Alison Baker is an art teacher. She teaches stained glass at a local college in the evenings, and she loves that, but it's not enough to pay the bills. So when an opportunity comes up to be an artist at a local open prison, she sends in an application. Although she's very afraid of the idea of working in a prison, she takes a deep breath and accepts the position. But just because she's able to move forward, that doesn't mean she can really move on from the past.
During Ali's last year of high school, she was walking to school with her younger sister Kitty and Kitty's bratty friend Vanessa. Ali and Kitty had a challenging relationship, as stepsisters often do. So when the walk to school turns into a bickering match, the girls get distracted and angry, and when the car rounds the corner too fast, there is a terrible, tragic accident that changes everything for these three girls forever.
Now Kitty is in a care home, her head kept in a helmet so that there is no more brain damage. She struggles to speak, but her voice changes to angry grunts and grumbling. She can't get around on her own, but she still manages to communicate with others. Her roommate can often tell what she's thinking. Some of the nurses and caretakers can tell. And that new guy, Johnny, he can definitely tell what she's thinking about.
And now Alison finds herself in prison, trying to teach prisoners to express themselves in art. She's not sure who to trust, but she does her best to stay on her toes. But when she starts to feel like she's being followed outside of the prison, when she gets mysterious mail at her home, when one of her students at the prison gets stabbed, Alison wonders if she really made the right decision in taking the job at the prison.
Blood Sisters is a novel of secrets and lies, of family love and loss, and of all the types of prisons we can find ourselves in. Jane Corry, author of My Husband's Wife, is the master of the plot twist, of the ups and downs that keeps those pages turning long into the night, and this novel is no exception. I loved Blood Sisters, for all of the beautiful complex characters and the layers of secrets that slowly get revealed, step by step, leading the reader to so many surprises. It's as complex a thriller as I've read, and I recommend Jane Corry's novels wholeheartedly.
Galleys for Blood Sisters were provided by Pamela Dorman Books (Penguin) through Edelweiss, with many thanks.