding him and why he adopted all of these girls is intriguing enough for me to lament how it was barely touched upon in Maia’s tale. If the next book in the series was to allow the next sister, who I presume will be Ally, to discover her past in a much more compact storyline (because this book did tend to drag) and focus more upon the mystery of Pa Salt then I will give it a shot. Otherwise, I can only recommend The Seven Sisters to those who truly love the author, want to visit Brazil in a story, or who are okay with romances that felt cookie-cutter