The Seven Sisters: Book One by Lucinda RileyThe Seven Sisters: Book One by Lucinda Riley

The Seven Sisters: Book One

byLucinda Riley

Paperback | October 6, 2015

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The first book in a major new series from #1 internationally bestselling author Lucinda Riley, author of The Midnight Rose—hailed as “an extraordinary story [and] a complex, deeply engaging tale filled with fascinating characters” (Library Journal).

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 sister is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue that 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.

Eighty years earlier in the Rio 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 new series—Lucinda Riley showcases her storytelling talents like never before.
Title:The Seven Sisters: Book OneFormat:PaperbackDimensions:480 pages, 8.25 × 5.31 × 1.2 inPublished:October 6, 2015Publisher:Atria BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1476789134

ISBN - 13:9781476789132

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful!! What a wonderful book...I loved the time and places in history and the history of the Christ the Redeemer statue. I am a fan of this authors, once I pick up one her books I struggle to set it down, they are so engaging!! I like how many items regarding Maia's backgroud were revealed, but there are still a few mysteries and I hope despite the fact that each book features a different sister we continue to get updates on the other sisters and learn a little more about Pa Salt, I have a theory about his story, I am intrigued to see if I am anywhere close as the series continues... I love the concept behind this series and I can't wait to read each of the sister's stories, I think we are in for a trip around the world. A definite downside is waiting a year between each book. I am very much looking forward to Ally's story.
Date published: 2017-04-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic This book was the first I read by Lucinda Riley, I have since read every single novel by her and loved every one. I couldn't put this down.
Date published: 2017-02-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from First Book In this Amazing Series! Just overall an amazing novel! The book keeps you wanting to read more and just want to get your hands on the next installment of the book! First Book of the series "The Seven Sisters". Can't wait to get my hands on more Lucinda Riley material! Its based on a story of 6 Adopted Sisters; and focuses on the Sister Maia who travels to Brazil to find her story. Story is done beautifully in two perspectives - and Maia meets her maternal great-grandmother Izabella. Love story and finding out her path; can't wait read the second story "The Storm Sister" (Book 2) which is available now, and Third Book "The Shadow Sister" to be released in 2017.
Date published: 2016-11-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved It! Intriguing, heartwarming, and incredibly captivating! This is the first book in “The Seven Sisters” series and boy is it a good one. This is the story of Maia, a young woman who embarks on a journey to discover her parentage and ancestry after recently suffering the loss of her beloved, adoptive father. It is predominantly set in Rio, Brazil during both the late 1920s, as well as present day, and is told from two perspectives, Maia and Maia’s maternal great-grandmother, Izabela. The story, itself, is a sweeping saga filled with self discovery, family, loss, determination, strength, grief, heartbreak, happiness, and everlasting love; as well as an in-depth look into the culture, history and landmarks of Rio, complete with the construction of the iconic Christ the Redeemer and the boom and subsequent demise of the coffee industry. The prose is precise, poetic, and exquisitely descriptive. And the characters are multi-faceted, genuine, empathetic, and engaging. I have to admit I was a little skeptical at first about the size of this novel, but don’t be daunted. This is truly a powerful, fascinating story that will may you cry, make you smile and will have you mesmerized from start to finish. I can honestly say that after reading this novel, The Storm Sister (Book #2) available now, and The Shadow Sister (Book #3) releasing soon, will be jumping to the top of your “to read” pile.
Date published: 2016-11-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from First book in series! The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley is the first book in the Seven Sisters series. Maia D’Apliese is in London when she gets the news that Papa Salt (her adoptive father) has passed away. Maia is one of six children that her father adopted during his travels and then brought home to Atlantis. Atlantis is their home in Lake Geneva, Switzerland. Maia is the eldest of the six girls. The others are Alcyone (Ally), Asterope (Star), Celeano (CeCe), Taygete (Tiggy), and Electra. They are named after the star cluster the Seven Sisters. There is a seventh name, but their father never brought home a seventh girl. The lawyer gives each girl a letter from their father and shows them an armillary sphere. It was made special and there is one band for each girl. On the band is the girl’s name, a saying, and coordinates. The girls (well, all but one) never asked Papa Salt about their origins and now he is giving them an opportunity. Maia’s letter also contains a little tile with names written on it. Maia decides to look into her birth parents and sets off for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The coordinates lead her to the house of the Carvalho family. With the help of Floriano Quintelas (an author for whom Maia translated his work from Portuguese to French), Maia sets out to find out her origins. The story goes from 2007 (which is present for Maia) into the past as Maia reads letters from her ancestors. I found The Seven Sisters to be a long, long book. The author includes many descriptive paragraphs (of Atlantis, Rio, statues, etc.) which I started skimming over after a while (the book just seemed to go on forever). The Seven Sisters is basically a romance novel with Maia’s search for her family as well as Maia finally getting confidence (and believing in herself) thrown in. I give The Seven Sisters 3 out of 5 stars. I think The Seven Sisters could have been much better with some editing. I thought this novel would tell the story of all the sisters (at the beginning), but it only told Maia’s story (I imagine that there will be five more books). Overall, it was a satisfactory novel. I just kept hoping for a twist about Papa Salt to be thrown in (clues that he was still alive). I received a complimentary copy of The Seven Sisters from NetGalley (and the publisher) in exchange for an honest review.
Date published: 2016-03-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A spectacular start to a brilliant new series Every once in a while, I stumble on a spectacular book, one that will become a longtime favourite of mine, one I will gush about over and over and over again. This is one such book. It is the story of 6 adopted sisters - yes I know the title says that it is seven, but I think that secret will be revealed in a subsequent novel. When their adopted father dies, he summons them to their enchanted castle-like home on the shores of Lake Geneva Switzerland. From there, the sisters will individually embark upon their own stories in future novels. And I love this premise! This first novel is about Maia who travels to Rio de Janiero Brazil to discover the secrets of her roots. There, she will find the love of family, discover the dark secrets of her past, and fall in love, all during the creation of the Christ the Redeemer's statue. Totally engrossing, completely enchanting, the author peels back the secretive layers of the past, revealing a story so poignant, so compelling, I was hard pressed to put it down. Utterly credible characters literally come to vibrant life. Maia is courageous, kind, and savvy, a true role model of a human being. And there there is the story of Izabel, her ancestor, who has an engrossing past history that is intricately weaved with that of Maia's. The author weaves history and fact and details of the land and culture so expertly that this is indeed a very rich read. This is definitely a must read book - it will appeal to contemporary readers as well as those who love historical fiction. I'm eagerly awaiting the next installment. This is one series I will anxiously await. That's how much I loved this book!
Date published: 2015-06-09

Read from the Book

The Seven Sisters 1 I will always remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I heard that my father had died. I was sitting in the pretty garden of my old school friend’s townhouse in London, a copy of The Penelopiad open but unread in my lap, enjoying the June sun while Jenny collected her little boy from kindergarten. I felt calm and I appreciated what a good idea it had been to get away. When my cell phone rang and I glanced at the screen and saw it was Marina, I was studying the burgeoning clematis unfolding its fragile pink buds, giving birth to a riot of color, encouraged by its sunny midwife. “Hello, Ma, how are you?” I said, hoping she could hear the sun’s warmth in my voice. “Maia, I . . .” Marina paused, and in that instant I knew something was dreadfully wrong. “What is it?” “Maia, there’s no other way to tell you this, but your father had a heart attack here at home yesterday afternoon, and in the early hours of this morning, he . . . passed away.” I remained silent as a million different and ridiculous thoughts passed through my mind. The first one being that Marina, for some unknown reason, had decided to play some form of a tasteless joke on me. “You’re the first of the sisters I’ve told, Maia, as you’re the eldest. And I wanted to ask you whether you would prefer to tell the rest of your sisters yourself, or leave it to me.” “I . . .” Still no words would form coherently on my lips, as I began to realize that Marina, dear, beloved Marina, the woman who had been the closest thing to a mother I’d ever known, would never tell me this if it weren’t true. So it had to be. And at that moment, my entire world shifted on its axis. “Maia, please, tell me you’re all right. This really is the most dreadful phone call I’ve ever had to make, but what else could I do? God only knows how the other girls are going to take it.” It was then that I heard the suffering in her voice and understood she’d needed to tell me as much for her own sake as mine. So I switched into my normal comfort zone, which was to comfort others. “Of course I’ll tell my sisters if you’d prefer, Ma, although I’m not positive where they all are. Isn’t Ally away training for a regatta?” And, as we continued to discuss where each of my younger sisters was, as though we needed to get them together for a birthday party rather than to mourn the death of our father, the entire conversation took on a sense of the surreal. “When should we plan on having the funeral, do you think? What with Electra being in Los Angeles and Ally somewhere on the high seas, surely we can’t think about it until next week at the earliest,” I said. “Well”—I heard the hesitation in Marina’s voice—“perhaps the best thing is for you and I to discuss it when you arrive back home. There really is no rush now, Maia, so if you’d prefer to continue the last couple of days of your holiday in London, that would be fine. There’s nothing more to be done for him here . . .” Her voice trailed off miserably. “Ma, of course I’ll be on the next flight that I can get to Geneva! I’ll call the airline immediately and let you know what time the flight is. And in the meantime, I’ll do my best to get in touch with everyone.” “I’m so terribly sorry, chérie,” Marina sighed. “I know how you adored him.” “Yes,” I said, the strange calm that I had felt while we discussed arrangements suddenly deserting me like the stillness before a violent thunderstorm. “I’ll call you later, when I know what time I’ll be arriving.” “In the meantime, please take care of yourself, Maia. You’ve had a terrible shock.” I pressed the button to end the call and before the storm clouds in my heart opened up and drowned me, I went upstairs to my bedroom to retrieve my flight documents and contact the airline. As I waited in the calling queue, I glanced at the bed where I’d woken up that morning to simply another day. And I thanked God that human beings don’t have the power to see into the future. The officious woman who eventually answered wasn’t helpful and I knew, as she spoke of full flights, financial penalties, and credit card details, that my emotional dam was ready to burst. Finally, once I’d been grudgingly granted a seat on the four o’clock flight to Geneva, which would mean throwing everything into my luggage immediately and taking a taxi to Heathrow, I sat down on the bed and stared for so long at the sprigged wallpaper that the pattern began to dance in front of my eyes. “He’s gone,” I whispered, “gone forever. I’ll never see him again.” Expecting the spoken words to provoke a raging torrent of tears, I was surprised that nothing actually happened. Instead, I sat there numbly, my head still full of practicalities. The thought of telling my sisters—all five of them—was horrendous and I searched through my emotional filing system for the one I would call first. Inevitably, it was Tiggy, the second youngest of the six of us girls and the sibling to whom I’d always felt closest. With trembling fingers, I scrolled down to find her number and dialed it. When her voice mail answered, I didn’t know what to say, other than a few garbled words asking her to call me back urgently. She was currently somewhere in the Scottish Highlands working at a center for orphaned and sick wild deer. As for the other sisters . . . I knew their reactions would vary, outwardly at least, from indifference to a dramatic outpouring of emotion. Given that I wasn’t currently sure quite which way I would go on the scale of grief when I did speak to any of them, I decided to take the coward’s way out and texted them all, asking them to call me as soon as they could. Then I hurriedly packed my luggage and walked down the narrow stairs to the kitchen to write a note for Jenny explaining why I’d had to leave in such a hurry. Deciding to take my chances hailing a black cab on the London streets, I left the house, walking briskly around the leafy Chelsea crescent just as any normal person would do on any normal day. I believe I actually said hello to someone walking a dog when I passed him in the street and managed a smile. No one would know what had just happened to me, I thought as I managed to find a taxi on the busy King’s Road and climbed inside it, directing the driver to Heathrow. Nobody would know. Five hours later, just as the sun was making its leisurely descent over Lake Geneva, I arrived at our private pontoon on the shore, from where I would make the last leg of my journey home. Christian was already waiting for me in our sleek Riva motor launch. And from the look on his face, I could see he’d heard the news. “How are you, Mademoiselle Maia?” he asked, sympathy in his blue eyes as he helped me aboard. “I’m . . . glad I’m here,” I answered neutrally as I walked to the back of the boat and sat down on the cushioned cream leather seat that curved around the stern. Usually, I would sit with Christian in the passenger seat at the front as we sped across the calm waters on the twenty-minute journey home. But today, I felt a need for privacy. As Christian started the powerful engine, the sun glinted off the windows of the fabulous houses that lined Lake Geneva’s shores. I’d often felt when I made this journey that it was the entrance to an ethereal world disconnected from reality. The world of Pa Salt. I noticed the first vague evidence of tears pricking at my eyes as I thought of my father’s pet name, which I’d coined when I was young. He’d always loved sailing and often when he returned to me at our lakeside home, he had smelled of fresh air and the sea. Somehow, the name had stuck, and as my younger siblings had joined me, they’d called him that too. As the launch picked up speed, the warm wind streaming through my hair, I thought of the hundreds of previous journeys I’d made to Atlantis, Pa Salt’s fairy-tale castle. Inaccessible by land, due to its position on a private promontory with a crescent of mountainous terrain rising up steeply behind it, the only method of reaching it was by boat. The nearest neighbors were miles away along the lake, so Atlantis was our own private kingdom, set apart from the rest of the world. Everything it contained within it was magical . . . as if Pa Salt and we, his daughters, had lived there under an enchantment. Each one of us had been chosen by Pa Salt as a baby, adopted from one of the four corners of the globe, and brought home to live under his protection. And each one of us, as Pa always liked to say, was special, different . . . we were his girls. He’d named us all after the Seven Sisters, his favorite star cluster. I was Maia, being the first and eldest. When I was young, he’d take me up to his glass-domed observatory perched on top of the house; lift me up with his big, strong hands; and have me look through his telescope at the night sky. “There they are,” he’d say as he aligned the lens, “look, Maia, and see the beautiful shining star you’re named after.” And I would see. As he explained the legends that were the source of my own and my sisters’ names, I’d hardly listen but simply enjoy his arms tight around me, fully aware of this rare, special moment when I had him all to myself. Marina, whom I’d presumed as I grew up was my mother—I’d even shortened her name to “Ma”—I’d realized eventually was a glorified nursemaid, employed by Pa to take care of me, because he was away so much. But of course, Marina was so much more than that to all of us girls. She was the one who had wiped our tears, berated us for sloppy table manners, and steered us calmly through the difficult transition from childhood to womanhood. She had always been there, and I could not have loved Ma any more if she had given birth to me. During the first three years of my childhood, Marina and I had lived alone together in our magical castle on the shores of Lake Geneva as Pa Salt traveled the seven seas to conduct his business. And then, one by one, my sisters began to arrive. Usually, Pa would bring me a present when he returned home. I’d hear the motor launch arriving, run across the sweeping lawns and through the trees to the jetty to greet him. Like any child, I’d want to see what he had hidden inside his magical pockets to delight me. On one particular occasion, however, after he’d presented me with an exquisitely carved wooden reindeer, which he assured me came from Saint Nicholas’s workshop at the North Pole itself, a uniformed woman had stepped out from behind him, and in her arms was a bundle wrapped in a shawl. And the bundle was moving. “This time, Maia, I’ve brought you back the most special gift. You have a new sister.” He’d smiled at me as he lifted me into his arms. “Now you’ll no longer be lonely when I have to go away.” After that, life had changed. The maternity nurse who Pa had brought with him disappeared after a few weeks and Marina took over the care of my baby sister. I couldn’t understand how the red, squalling thing which often smelled and diverted attention from me could possibly be a gift. Until one morning, when Alcyone—named after the second star of the Seven Sisters—smiled at me from her high chair over breakfast. “She knows who I am,” I said in wonder to Marina, who was feeding her. “Of course she does, Maia dear. You’re her big sister, the one she’ll look up to. It’ll be up to you to teach her lots of things that you know and she doesn’t.” And as she grew, she became my shadow, following me everywhere, which pleased and irritated me in equal measure. “Maia, wait me!” she’d demand loudly as she tottered along behind me. Even though Ally—as I’d nicknamed her—had originally been an unwanted addition to my dreamlike existence at Atlantis, I could not have asked for a sweeter, more loveable companion. She rarely, if ever, cried and when she was a toddler there were none of the temper tantrums associated with children of her age. With her tumbling red-gold curls and her big blue eyes, Ally had a natural charm that drew people to her, including our father. On the occasions Pa Salt was home from one of his long trips abroad, I’d watch how his eyes lit up when he saw her, in a way I was sure they didn’t for me. And whereas I was shy and reticent with strangers, Ally had an openness and trust that endeared her to everyone. She was also one of those children who seemed to excel at everything—particularly music, and any sport to do with water. I remember Pa teaching her to swim in our vast pool, and whereas I had struggled to master the technique to stay afloat and hated being underwater, my little sister took to it like a mermaid. And while I struggled to find my sea legs even on the Titan, Pa’s huge and beautiful oceangoing yacht, when we were at home, Ally would beg him to take her out in the small Laser dinghy he kept moored on our private lakeside jetty. I’d crouch in the cramped stern of the boat while Pa and Ally took control as we sped across the glassy waters. Their joint passion for sailing bonded them in a way I felt I could never replicate. Although Ally had studied music at the Conservatoire de Musique de Genève and was a highly talented flautist who could have pursued a career with a professional orchestra, since leaving music school she had chosen the life of a full-time sailor. She now competed regularly in regattas and had represented Switzerland on a number of occasions. When Ally was almost three, Pa arrived home with our next sibling, whom he named Asterope, after the third of the Seven Sisters. “But we will call her Star,” Pa had said, smiling at Marina, Ally, and me as we studied the newest addition to the family lying in the bassinet. By now I was attending lessons every morning with a private tutor, so my newest sister’s arrival affected me less than Ally’s had. Then, only six months later, another baby girl joined us, a twelve-week-old named Celaeno, whose name Ally immediately shortened to CeCe. There was only three months’ age difference between Star and CeCe, and from as far back as I can remember, the two of them forged a close bond. They were like twins, talking in their own private baby language, some of which the two of them still used to communicate. They inhabited their own private world, to the exclusion of us others, and even now, in their twenties, nothing had changed. CeCe, the younger of the two, was always the boss, her stocky body and nut-brown skin in direct contrast to the pale, whippet-thin Star. The following year, another baby arrived, Taygete—whom I nicknamed “Tiggy” because her short, dark hair had sprouted out at strange angles on her tiny head and reminded me of the hedgehog in Beatrix Potter’s famous story. I was by now seven years old, and I’d bonded with Tiggy from the first moment I set eyes on her. She was the most delicate of us all, suffering one childhood illness after another, but even as an infant, she was stoic and undemanding. When yet another baby girl, named Electra, was brought home by Pa a few months later, an exhausted Marina would often ask me if I would mind sitting with Tiggy, who was continually suffering with a fever or croup. Eventually diagnosed as asthmatic, she rarely left the nursery to be wheeled outside in the pram, in case the cold air and heavy fog of a Geneva winter affected her chest. Electra was the youngest of my siblings and her name suited her perfectly. By now, I was used to little babies and their demands, but my youngest sister was without doubt the most challenging of them all. Everything about her was electric; her innate ability to switch in an instant from dark to light and vice versa meant that our previously calm home rang daily with high-pitched screams. Her temper tantrums resonated through my childhood consciousness and as she grew older, her fiery personality did not mellow. Privately, Ally, Tiggy, and I had our own nickname for her and she was known between the three of us as “Tricky.” We all walked on eggshells around her, wishing to do nothing to set off a lightning change of mood. I can honestly say there were moments when I loathed her for the disruption she brought to Atlantis. And yet, when Electra knew one of us was in trouble, she was the first to offer help and support. Just as she was capable of huge selfishness, her generosity on other occasions was equally pronounced. After Electra, the entire household was expecting the arrival of the seventh sister. After all, we’d been named after Pa Salt’s favorite star cluster and we wouldn’t be complete without her. We even knew her name—Merope—and wondered who she would be. But a year went past, and then another, and another, and no more babies arrived home with Pa. I remember vividly standing with my father once in his observatory. I was fourteen years old and just on the brink of womanhood. We were waiting for an eclipse, which he’d told me was a seminal moment for humankind and always brought change with it. “Pa,” I said, “will you ever bring home our seventh sister?” At this, his strong, protective bulk had seemed to freeze for a few seconds. He’d looked suddenly as though he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders. Although he didn’t turn around, for he was still concentrating on training the telescope on the coming eclipse, I knew instinctively that what I’d said had distressed him. “No, Maia, I won’t. Because I have never found her.” As the familiar thick hedge of spruce trees, which shielded our waterside home from prying eyes, came into view, I saw Marina standing on the jetty and the dreadful truth of losing Pa finally began to sink in. And I realized that the man who had created the kingdom in which we had all been his princesses was no longer present to hold the enchantment in place.