2023 Reviews · contemporary fiction · dual time frame · historical fiction

New Release Book Review: Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt by Lucinda Riley and Harry Whittaker

Title: Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt

Author: Lucinda Riley and Harry Whittaker

Published: May 11th 2023

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Pages: 784

Genres:  Fiction, Contemporary/Historical

RRP: $34.99

Rating: 5 stars

Spanning a lifetime of love and loss, crossing borders and oceans, Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt, co-authored by her son Harry Whittaker, draws Lucinda Riley’s Seven Sisters series to its stunning, unforgettable conclusion.

1928, Paris

A boy is found, moments from death, and taken in by a kindly family. Gentle, precocious, talented, he flourishes in his new home, and the family show him a life he hadn’t dreamed possible. But he refuses to speak a word about who he really is.

As he grows into a young man, falling in love and taking classes at the prestigious Conservatoire de Paris, he can almost forget the terrors of his past, or the promise he has vowed to keep. But across Europe an evil is rising, and no-one’s safety is certain. In his heart, he knows the time will come where he must flee once more.

2008, the Aegean

The seven sisters are gathered together for the first time, on board the Titan to say a final goodbye to the enigmatic father they loved so dearly.

To the surprise of everyone, it is the missing sister who Pa Salt has chosen to entrust with the clue to their pasts. But for every truth revealed, another question emerges. The sisters must confront the idea that their adored father was someone they barely knew. And even more shockingly: that these long-buried secrets may still have consequences for them today.


Everything will be revealed hails the cover of Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt. Penned by Harry Whittaker following the sad passing of his mother Lucinda Riley, the masterful storyteller behind the spellbinding Seven Sisters series. This eighth issue in the highly embraced series comes to an end in rather spectacular circumstances. Crossing decades, centuries, lands and seas afar, Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt is an unmissable read, especially those who have followed the series religiously.

Travelling back in the years between the First and Second World War in Paris, this final instalment in the Seven Sisters series introduces a young mute boy, who is taken in by a generous family after a brush with death. This boy is clearly gifted in many ways, but his tumultuous and unknown history will follow him all his life. When the boy grows from a child to an adult, he becomes a talented musician and his passion for music almost helps him bury the horrors of the past away. When he meets a beautiful girl during his studies, he vows to stay by her side forever. But the world and this boy’s arch enemy has plans for them, so an escape plan is hatched. Will the horrors sweeping across Europe and world find them? Moving forward in time to the year 2008, a family reunion of sorts is playing out as seven sisters gather on the family vessel to bid adieu for a final time to the man that rescued each of them. But a long-lost sister holds the key the unlocking each personal history connected to this sprawling family. What withheld truths will be revealed and how will this change each member of the family?

I’ve decided I’m not going to divulge too much in regards to the content of this novel. As a massive and long-standing fan of Lucinda Riley’s Seven Sisters series, I am respectful of those who haven’t read this series or final issue yet. What I will say is that I was both excited and nervous going into Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt. Harry Whittaker is definitely a son to be proud of for fulfilling his mother’s legacy and I’m sure she is looking down on him now, nodding in approval.

So, finally we get to meet the enigmatic, elusive and fantastical Pa Salt. Since this story began almost a decade ago now, I’ve had my theories and suspicions about Pa Salt. I’ve always thought he had a celestial and magical quality, almost God like. It was great to finally get into the bones of this character and follow his origin story. Likewise, it was wonderful to catch up with each of the seven sisters, including the lost sister. Whittaker and Riley provide us with a background to some of the reappearing support cast who have appeared in the previous books in the series. It was so nice to connect and discover the hidden histories of the periphery cast, many of these character threads surprised me. I loved finding out how each of them were connected to Pa Salt.

As an expected and hoped, Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt is big, dramatic and astounding. We travel through times of loss, tragedy, war, turmoil and uncertainty. Many people are touched by Pa Salt and we learn who made an impact on this larger-than-life character. From continent to continent and different oceans, we bear witness to the keynote events that shape the unforgettable man known as Pa Salt. Whittaker and Riley takes us through moments of despair, loss, charity, connection, friendship, opportunity, love, survival, fate, chance, adventure, tragedy and triumph. Sometimes you need to surrender to the magic of it all as Whittaker and Riley capture the essence of the real Pa Salt via his eventful journal entries filtered through this incredible narrative.

I rarely shed a tear when reading novels, but confess this is one book that had me sobbing at the end. I think the culmination of this much-loved series coming to a close, the passing of the author before the end and the final parting scene which had all the feels got me! Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt was a most fitting tribute a once in a lifetime series and dearly missed author.

Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt by Lucinda Riley and Harry Whittaker was published on 11th May 2023 by Pan Macmillan. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt, Lucinda Riley, visit here.

*Thanks extended to Pan Macmillan for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.


3 thoughts on “New Release Book Review: Atlas: The Story of Pa Salt by Lucinda Riley and Harry Whittaker

  1. I’m listening to the Lost Sister at the moment and waiting for Atlas to become available on borrowbox. I’m really looking forward to a fabulous ending.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m enjoying the Missing Sister (I got the name wrong lol) a great deal. Borrowbox says 3rd August, so not too long to wait.


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