Poppy Adams
The Sister


The Sister by Poppy AdamsA recluse awaits the return of her sister after a 47-year absence in this must-read novel. Her arrival unlocks the twisted truths of the past, with chilling consequences.

Ginny has always adored her younger sister, Vivien. As they grew up in the vast and crumbling Victorian mansion known as Bulburrow Court, Vivi was adventurous while Ginny was the quiet one, the daughter who stayed behind to follow in their father's (and grandfather's) footsteps as a lepidopterist—a scientist who collects and studies butterflies and moths—and to take care of their father after their mother's tragic death.

Now, nearly 50 years later, as Ginny anxiously waits and watches from her lookout on the first floor, she wonders why her sister is returning. Living alone with dusty cabinets full of moth specimens and research material collected over several generations, Ginny has retreated into the precise routines and isolation that define her days. Vivien's appearance will unsettle the house and the dark secrets it contains will be exposed, causing Ginny to question who has been protecting whom for all these years. And as the time of emergence approaches—when moths shed their winter cocoons to fly free—Ginny and Vivien will finally reveal their true selves, leading to a terrible confrontation.

Praise for Poppy Adams’s The Sister:

Finalist for the Costa First Novel Award
An Indiebound “Indie Next List” 2008 Highlight

“A powerful read...steeped in both emotion and science.” —The Globe and Mail

“Deliciously creepy.... Reminds us of A. S. Byatt, Kate Atkinson and Stephen King having a house party.” —The Gazette (Montreal)

“The great beauty of this splendid first novel lies in Ginny’s voice.... A brilliant narrative performance.” —Boston Globe

“Masterly.... At once beautiful, informative and disturbing... [with] stylish prose, taut plotting and dark psychology.” —The Washignton Post Book World

“This is a dark book, but an extremely funny one, recalling Mark Haddon and Barbara Trapido by turns. A brilliantly paced debut.” —Daily Mail (UK)

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane comes to Devon, in Adams’s gothic tale of madness, sibling rivalry and lepidoptera... Adams is a skilful, entertaining storyteller” —The Guardian (UK)

“Adams succeeds in carefully building up an atmosphere of penumbral suspense, creeping towards a tense climax.” —Literary Review (UK)

“A striking debut novel... a convincing, true voice” —Financial Times (UK)

“Ingenious… twisting and teasing… The book's real fascination [is] watching the author play her mischievous game of bluff with the reader.” —The Independent (UK)

“This is a stunning, character-rich novel ... Readers will be fascinated.” —Karen M. Frank, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

“As vivid and disturbing as anything you'll read all year” —Scotsman

“Delightfully refreshing... It’s a subtle, fascinating and gently powerful performance” —Time Out

“A chilling contemporary gothic... This genuinely eerie thriller is guaranteed to appeal to the same wide readership that propelled Diane Setterfield’s suspenseful The Thirteenth Tale to the top of the best-seller lists.” —Booklist

“An intricately crafted story, told with just the right balance of claustrophobia and compassion” —Psychologies

“Powered by the same sort of confidently rendered literary suspense that propelled Donna Tartt’s The Secret History onto best-seller lists… Adams makes Ginny such an intriguingly unreliable narrator that the reader is continually kept off balance.” —The New York Times

“An atmospheric addition to the ‘mess with your head’ school of fiction” —Marie Claire

“Disturbingly fab” —The Observer

“Totally compelling” —Closer

“One of my favourite books at the moment... It's a great story.” —Tim Henman

“This book has got everyone talking, and with good reason... With echoes of Daphne du Maurier, this is a fine, utterly engrossing read that will have your imagination working overtime” —Glamour

“Superbly written” —Women & Home

“This gripping novel is the read of the summer” —Elle

“A chilling and disturbing novel” —Library Journal

“Beautifully staged... Mesmerising and unsettling” —Good Housekeeping

“Chilling... an eerie and accomplished debut” —Publishers Weekly

“Engrossing” —Kirkus Review

“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

Book length: 304 pp
Setting: United Kingdom
Period: 1950s, contemporary

Canadian rights, HarperCollins Canada
Dutch rights, Archipel
Italian rights, Neri Pozza
UK rights, Virago
US rights, Knopf

For all other rights contact Greene & Heaton.

Poppy Adams
Photo Credit: Rob Sturges
  Poppy Adams is a documentary filmmaker whose work has been featured on the Discovery Channel, the BBC and Britain's Channel 4. She has a degree in natural sciences and has spent time working in Africa and New Zealand. Poppy Adams lives in London with her husband and three children.