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Maria Grazia Swan

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Love Thy Sister
by Maria Grazia Swan   

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Publisher:  Zander eBooks Type: 

Copyright:  Jan 1 2001

Zander eBooks

Mina, the heroine, is in a complex set of relationships with her lover, her sister, her sister's husband and his mistress--amid all of which is a series of thefts at a software company.

In the County of Orange, California, where life is counted in nanoseconds, two sets of sisters from opposite ends of the word, meet and fight for survival. Cheating, lying, stealing and murder, all is fair in love and war. Follow Mina, our Italian heroine, through this maze of intrigue to the unexpected ending. Excerpt
"Okay, so she would wear underwear. She'd have to borrow Paola's. Her sister would have a fit is she found out, she was so narrow minded about that sort of thing. But is she wore it there and back, washed it, and put it back in the drawer, Paola would never know, right? She opened Paola's lingerie drawer, the scent of lavender wafted up. Tied with a white ribbon, the stems of the dried, blue flowers formed a divider between the panties and the matching bras."

Professional Reviews

Praise from Noreen Ayres, author of the Smokey Brandon series
Maria Grazia Swan has got it down cold in her debut novel LOVE THY SISTER: Clean prose and a well-oiled plot make for a compelling read. Couple that with a striking mix of locale and believable personalities, and you have a book you'll be telling your friends about pronto.

Reviewed by Jude Morris, co-moderator – EPPRO (Electronically Published Professionals)
In Love Thy Sister, Maria Swan’s fascinating characters, and the fast pace of this absorbing novel will keep you reading nonstop to the end. Mina, Swan’s intriguing heroine, is a charming mix of child and woman, and the complex relationship that exists between Mina, and Paola her elegantly beautiful elder sister is both captivating and puzzling. To complicate matters, Paola’s husband Michael has taken a mistress, and Mina’s love affair with a poetic wanderer is challenged by an attractive young man whom Paola has hired to get to the bottom of some thefts at her software manufacturing plant. Cheating, lying, stealing and murder -- Love Thy Sister is a fast paced, challenging mystery that will keep you turning those pages right up to the startling denouement.

Reviewed by Ted Wilkinson
What would it be like to leave the mythical world of small town Italy, and take up with an estranged sister who has been mysteriously absent in the States, pursuing the “good life” of entrepreneurship and romance since before you took your first steps across your parents floor? Readers of Maria Grazia Swan’s maiden voyage through the artistic form of full length novel, will be left with little doubt – until Mina Calvi, protagonist in question, begins to doubt it herself. But just what is it that this sensuous Italian woman, with a flair for black leather jackets, and old worn out sweat shirts, is led to call into question? With a woman’s intuition that with each twist of the plot, seems to re-generate the story with even greater depth and proportion, Mina Calvi prophecies and protagonizes like a present – day Joan of Arc. And like the Patroness of France, she relentlessly pursues justice in the face of the maddening crowd with the feminine and lion – like presence of a gypsy fortune teller come sweeping across the seas to foretell the fall of the house of Davies to the degenerate Californian marketing lords of software and soft spines in a jungle of deceit and betrayal stretching all the way from the Mediterranean to Paola and Michael Davies home in [Orange County]. But what is it that seems to be slipping away through Mina’s fingers? Anything and everything. Michael Davies, gold digger, and husband to co-protagonist Paula Davies, (the sister of Mina Calvi,) is disabled by a “bad heart”. (The symbolism here, as elsewhere, is direct, unambiguous, yet subtle enough to draw the reader in without that lingering bad aftertaste of another trek through all night diners, bloody floor tiling, and mysteriously vanishing story line.). This is not to say that Ms. Swan’s story doesn’t have all of these elements common to almost every detective novel, and more. It is to say that these recurrent elements only augment a truly perennial and universal story, spoken in an unmistakable language, for it is the language of two sisters, facing the absurdity of their situation, and trying to piece together out of the broken fragments of their past, some kind of meaning to their existence. Sometimes in English, and sometimes with a refreshing departure into Italian. But we all speak the same language when we arrive at the core of our innermost self. It is a self that is lost in a search for meaning. That is what Ms. Swan’s style is shot through and through with. Meaning in a meaningless jungle of corporate brutality, violence masquerading as true love, and underworld pimps, dressed up as warehouse workers. What is she trying to tell you? Another way of putting this is “why is Mina Calvi, with each passing phase, becoming less and less grounded in herself? Why are her surroundings becoming consistently less and less familiar to her? Why has plot and purpose seemingly vanished from the story of her life?” Ms. Swan achieves true greatness in her work, in that, through the disintegration of everything around her protagonist, we are left with a question – and an answer. What happens when all of the things that we thought really mattered are violently torn away from us? The answer? Well, I won’t spoil it for you.

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Reader Reviews for "Love Thy Sister"

Reviewed by Pamela DeByl 6/1/2002
Maria is a good friend, so I couldn't wait to read her mystery. I could not put the book down, and read it in 3 days. The book was almost as good as the kind of person she is.
Reviewed by Theodore Wilkinson 8/22/2001
Maria Grazia Swan has really outdone herself. The development of the relationship between the two sisters is extremely well done.
Reviewed by 8/6/2001
Loved this book!

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