8357703Brother and Sister by Joanna Trollope is not at all what I was expecting, but in a good way.  The whole thing keeps you guessing what’s going to happen up until the very end.

It’s all about two children who are adopted and raised by the same couple.  As adults they both know that they are adopted, but going into the book (for me at least) it make you think that this information would be a big reveal at some point.

The sister Nathalie is all grown up with a baby of her very own, and it turns out her child possible has a minor hereditary defect that kinda sparks this whole search for identity.  Brother David doesn’t really want to join in the search for his parents as he has more negative feelings towards his birth mother than Nathalie does towards hers, but she kinda forces him into it.

What you expect to happen, mostly happens. Adoptive mother feels hurt, and feels like she wasn’t a good enough mother if her adoptive children want to seek out their biological mothers.  Nathalie and David do find their mums, and where you expect Nathalie’s mum to want nothing to do with her and David’s mum to be happy to have him back in her life, it’s actually quite the opposite.  Nathalie’s mother looks to bond with her lost daughter, a chance she almost turns down if it weren’t for a change of heart from her adoptive mum.  David’s mum…originally it feels like she wanted nothing to do with him, but in the end I feel that was more due to the pressure her current husband and children put on her, and as much as she might have wanted to form a relationship with her lost son, they both kind of accept the fact that it’s too late and move on.

The spousal reactions to Nathalie and David embarking on their journeys surprised me.  Neither seemed very supportive and both were jealous of the relationship that the siblings had with each other.  One seemed to want to control every aspect, while the other cheated as they felt left out.  Both partners seemed very insecure of themselves and their relationships with their partners.

I did enjoy the book, but I would have preferred a different ending. David moves to another country as a way to force Nathalie to not depend on him for so much, and I feel like that was a bit of a bitch move.  The two will always be connected in a way not many other people can relate to.  Was Nathalie’s almost obsessive and pathological need to latch on to David healthy?  No. Definitely not. But moving countries almost seems like he’s running away or abandoning her when honestly some simple therapy and possibly even this new burgeoning relationship with her birth mother might have been enough to work things out.

Ah well.  Don’t regret reading this one bit.

Moving on! Next is Song of the Silk Road by Mingmei Yip, book 3 of Ja No Read Mo 2017

In this richly imaginative novel, Mingmei Yip–author of Peach Blossom Pavilion and Petals From the Sky–follows one woman’s daunting journey along China’s fabled Silk Road.

As a girl growing up in Hong Kong, Lily Lin was captivated by photographs of the desert–its long, lonely vistas and shifting sand dunes. Now living in New York, Lily is struggling to finish her graduate degree when she receives an astonishing offer. An aunt she never knew existed will pay Lily a huge sum to travel across China’s desolate Taklamakan Desert–and carry out a series of tasks along the way.

8567279Intrigued, Lily accepts. Her assignments range from the dangerous to the bizarre. Lily must seduce a monk. She must scrape a piece of clay from the famous Terracotta Warriors, and climb the Mountains of Heaven to gather a rare herb. At Xian, her first stop, Lily meets Alex, a young American with whom she forms a powerful connection. And soon, she faces revelations that will redefine her past, her destiny, and the shocking truth behind her aunt’s motivations. . .