Love Thy Sister – Maria Grazia Swan

Mina’s Adventures, Book One

Four of five stars given

Allow me to introduce Mina Calvi.  A headstrong, impetuous, quick to jump to conclusions, Italian transplanted at the death of her parents, to California to live with her much older sister.

Not quite completing her studies, not really working at anything except loosely doing errands for her sister’s tech company; she’s a twenty-something who is bit dreamy, a lot easily sidetracked, and opinionated as heck!

Full disclosure – she was a hard character to like.  A touch annoying, but amiable still for all of that.  And the story itself draws you in quickly and holds you till it’s fully resolved.

But don’t be fooled. There are no quick, facile resolutions here.  Mina’s relationship with those around her can be characterized as choppy at best. She often finds herself at loggerheads with her sister Paola as well.

And then a murder happens, suspicion lights on her family, and Mina – perhaps mistakenly – feels that loyalties must be honoured above all else.

Swan crafts a narrative that is twisty, and full of turns, stops, and hurdles to be jumped.  But THAT is the very thing that keeps you turning the pages.

I think, were we ever to meet in person, that Mina and I would certainly lock horns.  But I still wanted to see her overcome, succeed in fact.  Swan’s characters are engaging, though it’s easy to see that there are secrets to be uncovered before the story is told.

A challenging read, but one that I fully enjoyed; I certainly recommend this book.  I particularly liked that the writer sprinkled Italian throughout her work as one would sprinkle basil into a pot of ragu.

I’m looking forward to watching Mina continue to grow as she makes her way through further entries into her series.

Swan has included this book in a boxed set of the first volumes of each of her series. Called From Italy With Love, there’s no better way to get to know a new-to-you author. Learn and read more about it here:

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