My Sister and other Liars: Ruth Dugdall


33594749What the blurb says:

Sam is seventeen, starving herself and longing for oblivion. Her sister, Jena, is mentally scarred and desperate to remember. Between them, they share secrets too terrible to recall.

Eighteen months earlier, Sam was still full of hope: hope that she could piece together Jena’s fragmented memory after the vicious attack that changed their family forever. But digging into the past unearthed long-hidden lies and betrayals, and left Sam feeling helpless and alone in a world designed to deceive her.

Now, in a last bid to save her from self-imposed shutdown, Sam’s therapist is helping her confront her memories. But the road to recovery is a dangerous one. Because Sam has not only been lying to her doctors: she’s been hiding dark secrets from herself.

My review:

I am a huge fan of Ruth Dugdall and her ability to take uncomfortable topics and turn them into a compelling but sensitively written read. “My Sister and other Liars” is no exception to this and I am not going to lie this is not an easy read but by God, it is one of the best books I have read this year!

Seventeen-year-old Sam is currently in hospital with anorexia and she is determined to starve herself to death; she is unable to deal with the attack on her sister 18 months ago, which left her hospitalised with severe brain injuries. A dark but compellingly written novel narrated by Sam via sessions with her psychiatrist. It soon becomes clear that secrets, lies and betrayal form the basis of this plot which will leave readers chilled to the bone.

It is heart-wrenching reading Sam’s narration of events; she is so psychologically messed up and her wish for oblivion moved me to tears; mental health is a sensitive area to cover and characters can often be written as selfish and manipulative but Ruth has managed to capture the very vulnerability that is the essence of both Sam and her sister Jenna. There is a bond between both of them that cannot be broken despite their separation and as a reader you can not fail to be moved by Sam’s determination, using her camera gifted to her on her 16th birthday, to get to the bottom of what happened to her sister.

Secrets, lies and betrayal are the themes that underly My Sister and Other Liars and these are sensitively explored along with the very real issues surrounding anorexia and mental health. Ruth forces the reader to confront some very harsh but true realities throughout the book and examines the numerous causes behind this condition. It certainly helps challenge the stigma and the stereotype that anorexia is always caused by a desire to be thin…it is a challenging yet thought-provoking read.

My Sister and Other Liars is a psychological thriller which will take you on an emotional rollercoaster.  Twists and turns will have you hooked and keeps you guessing all the way through to the very end. It is not an easy candyfloss read but an intelligent and sensitively written read that will challenge you at every turn. Don’t miss it!

To buy the book on Amazon click on the link below:


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