Book Review | The Endsister

Title // The Endsister
Author // Penni Russon
Publication Date // January 2018
Publisher // Allen & Unwin
Readership // Kids
Genre // Paranormal
Australian RRP // $16.99
Rating // ✭✭✭

I received a copy of The Endsister from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Unforgettable characters, chaotic family life and an intriguing ghost story combine in this funny, absorbing tale of a family who inherit a mansion on the other side of the world.

‘I know what an endsister is,’ says Sibbi again.
We are endsisters, Else thinks, Sibbi and I. 
Bookends, oldest and youngest, with the three boys sandwiched in between.

Meet the Outhwaite children. There’s teenage Else, the violinist who abandons her violin. There’s nature-loving Clancy. There’s the inseparable twins, Oscar-and-Finn, Finn-and-Oscar. And then there is Sibbi, the baby of the family. They all live contentedly squabbling in a cottage surrounded by trees and possums…until a letter arrives to say they have inherited the old family home in London. 

Outhwaite House is full of old shadows and new possibilities. The boys quickly find their feet in London, and Else is hoping to reinvent herself. But Sibbi is misbehaving, growing thinner and paler by the day, and she won’t stop talking about the mysterious endsister. Meanwhile Almost Annie and Hardly Alice, the resident ghosts, are tied to the house for reasons they have long forgotten, watching the world around them change, but never leaving.

The one thing they all agree on – the living and the dead – is never, ever to open the attic door…

The Endsister is a charming novel and the impact of change on a family. With ghosts. 

Trust me, it works.

The Outhwaits are a family of seven – Mum (Olly), Dad (Dave), Else, Clancy, Oscar and Finn (the twins) and Sibbi. They live in a small cottage in Australia until one day, they inherit an old family home in London. They make the decision to pack up and move the London, but not everyone is happy with the change. Each member of the family has to find a way to make this foreign place their new home, all the while, ghosts haunt the old London house, ghosts that only Sibbi can see. Told in multiple perspectives, The Endsister highlights the importance of patience, listening to one another and recognising when change is a good thing, and perhaps, when it’s not.

I enjoyed The Endsister. It’s a charming little book, with characters who have their own personalities jumping off the page. It’s easy to feel the characters’ frustrations as their lives begin to unravel, piece by piece. You see relationships fracture and a few that grow, all the while, everyone’s trying to understand one another… as long as it benefits them.

I quite enjoyed the ghost story woven throughout the book – although at times I wished there was more of that story.

The conclusion was satisfying and overall, this was a great book for young readers (and older ones, too). I gave it 3.5 stars.

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