Lucinda Riley, known from

The Seven Sisters series

, passed away on Friday at the age of 55.

Xander Publishers, which publishes its books in the Netherlands, announced this on Friday.

The Irish writer had had cancer for a few years.

"We are deeply sorry to tell you that Lucinda passed away peacefully this morning, surrounded by her family who were so important to her," her family said in a statement.

"We realize that this will come as a huge shock to many, as most people didn't know that Lucinda had been suffering from cancer for four years. Lucinda left an indelible impression on everyone she met, and on everyone who lost herself in her stories. She always radiated love and kindness in everything she did, and she will forever inspire us."

Riley is best known for her widely read series

The Seven Sisters


The series is about a group of sisters who come together after the sudden death of their father in their parental home, a beautiful country house on Lake Geneva.

After his death, they all received a mysterious letter about their origin.

The seventh part,

De Zevende Zus

, appeared earlier this year and was in the top spot of the Bestseller 60 for weeks in a row. The eighth and final part was intended to be released in 2022.

Irish-born Riley wrote her first book at the age of 24.

Her work has since been published in 34 countries and more than 25 million copies of her books have been sold.

In the Netherlands, Riley is incredibly popular and more than 3 million of her books have been sold.

Sander Knol, the Dutch publisher and a close friend of Riley, remembers her as "an extraordinary woman with an impressive life force and unwavering dedication to writing and her books".