Behind Her Lives is about sisters, one of whom is called to identify her sister’s body after a reported suicide but the “surviving” sister is convinced that’s not her sister’s remains. Sad and twisted but it’s still an enticing read. I enjoy reading about sisters and this one tests the strength and the limits of a sisterly bond to discover secrets about someone you think you know like family.
The narrative mostly follows Deven, the older sister, with page inserts from younger sister, Kennedy’s diary when she was an 11-year-old coming to terms with her place in the family. Through those snippets and other flash backs from several months prior to the apparent accident, we learn a bit about the family as it started – Deven’s parents separated briefly and then reunited after Kennedy is born, the product of another relationship. So Deven and Kennedy are half-sisters and we are left to wonder if there is some truth to Kennedy believing that her mother resents her existence in the otherwise perfect family. Intense! Is this why Kennedy seems to be obsessed with changing her appearance with cosmetic surgery? And are those changes keeping Deven from recognizing her little sister? Also, what was Kennedy trying to hide behind an alternate persona?
The plot of behind Her Lives involves a tough situation and Briana Cole’s writing explores the gritty details of family drama in a multiplicity of scenarios, all tough to handle but engrossing to read. The story explores miscarriage, dementia, loss of parent to death and disabling illnesses, but also how you can lose connections even when people are still physically present in your life. This the kind of book to devour in one sitting, preferably with snacks 😉 You have to watch my reel on Instagram to get the joke
Note: I received a complimentary copy of Briana Cole’s novel, Behind Her Lives, in order to participate in a publicity tour organized byTLC Book Tours I was not otherwise compensated and the above reflects my honest opinion about the book.
“That’s not my sister.” Overwhelmed by shock and relief, those are the only words Deven can muster when she is called to identify the body of a suicide victim. A body she was informed was her sister, Kennedy. But as she stares at the lifeless stranger, she’s filled with questions: Who is this woman? Why was Deven listed as family? And most important, where is Kennedy? Her intuition tells her just one thing: this can’t be a total coincidence.
Desperate to put the pieces together, Deven launches her own investigation. Soon, she finds herself tangled in a web of secrets and lies so twisted that it blurs the lines between fact and fiction. And between the sister she thought she knew and the one who seems to have many hidden, dangerous lives. But only Kennedy would have the answers to increasingly urgent questions. Just one possibility is clear: Kennedy isn’t missing. Maybe she just doesn’t want to be found. And maybe you can never truly know another person. Even your own sister.
- Title: Behind Her Lives
- Author: Briana Cole
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 270
- Publication Date: October 2022
- Publisher: Kensington Books