This book should come with a warning: only read when not on your holidays and whatever you do, do not start dreaming and fantisising about quitting your job and going off travelling. Not unless you want prolonged post-holiday-blues when you get home, anyway.
The Sea Sisters is written using dual-narrative from the view points of two sisters, Katie and Mia. Mia has gone off travelling with her best friend, Finn, and – no spoilers here as we find out on the second page – dies in mysterious circumstances in Bali. Katie, the older, more level-headed sister, can’t accept that it was (as the Police are saying) suicide and jacks in her job and sets off to retrace Mia’s journey using her travel journal to go to the exact places that Mia did.
If you have a sibling then a lot of this book should resonate with you: the love and bond you have but also the jealousy, sometimes hatred and distance that can come between you. Katie and Mia’s last phone conversation ended really badly between them and Katie is wracked with guilt about this, which makes her more determined to find out what happened, for Mia’s sake.
The book takes us through California, Hawaii, Australia and Bali and I understand that some of the descriptions in the book are from the authors own travel journal. I travelled about 20 years ago and this book re-awakened a dormant desire to pack my bags and set off for pastures new again (damn having a full-time job and a mortgage to pay!). While it’s not a “travel book” it did whet my appetite for far-flung places.
What The Sea Sisters really is is part mystery (what happened to Mia), part love story (between sisters) and part beach-read (that isn’t meant to be derogatory, it just means it’s a good page-turning, easy to follow book). Yes there are parts where you need to realise that this not necessarily what would have happened (e.g. Katie only reading the diary entry of the place she was in rather than reading ahead to see if there were any more clues) but other than that it’s a great book and one that you look forward to picking up again when you’re not reading it. In fact I enjoyed it more than I thought I would.
NB/ The US title of this book is Swimming at Night
Have you read this book? What did you think? Have you read any other books that make you want to fling a rucksack over your back and set off into the sunset?