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Extended Audio Sample The Sister Audiobook, by Poppy Adams Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.9 out of 52.9 out of 52.9 out of 52.9 out of 52.9 out of 5 2.90 (29 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Poppy Adams Narrator: Juliet Mills Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2008 ISBN: 9780739366745
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From her lookout in the crumbling mansion that was her childhood home, Ginny watches and waits for her younger sister to arrive. Vivien has not set foot in the house since she left nearly fifty years ago; the reclusive Ginny has rarely ventured out, retreating into the precise routines that define her days, carrying on her father’s solitary work studying moths.

As the sisters revisit their shared past, they realize that their recollections differ in essential and unsettling ways. Before long, the deeply buried resentments that have shaped both their lives rise to the surface, and Vivien’s presence threatens to disrupt Ginny’s carefully ordered world.

Told in Ginny’s unforgettable voice, this subtle and chilling debut novel tells an extraordinary story of how families are capable of undoing themselves—especially in the name of love.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Ms. Adams has a lot to offer: a plain but compelling prose style, a wealth of incident and a deft psychological acuity. Martin Rubin, The Wall Street Journal
  • With it's stylish prose, taut plotting and dark psychology, The Sister is reminiscent of the best books by Ruth Rendell's alter-ego, Barbara Vine...[Poppy Adams] writes sparkling prose and expertly weaves into the action what seems an inexhaustible knowledge of moths. Dennis Drabelle, The Washington Post Book World
  • Dark and sinister, The Sister draws you in like a moth to a flame...A wholly satisfying character study with heart throbbing twists that will leave you shuddering. Chris Stuckenschneider, The Missourian

    "Suspenseful...Adams creates an engrossing atmosphere of gothic mystery.
  • Captivating...The odd characters who make up The Sister are extraordinary, each one more unsettling than the next, and their fractured group portrait is deliciously chilling. Susan Miron, The Miami Herald
  • Deliciously creepy...[The Sister] reminds us of A.S. Byatt, Kate Atkinson and Stephen King having a house party. Colette Bancroft, The Detroit News
  • [A] striking debut novel...[The Sister] is also, in its quietly idiosyncratic way, a novel of ideas. When Ginny reflects on the 'analytic and scientific' cast of mind she inherited from her father, it’s difficult not to think of Keats and the 'touch of cold philosopy' that 'unweaves' the poetry of natural phenomena. Adams took a risk in deciding to tell her story in the flat, abstracted voice of someone who has devoted her life to a 'little known insect.' But it is a convincing, true voice and it is to Adams’s credit that she sustains it as she does. Financial Times
  • Cognitive dissonance is what drives the plot, and that makes this quite a bold first novel. Daily Telegraph
  • This is a dark book, but an extremely funny one, recalling Mark Haddon and Barbara Trapido by turns. A brilliantly paced debut. Daily Mail
  • The Sister is an ideal book for discussion groups, because it prompts analysis with a surprise ending that is both stunning and ambiguous. Mandy Twaddell, The Providence Journal

    "The Sister is powered by the same sort of confidently rendered literary suspense that propelled Donna Tartt's The Secret History onto best-seller lists...Ms. Adams makes Ginny such an intriguingly unreliable narrator that the reader is continually kept off balance.
  • Adams spins a suspenseful, provocative, deliberately ambiguous tale about decay and disrepair–of people and the bonds between them–and about the harm that comes from even well-intended secrecy and silence. Laura Collins-Hughes, New York Sun
  • The great beauty of this splendid first novel lies in Ginny's voice, perfectly clear, controlled and calm...A brilliant narrative performance. Barbara Fisher, The Boston Globe
  • Readers will be haunted by this chilling psychological drama. Sue Corbett, People Magazine
  • "A genuinely eerie thriller...a chilling contemporary gothic. Margaret Flanagan, Booklist
  • A chilling and disturbing novel. Laurel Bliss, Library Journal, starred review
  • Chilling...an eerie and accomplished debut. Publishers Weekly
  • Engrossing. Kirkus Reviews
  • Whatever Happened to Baby Jane comes to Devon, in Adams’s gothic tale of madness, sibling rivalry and lepidoptera. Adams is a skillful, entertaining storyteller. The Guardian
  • Damaged families, psychological drama and ghosts from the past abound. Adams succeeds in carefully building up an atmosphere of penumbral suspense,
    creeping towards a tense climax.
    Literary Review
  • [The Sister] is an intricately crafted story, told with just the right balance of claustrophobia and compassion. Psychologies Magazine
  • [A] beautifully staged story...mesmerising and unsettling. Good Housekeeping Book of the Month
  • The scene is set for sinister secrets and the revival of murderous family tensions. Adams’s debut is an atmospheric addition to the ‘mess with your head school of fiction.
  • A gothic mystery that hums along on its slow-burning menace, Poppy Adams’s The Sister is a sinful box of bonbons: delicious, but you never know what's inside the next bite. Andrew Pyper, author of Lost Girls and The Wildfire Season
  • A taut, tense tale of the ties that bind–sometimes a little too tightly. Karin Slaughter
  • This lyrical and haunting story of two sisters, their troubling past, and the terrible secrets they each want buried will stay with you long after you close the book.  A wonderful book loaded with twists and turns that come straight from the heart. Harlan Coben

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michelle | 2/11/2014

    " Ginny lives by herself in the family's deteriorating mansion in Dorset. She is surprised by her sister's decision to move back in, after a 50 year absence. It is clear, as Ginny prepares for her sister, that there is a tangled past between the two, and Ginny appears to have some form of autistic spectrum disorder that may aid in her scientific endeavors with moths, an occupation passed from her father, but it challenges her relationships with people. We see numerous flashbacks from the past on the two sisters' relationship and the terrible accident that happened to Vivien that has serious consequences later in their lives. The feel of the novel is gothic and dark and there are many unanswered questions that arise over the course of the novel, most of which remain frustratingly unanswered. Tensions build between the sisters leading to dark ends. Overall, I found it to be an intriguing but in some ways, disappointing book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Roberto | 2/6/2014

    " If you expect this novel to be in the line of the " The Thirteenth Tale" or " The House at Riverton" - which were decent novels - forget it. The trivia about moths are the best parts of this novel which has one of the dullest plots I ever came across.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Louise Mackley | 1/31/2014

    " I didnt read the braille version.. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristy Engel | 1/24/2014

    " Slow...slow...slow! It had way too many words wasted on the study of moths that really did very little for the story. The author left the story unresolved and that made the tedious read even worse because there was no payoff! ugg... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nonie | 1/23/2014

    " Well written but I'd rather forget these characters. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Stacey | 1/11/2014

    " I had to give up on this one. It just never got underway. Too much about moths and not enough to the story. I hate to stop in the middle of a book, but if you're still bored by the middle and there are many other books to be read, it's a no go. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 MariLee | 1/8/2014

    " This reminded me a bit of The Thirteenth Tale--sort of a Gothic tale about 2 sisters. Very little language, good halloween-type book, and (bonus) you learn a lot about moths! A solid 3.0 for me. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sheila | 12/24/2013

    " A VERY long book that I didn't particularly enjoy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Helene | 11/15/2013

    " Quote an extraordinary read. What you expected comes to a big wobbly stop in a place where and when you didn't expect it at all. Perhaps a bit too much factual information, but then again, I have lots of work to do at the moment, so I didn't have as much patience as I normally have when reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pamela W | 11/13/2013

    " A bit of an eerie British old lady gothic novel, very picturesque. Seemed to be missing something - - like the author held back. Still, if you like a dreary, dilapidated old mansion with two old sisters reflecting on their life's tragedies (and who doesn't?!) this is a good one to pick up. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Arianne | 11/10/2013

    " I learned way more about the lifecycle of moths than I ever cared to know. This was a random pick from the library and the jacket summary sounded interesting. It was, minus the moth part. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Costantia | 7/22/2013

    " enojoyed but was left wanting - needed more from it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tori | 12/22/2012

    " If you've had a complicated relationship with your sister, you'll enjoy this book. However, it may not make you want to spend the night at her place. Well written and narrated through the simple mind of one sister who's isolation has shaped her in ways unimagined. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 ~☆ Alice☆~ | 7/10/2012

    " Discover magazine suggested this book about a family of moth collectors. Its very strange and spooky too. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ellie | 6/8/2012

    " Predictable as a mystery but well-written. I found it absorbing as a novel. And despite guessing how it turned out, I wasn't sure until the end whether or not I was correct. Interesting study of sisters and the impact of family roles and secrets. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melody | 12/30/2011

    " This book wasn't super exciting or thrilling but it kept my interest and in the end I was glad I read it. I liked all the scientific information and the way the main character lived in her own memories of the past. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 11/6/2011

    " Another novel of mystery and intrigue among sisters. My attention wavered throughout the listening time but it was overall an interesting read with a nice conclusion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tracy L | 7/30/2011

    " A very strange novel that is surprisingly addictive. What starts out as an elderly lady's seemingly innocent memories of childhood and moth collecting ends up a sinister tale that is as gripping as it is unsettling. Definitely unforgettable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynne | 7/2/2011

    " Good story, loved the main character but would never have guessed the ending. Very good but I'm still desperate to know what was wrong with her, Clever. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christina | 5/16/2011

    " Not something I would normally read. The language got a little too scientific for me at times. Loved the twisted storyline. Overall good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 5/10/2011

    " This book was dark and disturbing. Superbly written, it reminded me of early VC Andrews. Interesting plot and characters....something you will keep thinking about long after you've read it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie | 5/2/2011

    " Very strange book told by an older woman with mental problems about her life. All the information about moths was quite interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenny | 3/28/2011

    " A disturbing read, at times benign, at others disconcertingly challenging. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 3/15/2011

    " not what your thinking! give it a go "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dawn | 2/20/2011

    " Was listening to this on CD in the car. It was so slow moving that I only got the the 4th disk before my 3 weeks were up at the library and I had to turn it back in... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mandy | 1/9/2011

    " I was glad that I stuck it out to the end. At one point there was too much on the moths - I got bored and was going to put it down. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Marie | 11/5/2010

    " I couldn't even finish this book it was so bad. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Todd | 10/31/2010

    " “The Behavior of Moths” is short, fun, and creepy little gothic tale.

    No I didn’t read it in braille, but this is the only version in Goodreads.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tamlyn | 10/6/2010

    " I wasn't sure about this book as it started out, but it got more interesting as Ginny begin to tell back-stories. Interesting ending, but way too much detail about moths, etc. I ended up skipping over those paragraphs only because I'm not as fascinated by that as some might be. "

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About the Narrator

Juliet Mills is a highly acclaimed actress. She won an Emmy Award for QB VII and a Tony nomination for her role in Five Finger Exercise. She is currently one of the stars of the daytime drama show Passions.