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Do you know what your problem is?
Celestine, the fifth of seven sisters, is tired of hearing about hers. Father thinks she’s frivolous because she likes pretty clothes and caters to the crowds in the taverns who adore her music. Mother thinks that because she’s the most social daughter in the family, she can’t keep quiet about anything.
They’re both wrong. Celestine hides a secret she has kept for most of her life.
As the family beauty and a talented musician with a lyrical voice, she has the best prospects for marriage to a prince. When such a liaison never happens, people assume Celestine is too choosy. But even in somewhat tolerant Ilari, a daughter hates to disappoint her family. How can she tell them she’s in love with a princess instead?
Lucky for Celestine, all her sisters are obsessed with an invading army headed to their realm. Celestine would rather ignore the threat and enjoy the freedom their lack of attention gives her. But, her voice can unlock a power that may help save Ilari. And the woman she loves is determined to fight these invaders. And her family, for all their talents, seems clueless about how to motivate the masses.
Celestine knows she can inspire the citizens of Ilari to do what needs to be done. Is it time to put her inhibitions aside and use her voice to save those she cares about?
My twin sister Olivine and I saw more of each other as spring grew warmer. She and I differed outwardly, as her shiny bronze hair made clear from a distance. She avoided people, being utterly absorbed by her art. Me, I couldn’t imagine spending every day alone, working to make some small piece of canvas look exactly as I wished.
We differed on the inside too. Sex with boys thrilled her, giving her an easy route to the intimacy she otherwise lacked.
“How long do you think either of us will last living at the farm?” she said as we sipped a lovely pink lunch wine and enjoyed a dish of eggs and chives, the mid-day specialty at one of my favorite taverns.
“How long do you think we’ll last without a place to have lunch,” I answered. “Neither of us is cut out for the farm, are we?”
“No, but what can we do about it?” She looked as sad as I felt.
“This musical ensemble I told you about? I’m trying to turn it into a paying proposition so Mom and Dad won’t object if I spend my time here in Pilk performing.”
She stared into her goblet of wine, thinking.
“That could work. Mom would hope you’d find a husband in Pilk. She’s already complained to me that you rejected every boy in Vinx.”
“Oh, but not just any boy will do,” I said.
“Of course not,” she answered. “It’s just as easy to fall in love with a prince!”
I repeated the words with her and we laughed. Mom had passed that piece of wisdom along since we were toddlers.
“I’m probably not going to marry royalty,” Olivine confided.
“Yeah. Me neither.” I thought about saying more, about telling her about Firuza and all the passions she’d awakened within me. Olivine wouldn’t criticize, but would she understand? I hesitated for a heartbeat, the waitress interrupted us, and then Olivine stood to leave.
The time for confidences had passed. Maybe next time.
4 out of 5 (very good)
SHE'S THE ONE WHO CAN'T KEEP QUIET is the fifth book in the War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters series and we get Celestine's story, the twin of Olivine.
Out of all the stories so far, Celestine is the most 'normal'. She doesn't have a genius brain, isn't a luskie, doesn't have long eyes, and she isn't a warrior.. Her ability is to be social, to read a crowd, to bring them on-side, and to sing with a beautiful voice. As with the other stories, it takes place at the same time, so some of the stories overlap and situations become clear from other books, for example, with Davor accepting Coral's luskie abilities.
We also learn more about the mum in this story. We already knew the relationship with her mother-in-law had been turbulent, but now we find out even more. We find out that she was a jewellery maker in her own right but had to give it up when her daughters came along. Not only that, but the things her husband has promised her when they got married never happened to her, but to her daughters instead. That's got to hurt! Up until now, my sympathy wasn't with the mum. I thought she was 'just' an ambitious mum who wanted her children to marry well. Now, I understand more of where she was coming from. And the comment about her children becoming her jewellery was heartfelt.
The other thing (amongst many) that deserves a mention is how hard it was for Celestine and Firuza to be together, openly. Both of them were concerned with appearances, although Firuza had more reason that most to be cautious. I thought this was written in an empathetic manner, giving the two ladies the support they needed.
Although all these books cover the same timeframe, I would recommend you read them in order as you will have the best reading experience that way, reading and learning about people and situations at the right time.
A brilliant addition to a fantastic series. I really can't recommend these highly enough and can't wait for Gypsum's story to comes next.
** same worded review will appear elsewhere **
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *
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Sherrie Cronin is the author of a collection of six speculative fiction novels known as 46. Ascending and is now in the process of publishing a historical fantasy series called The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters. A quick look at the synopses of her books makes it obvious she is fascinated by people achieving the astonishing by developing abilities they barely knew they had.
She’s made a lot of stops along the way to writing these novels. She’s lived in seven cities, visited forty-six countries, and worked as a waitress, technical writer, and geophysicist. Now she answers a hot-line. Along the way, she’s lost several cats but acquired a husband who still loves her and three kids who’ve grown up just fine, both despite how odd she is.
All her life she has wanted to either tell these kinds of stories or be Chief Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise. She now lives and writes in the mountains of Western North Carolina, where she admits to occasionally checking her phone for a message from Captain Picard, just in case.
Author Social Media Links:
Author Blog: https://sherriecronin.xyz/
Book Series Blog: https://troublesome7sisters.xyz/