‘My Sister’s Bones’ Is Mystifying and Insightful [REVIEW]


A reporter suspects something sinister is going on in the house next door in Nuala Ellwood’s My Sister’s Bones.
(Photo by Flood G., Flickr)

When a war reporter returns to her childhood home after her mother’s death, she soon suspects that something is seriously wrong in the house next door. But are the things she’s seeing real or is her mind playing tricks on her? Find out in Nuala Ellwood’s debut novel, My Sister’s Bones. 

Nuala Ellwood's MY SISTER'S BONES

William Morrow

Kate Rafter has spent the past 15 years traveling from one global hotspot to another, from Syria to Afghanistan to Iraq. She’s garnered accolades for her work as a war correspondent, having bravely written about the injustices faced by ordinary people living in the world’s most brutal situations.

She hasn’t witnessed all these attrocities and gone unscathed, however. The sounds, sights and smells of war plague her senses and echo in her mind. One incident in particular haunts her dreams, one which involves a young Syrian boy. So when she returns to her mother’s empty home and notices a boy in the neighbor’s garden, a house which belongs to a motherless Iraqi woman whose husband is away, Kate begins to think the worst.

As she attempts to separate her wartime flashbacks from the events unfolding in her hometown, Kate must also navigate memories from her own harrowing youth even as her sister tries to tell her that the events she recalls didn’t quite transpire the way Kate thinks they did. Is Kate going insane? Is post-traumatic stress coloring her world? Or is there something more sinister going on?

With My Sister’s Bones, debut novelist Nuala Ellwood makes her mark in suspense fiction. Reminiscent of kaleidoscopic thrillers like Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and Paula Hawkins’ The Girls on the Train, Ellwood proves her writing chops as she takes us on a captivating journey into the human psyche and introduces readers to Kate, a very flawed protagonist with a tenuous grip on reality.

More than just a great yarn, however, this book also is a provacative lesson on the intense and still unfolding understanding of how PTSD works. Thus this makes for a nuanced and insightful novel that makes us think, even as it challenges our perceptions of what is truly one of the longest lasting effects of war.

Like so many great works of suspense (George Cukor’s Gaslight and Robert Aldrich’s Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte come to mind), there is more here than meets the eye, and readers will be mystified as they try to figure out what that something more is, which is exactly why this book is so perplexing with its myriad twists and turns. Most of all, My Sister’s Bones is simply addictive, breathtaking, and utterly entertaining. This is one novel you’ll be talking about long after the last page is turned.


Nuala Ellwood

Nuala Ellwood
(Photo by Betina La Plante)

Nuala Ellwood is the daughter of an award-winning journalist.

Inspired by her father’s and other journalists’ experiences with post-traumatic stress disorder, she gained Arts Council Funding for her research into the topic and ultimately made it the main theme of My Sister’s Bones, her debut psychological thriller.

Visit Nualla at her home on the Web, like her on Facebook, and follow her on Twitter.

By Nuala Ellwood
416 pgs. William Morrow. $15.99

TLC Book Tours Tour HostYou may purchase My Sister’s Bones at one of these fine online retailers: HarperCollins, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

My Sister’s Bones is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

My Sister’s Bones Giveaway

Congratulations to Dianna Gardenhour who just won a copy of My Sister’s Bones. Although this giveaway is over, stay tuned for more great chances to win.


About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

2 Responses to ‘My Sister’s Bones’ Is Mystifying and Insightful [REVIEW]

  1. This is the kind of book that I find impossible to put down – I get nothing else done once I start reading!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.

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