The Orphan Sister by Gwendolen Gross
Clementine Lord is not an orphan. She just feels like one sometimes. One of triplets, a quirk of nature left her the odd one out. Odette and Olivia are identical; Clementine is a singleton. Biologically speaking, she came from her own egg. Practically speaking, she never quite left it. Then Clementine’s father—a pediatric neurologist who is an expert on children’s brains, but clueless when it comes to his own daughters—disappears, and his choices, both past and present, force the family dynamics to change at last. As the three sisters struggle to make sense of it, their mother must emerge from the greenhouse and leave the flowers that have long been the focus of her warmth and nurturing.
For Clementine, the next step means retracing the winding route that led her to this very moment: to understand her father’s betrayal, the tragedy of her first lost love, her family’s divisions, and her best friend Eli’s sudden romantic interest. Most of all, she may finally have found the voice with which to share the inside story of being the odd sister out. . . .
Thankfully this was a quick, easy read because I almost gave up on it. This book was just so slow. It was all character development and backstory and not much plot. It seemed like every time things got going in the present, the chapter would end and the next chapter would jump back to the past. Ugh.
I was drawn to the twin/triplet aspect of this book, but even that character element wasn’t all that satisfying. Clementine isn’t exactly the odd one out so much as she isolates herself from people. I didn’t feel much connection with her, or the “twins” for that matter. They were too twin-y…double wedding, similar careers, pregnant at the same time (which admittedly my twin and I were, but we were at least off by 3 months), etc.
The plot was fairly predictable. Their father disappears at the start of the book, and they’re determined to find out where he’s gone. At first they’re worried, but then they know something strange is up. One of the twins knows the truth but won’t tell. I just couldn’t get into it, and even once it’s revealed, it’s kind of rushed and unresolved.
The only redeeming aspect of this book was the love story. Eli was adorable! I am sucker for best friends turned lovers, so I was anxious any time Eli was in the story, waiting for the magic to happen. But that wasn’t enough to make this more than a 2 star read for me.
My Rating: 2 Stars
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