Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt
By Lucinda Riley and Harry Whittaker
An epic family saga reaches its stunning, long-awaited conclusion.
In crafting the epic, resonant Seven Sisters series, the late Lucinda Riley not only captured the hearts and minds of readers everywhere, but also really set the standard for the popular family saga.
Inspired by the Greek myth of The Pleiades – the seven daughters of the Titan Atlas who were eventually cast into the night sky by Zeus to become a comforting cluster of stars – the Seven Sisters series traverses time and place to tell the tale of the lives of the seven baby girls adopted by enigmatic Swiss billionaire Pa Salt. And it is with his passing that the main events of the series are set into motion. Upon Pa Salt’s death, each of the sisters receives a letter that contains tantalising clues about their individual origins. And thus, we embark on a tour of history and the world as we accompany each sister on her quest. Themes throughout include feminine strength, love and loss, heritage, completeness and romance, and each book sees Riley showcase her formidable storytelling talents, her knack for evoking history and her devotion to her inimitable characters.
The Seven Sisters series has truly become a juggernaut of historical fiction and now, at last, it draws to a close by revealing the secrets of Pa Salt, the mysterious, beloved father at the centre of it all.
The story of this unforgettable family begins back in Paris, in 1928, where a boy on the brink of death is found by a good-natured family and taken in. Not long after he recovers, he quickly proves himself to be uncommonly talented and insightful for his age and under the care of his new family he starts to flourish. Encouraged by the love of his adoptive parents, he begins to see himself achieving the kind of life that he had always assumed was impossible for people like him. But no matter the securities and comforts of his new life, he will not, even when urged, reveal who he really is or describe the events that led him to this point. The horrors of his past remain well and truly buried.
As a determined and ambitious young man, with a romantic leaning that leads him to fall quickly in love, he attends the prestigious Conservatoire de Paris, further reaching for the ideal life that seems more and more attainable. But even in moving so far ahead, in feeling the future creep toward his grasp, he still cannot forget the traumas of his early life… and the promise, the most important vow he has ever made, is becoming harder and harder to keep. When it becomes clear that a nascent and imperious evil is rising all across Europe, he fears that he must flee once again.
In 2008, in the heart of the Aegean Sea, six sisters board the Titan – their father’s cherished yacht – in order to say a final farewell to the father they all so deeply adored. But there is one sister missing, and it is she to whom all the truths of who they are and how they got there have been entrusted. The six gathered siblings are thus forced to reckon with the idea that they might not have known much about their father at all… and that the secrets he took with him into death continue to hold sway over their lives.
Co-authored and eventually completed by Riley’s son, Harry Whittaker, Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt weaves all the threads together to form a beautiful, heart-rending denouement to this most magical and engrossing chronicle of love and family. If you’ve travelled this far with the sisters, you’ll absolutely relish the chance to slot in the final piece of the puzzle. It’s not to be missed.