When your sister murders three hundred people, you can’t help but wonder why – especially if you were one of the intended victims – though I do forgive her, if you can believe it.
THE MAJESTIES is being released by Pushkin Press on August 6th. I requested this one on a whim, based on the cover and a snippet of the synopsis and I’m so glad that I did.
Rating: 5 stars!
Thanks to Pushkin Press for the review copy of this book, it has not affected my honest review.
Gwendolyn and Estella have always been as close as sisters can be. Growing up in a wealthy, eminent, and sometimes deceitful family, they’ve relied on each other for support and confidence. But now Gwendolyn is lying in a coma, the sole survivor of Estella’s poisoning of their whole clan.
As Gwendolyn struggles to regain consciousness, she desperately retraces her memories, trying to uncover the moment that led to this shocking and brutal act. Was it their aunt’s mysterious death at sea? Estella’s unhappy marriage to a dangerously brutish man? Or were the shifting loyalties and unspoken resentments at the heart of their opulent world too much to bear? Can Gwendolyn, at last, confront the carefully buried mysteries in their family’s past and the truth about who she and her sister really are?
What did I think?
From the first line, this book grabbed me. I would have read it in one sitting if we hadn’t had a power cut that made reading in the dark impossible. Instead, I sat and sulked about how much I wanted to be reading THE MAJESTIES.
The Majesties is a family drama at its heart. It’s about a wealthy and powerful family in Indonesia for whom money has never been an object. When the children grow up, if they want to work, they’ll be handed a section of the huge conglomerate to run and set to work. They fly around the world on a whim to go shopping. It’s a wild and wonderfully wealthy lifestyle. But that doesn’t mean that the family are living the ideal life they like to present. The Majesties is set from Gwendolyn’s perspective as she dives into her memories of her and her sister to search for the real reason that her sister killed their family.
It’s hard to get into too much detail about the things that are uncovered because I had such an intoxicating experience uncovering the truth among the memories that I don’t want to spoil that experience for anyone. But I can say that through Gwendolyn’s eyes we start to see the truth behind their wealthy lifestyle and the darkness that shadows Gwendolyn and Estella as she gets closer and closer to finding the truth behind the murders. This isn’t an easy read by any means but for someone who loves dark books, like me, it was perfect. Not too long, not too short, the prose is tightly written and I like the way the past was gently unravelled without it feeling like I was facing a lot of wordy exposition.
And the ending? Hoo boy. There’s a sting in the tail that managed to do a complete rug pull on me and knocked this book from a four star rating to a solid five star within the last few pages.
Add it on Goodreads here!