Winter Sisters
by Oliveira, Robin






When the two young daughters of friends killed in a blizzard in 1879 vanish without a trace, former Civil War surgeon Mary Sutter launches a rescue effort that is challenged by a community that believes there is no hope.





Robin Oliveira is the New York Times bestselling author of My Name Is Mary Sutter and I Always Loved You. She holds a BA in Russian and studied at the Pushkin Language Institute in Moscow. She received an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is also a registered nurse, specializing in critical care. She lives in Seattle, Washington.





Emma and Claire O'Donnell, ages ten and seven, mysteriously vanish after a blizzard in 1879 Albany, New York-the same storm that kills their parents. Dr. Mary Stipp, the passionate, determined heroine from Oliveira's best-selling My Name Is Mary Sutter (2010), is close to the O'Donnell family, and she and her physician husband, William, continue searching for the girls after the police give up. Newly returned from Paris, Mary's musician niece, Elizabeth, distressed over the disappearance, and for private reasons, befriends Jakob Van der Veer, the local lumber king's son. The discovery of the sisters' fate then shocks the city, with newspapers stirring up interest and false rumors. This historical tale with thriller elements involves a sensitive subject, but Oliveira is as gently direct with her traumatized characters as Mary is with her patients. The story shines in depicting Albany's diverse geography and society, and the era's antifemale bias feels downright infuriating. Some aspects of the mystery seem rather obvious, but the courtroom scenes are dramatically unpredictable. The individual stories build to create a multifaceted and affecting portrait of courage. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.





A disastrous blizzard blasts the city of Albany in 1879, and in its chaotic wake, two young girls go missing.Bonnie and David O'Donnell are among those killed in the storm. When no one arrives at school to collect their daughters, Emma and Claire, the girls set off on foot through the towering drifts. In the following days, Dr. Mary Sutter and her husband, William, physicians and friends of the O'Donnell family, try in vain to locate the children. Initially, the police offer to search for the girls, but after six weeks of Mary's relentless queries, they give up. The city faces another disaster when the frozen river thaws, causing devastating floods. When Mary and William return home from treating flood victims, Emma and Claire are waiting for them. The tale they tell is dramatic—a man has been holding them captive in a basement—but the tale told by Emma's body is all too clear to Mary: the 10-year-old has clearly been raped. As the Sutters struggle to unravel the truth behind the girls' trauma, a prime suspect emerges. Despite some contradictions between Emma's story and the public perception, Albany prepares for a sensational trial. Emma, who at 10 is at the legal age of sexual consent, must face down those who consider her survival proof that she was "a siren who…either seduced or acquiesced" to having sex with an adult man. Oliveira (I Always Loved You, 2014, etc.) crafts a complex, multifaceted historical novel that is both a captivating story and a commentary on the laws that have, for far too long, oppressed and endangered women. With the exception of one sympathetic lawyer, all of her main characters are strong women who reject the limited mold of femininity to help others, speak out against injustice, and create a nontraditional family unit that fiercely protects its own. Entertaining at times, deeply political at others; a perfect example of a historical novel that also illuminates present-day issues. Copyright Kirkus 2017 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.






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