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While her mother is at home giving birth, eleven-year-old Isa must look after her younger siblings, but when her little sister is killed in an accident on a trainline she carries the guilt through the rest of her life.
As Isa grows up, more tragedy strikes: her mother dies of a broken heart after giving birth to a stillborn son, and her father finds solace in heavy drinking. Though Isa finds satisfaction in domestic service for an aristocratic family in London, when her father returns home from the First World War paralysed and suffering memory loss, she must return home to take care of her family once more.
Yet there is only so much Isa can endure over the years, and discovering her husband’s affair is the final straw. Believing she has failed as a sister, a daughter, a wife and a mother, she makes an irrevocable decision… but will she realise in time that her troubled past can also give her the strength to carry on?
A tale of family tragedy and the struggle to let go of the past, Her Sister’s Gift is a heartbreaking yet ultimately uplifting debut from Sunday Mail Fiction Prize runner-up Isabel Jackson.