Winter Sisters by Robin Oliveira

A completely unexpected and devastating blizzard strikes Albany in 1879 leaving death and destruction in its path across the northeastern United States. Dr. Mary Sutter is overcome by grief to learn that her best friend and her husband were killed in the blizzard. Their two young daughters survived the blizzard sheltering in the schoolhouse during the storm but without parents to pick them up they must have started the long journey home and haven’t been seen since. Many assume that the sisters perished in the cold and snow like their parents but Mary refuses to lose hope. Could the sisters really still be alive weeks later?

This book is thrilling, informative and disturbing. I won’t ruin too much letting you know that the sisters are alive and are eventually found and that the court case against one of their captors is the majority of the last part of the novel. The horrors the sisters experienced during their captivity is awful but unfortunately something that our current news reports seem to be full of these days; but during the time period of this book these events are unthinkable and victim blaming is the mindset of many people because the alternative is unfathomable. However the characters protecting the sisters, both outside and inside the courtroom, have a more modern and realistic view of the events. The author does a wonderful job with her courtroom scenes for fans of legal thrillers. Historical elements like the medical care available to prostitutes and how a female surgeon is treated by her colleagues add extra flavor to the novel. I lived in Albany for a few years so the descriptions of the city and the buildings and the park being constructed brought the streets back to life for me.

This is the sequel to My Name is Mary Sutter, but you do not need to have any familiarity with that book at all to enjoy this one. Winter Sisters is released February 27th so place your holds now!