cover image The Moon Sister: Tiggy’s Story

The Moon Sister: Tiggy’s Story

Lucinda Riley. Atria, $27 (544p) ISBN 978-1-9821-1061-1

Riley’s riff on the myth of the Pleiades is analogous to a Thomas Kinkade painting: her descriptions create sweet images, but they don’t correspond to any recognizable reality. This fairy tale begins in the present-day Scottish Highlands, where Taygete “Tiggy” D’Aplièse has taken a position as a wildlife consultant on the Kinnaird estate being restored by Charlie, reluctant laird and unhappily married surgeon. Tiggy has little work to do but feed some captive wildcats and keep up the cottage she shares with a male coworker. She strolls with Charlie, ducks overtures from estate guests, and tends to Chilly, a pensioner. She’s preoccupied with the recent death of her adoptive father and hints he’s left about her origins. Chilly, a grossly stereotyped “crazy ancient Gypsy,” cackles additions to these hints. Pressured to leave Kinnaird by Charlie’s jealous wife, Tiggy jets off to Spain to unravel her family mystery, launching flashbacks that detail the romantic histories of her grandmother and mother. It’s less a plot than a tapestry of breathless word-pictures about dancing and love and destiny. One such work can be charming, but the planned series’s worth may lead to sugar shock. Agent: Stephen Riley. (Feb.)