Review and Giveaway: The Sister’s Gift by Barbara Hannay


Title: The Sister’s Gift

Author: Barbara Hannay

Published: August 4th 2020, Michael Joseph

Status: Read August 2020 courtesy PenguinRandomHouse Australia


Two sisters, one baby and the best of intentions…

As a vibrant, young woman with a lifetime of possibilities ahead of her, Freya grants her sister, Pearl, the ultimate gift of motherhood. However, this comes at a hefty price – an unexpected rift in her family and the loss of the man she loves.

Decades later, Freya is divorced, childless and homeless, at rock bottom after losing everything she’s worked for. When her estranged niece, Billie, offers sanctuary, managing the family restaurant on beautiful Magnetic Island, Freya can hardly refuse.

Billie has never understood the tension between her mother and her aunt and now, with a newly broken heart, she is nursing a family secret of her own. All three women come together under the tropical Queensland skies, but can they let go of past regrets, or will old tensions tear them further apart?

By the bestselling author of Meet Me in Venice, this is a moving and inspiring novel in a stunning setting about choices and consequences and the redemptive power of love.


My Thoughts:


After losing her husband, her career, and her home, an offer from Freya’s niece, Billie, to manage the family bistro on Magnetic Island while her parents, Pearl and Troy, are travelling, is a gift she can’t afford to refuse. Billie, recently returned from several years overseas and recovering from heartbreak, is happy when Freya accepts, even if her mother seems inexplicably wary of the two spending so much time together.

Unfolding from the perspectives of Freya and Billie, The Sister’s Gift by Barbara Hannay is a story of motherhood, secrets, and second chances.

At the heart of this novel is the secrecy surrounding the surrogacy arrangement shared by Freya and Pearl. Hannay’s portrayal of their complicated relationship is thoughtful and nuanced. The experience drove a wedge between the sisters, largely due to Pearl’s fears and insecurities about motherhood tangled with the remnants of sibling rivalry. Freya has never regretted her decision, though it came at a personal cost, but she has been disappointed by the distance between herself and her sister, and tried her best to maintain a relationship, at a distance, with Billie.

Freya’s return to Magnetic Island is inadvertently a catalyst for Billie learning the secret of her birth, but it also offers Freya a surprising opportunity for a second chance when her ex-fiancé, with whom she ended things in order to become Pearl’s surrogate, arrives at the island for the winter months. I sympathised easily with Freya and was pleased by the closeness she established with Billie, and the romance that developed between Freya and her old beau.

Billie has never understood the tension between her mother and aunt, but has always largely dismissed it as being due to her mother’s high-strung, anxious personality. It’s one of the reasons Billie keeps secrets from Pearl, though she can’t hide this latest one for long. Though somewhat impulsive and directionless, I liked Billie well enough, and thought her emotions related to events were portrayed authentically. What surprised me was the haste of her romantic relationship arc, I didn’t mind that Hannay developed one, but I didn’t think the timeline was believable given the circumstances.

In the end it’s the reveal of a secret Pearl is keeping from both Billie and Freya that leads to the sisters mending their rift. Though the plot points of the story are fairly predictable, they still offer emotional impact, with both heartwarming and poignant moments.

The Sister’s Gift is an engaging and pleasant read, and those who enjoy family drama with a happy ending will surely find it gratifying.



Courtesy of PenguinRandomHouse Australia,

I have 1 print edition of

The Sister’s Gift by Barbara Hannay

to giveaway to one lucky Australian resident.

Please leave a comment on this post and

Now Closed

*Congratulations Stell*

*PLEASE NOTE: Only Australian residents are eligible to enter*

Entries close September 1st, 2020

The giveaway will be random drawing on September 2nd and the winner will be notified by email within 48 hours


Available to purchase from PenguinRandomHouse Australia

Or your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository


Visit other participants in the Sister’s Gift tour

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mary Preston
    Aug 23, 2020 @ 18:35:30

    It’s been a long time since I visited Magnetic Island. A wonderful setting for what promises to be an emotional read I feel.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundaySalon #SundayPost | book'd out
  3. Mic
    Aug 24, 2020 @ 10:10:06

    Great review Shelleyrae, and I could certainly use an island escape about now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


  4. Veronica @ The Burgeoning Bookshelf
    Aug 24, 2020 @ 18:44:12

    This sounds like a good read. I just love family dramas.

    Liked by 1 person


  5. Jane Bliesner
    Aug 24, 2020 @ 19:29:30

    I can’t wait to read this book sounds very interesting and engaging

    Liked by 1 person


  6. 1girl2manybooks
    Aug 25, 2020 @ 14:12:43

    Great review, I really enjoyed this one too

    Liked by 1 person


  7. Malvina Y
    Aug 27, 2020 @ 21:37:43

    Barbara Hannay is always a fabulous read!

    Liked by 1 person


  8. Trackback: General Fiction Round Up : August 2020 | Australian Women Writers Challenge Blog
  9. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out

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