The Seven Sisters – Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Geneva – Lucinda Riley

The Seven Sisters (Lucinda Riley)

Trace the story and the mystery behind the story of the Seven Sisters constellation with a fictional account of an imagined seven sisters and their stories

Story in a  nutshell

This is the first book of seven and each one will trace the story of one sister and how she came to be part of the D’Apliése family since they were all adopted at various stages by their father, an elusive billionaire who was affectionally known as Pa Salt.

Maia is the first sister to look into her past. Discovering that their beloved father has already been buried at sea, they are each given a letter and a clue for them to be able to find out about their true background and heritage.

Every one needs to know their past and who they really are. Only Maia could never have imagined her journey would take her halfway across the world.


Place and setting

Oh the locations are so evocative that you will feel instantly transported to the three places which feature so strongly in the story – Geneva, Rio de Janeiro, and Paris – places so unique and far apart but ones which according to the legend of the Seven Sisters are mysteriously linked.


Geneva – the lake Geneva where on the banks of the lake stands the majestic home of the D’Apliése family called Atlantis – fitting for its mythical position in the seven sisters story. Lake Geneva is home, the peace of the mountains and the glassy waters, flute music and the start of a seven story adventure..

A beautiful object called an armillary sphere appears mysteriously in the gardens of the sisters’ home on Lake Geneva and plays a key role in The Seven Sisters series.
A beautiful object called an armillary sphere appears mysteriously in the gardens of the sisters’ home on Lake Geneva and plays a key role in The Seven Sisters series.

Rio de Janeiro

If you have ever wondered what they story is behind the Christ the Redeemer and who was responsible for building it and its significance in the city then its history and early life as it was first built on the Corcovado mountain, the scenes in Rio will enchant –  the colour, texture of the city as well as the insides of the favelas in contrast to the rich stone mansions are all explored. but it is the pain behind the glittering facade of one house in particular that is the most heartbreaking.

Heitor da Silva Costa built the famous statue and has a fascinating story
Heitor da Silva Costa built the famous statue and has a fascinating story


In contrast to Rio, the scenes in Paris – in the area of Montmartre are an artists dream. Ateliers, outdoor restaurants, and the cobbled streets take the story and mystery in a new direction.

Paul Landowski sculptor in Paris 1875
Paul Landowski sculptor in Paris 1875

Booktrailer recommended!

A very exciting start to a seven part story which aims to tell the story behind the seven stories constellation. Lucinda’s dual timeline story telling really comes into its own here and I can’t think of a more perfect author to tell this story. I was lucky enough to attend a private showing of this book and Lucinda brought along  a celestial zodiac globe all silvery and shiny which spins with the inscriptions of the star signs on them. No spoilers here though!

The story is long and detailed but this is a book you want to take your time with and relax as it is so cinematic both in scope and location that it takes you on quite the journey which is both one of excitement and of finding out secrets.

Lucinda tells the story from the beginning with Maia finding out that beloved Pa Salt has died and the journey that she goes on to find out her past.

The journey is told in flashbacks as Maia’s past is revealed and there are so many layers and hidden secrets to both parts of the story and the way history and the present intertwine.

There is so many beautiful descriptions of all places in the novel but it is Rio and the creation of Christ the Redeemer that is the star of the show. I would love to know more about the star constellation the Seven sisters as it has the perfect mix of intrigue, mystery, love , loss and the human spirit. The dedication and passion behind the construction of the statue for example was fascinating in the extreme and I had no idea of how such a statue may have been built – the dreams as well as the sweat and tears behind such a project. The secret of the mosaic pieces, the way the hands are formed. 

As for Geneva, I’ve always thought this place was something out of a mythical story and the idea of a grand home on Lake Geneva was to firmly build up my impression in my mind. Lucinda not only draws the scenes of the shining waters and surrounding mountains with such passion that you are fully immersed in the setting.

As for Paris, even though I feel I know these streets well, I had never been to the ateliers of a famous artist nor wandered around Montmartre in the search for my destiny. Well I have now and the thrill of what I was searching there along with Maia before being whisked back to the heady mountains in Rio was a thrilling journey I shall never forget.

I for one can not wait for the second in the series nor the ones which follow. A journey of epic proportions…..

With thanks to Lucinda for the use of her images from her website – This is the home of the Seven Sisters and you can find historical fact, mystery and lots more about the story and legend of the Seven sisters. Their fate is in the stars….


If I close my eyes now – Brazil – Edney Silvestre


A journey to Brazil  via its troubled history and its emergence asa new democracy with two young boys finding their way as their country does the same


A story about the friendship between two young boys in 1960s Brazil.

A friendship that binds them together throughout their lives and how it remains strong through the events in their lives that will test them the most.

When these two boys discover a bloody body in a park they quickly become obsessed with finding out the truth about what happened.

Lacerated in so many places, her skin reminded me of the wounds of the Christ in the cathedrals central nave, his arms spread wide just like hers in the mud, beneath the cloudless sky

Even after the police obtain a confession, the boys are not convinced that they have the right man and believe that there is a lot more to the case than the police realise.

When they see an old man going into the house where the victim lived, they think that they have found the real killer.

A history of abuse and secrets come tumbling out against a backdrop of world events in 1960s Brazil. A backdrop that can and does include scenes of graphic violence and sex that may not be to every readers taste.

Where to go on the Booktrail ?

A - Belém  B - Tucuruí - Pará, Brazil and C - Rio
A – rio de Janiero B- Belém C – Tucuruí – Pará, Brazil

“Brazil, “a country capable of advancing 50 years in only five of full democracy”, as it lurches out of the developing world”

And as for the history of Brazil, well this comes out loud and clear and reads as concise but a whole lot more interesting than any history book – for this is history how it affects the people who live in it and through it…

Getiulio Vargas. Vargas, the man who created the labour laws?

Getúlio Dornelles Vargas served as President of Brazil, first as dictator, from 1930 to 1945, and in a democratically elected term from 1951 until his suicide in 1954. He would have had some impact on parents and adults at this time and would have influenced the experiences and understanding of the two boys in this large developing country of theirs.

And finally, the man who features as an inspiration to any little boy the world over – something which unites them all no matter who they are or where they come from –

At twelve years old, when any fantasy can seem real, Yuri Alekseevich Gagarin’s flight on board Vostok, a metal sphere two and a half metres in diameter, with windows scarcely larger than a book, literally opened up the skies for us.