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Between Sisters: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle) Paperback – July 28, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Differences between siblings couldn't be more extreme than they are in this overwrought feel-good novel by Hannah (Distant Shores), a tale about two estranged sisters. Meghann Dontess is a hotshot, well-to-do Seattle divorce lawyer in her 30s, entirely focused on her career. Her younger sister, Claire Cavenaugh, a single mom living in a backwater town in the Pacific Northwest, takes care of her five-year-old daughter and helps her father run his low-key lakeside resort. The half-sisters were raised by a neglectful mother, who finally abandoned them for Hollywood when she won a starring role in a science fiction series. Meghann was 16 and Claire was nine; Meghann had already essentially raised Claire herself, and after their mother left, she tracked down Claire's biological father. Sam Cavenaugh was thrilled to be reunited with Claire, but Meghann suddenly found herself motherless and sisterless all at once, and numbed the pain by pouring herself into school, college and career. Now she's horrified because Claire has recklessly fallen in love with a country singer whom she's about to marry. Their absentee mom suddenly steps in to get him a recording contract, but before there can be a happy mother-daughter reunion, Claire is diagnosed with a brain tumor. Only Meghann, with her worldly connections, can come to the rescue. The melodramatic plot is something of a stretch, especially when Hannah ties it all together with a happy ending. Some devoted fans will enjoy the sisterly bonding, but the broad-strokes characters will disappoint more demanding readers of women's fiction.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Hannah returns to a minor character, Meghann, from Distant Shores [BKL My 1 02], and explores her life in-depth as she and her sister confront the past in order to have a better future relationship. They share a bitter childhood and find it difficult to trust each other, but for Meghann it goes deeper as her inability to trust anyone leads to a dangerously promiscuous lifestyle. Both sisters feel betrayed by the other, and now lead very different lives. Meghann, a shark of a Seattle divorce attorney, has been in therapy for years. Claire leads a simple, small-town life, and now tells her sister that she's getting married. Meghann initially tries to save her sister from what she believes will be a disaster since she doesn't believe in love, only in prenups, but eventually she adopts a more positive attitude and takes the first step toward healing the rift. Then Joe arrives, a wanderer with his own issues. Change comes gradually but with such finesse that the reader will enter the characters' relationships and make them her own as Hannah transcends the mundane in this gratifying, five-hankie story. Patty Engelmann
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Series: Random House Reader's Circle
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (July 28, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345519469
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345519467
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (604 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,704 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Kristin Hannah is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than 20 novels including Winter Garden, Night Road, and the blockbuster Firefly Lane which sold over 1.2 million copies.

Her novels Home Front and Night Road were among the first novels to appear in the #1 spot on 5 New York Times bestseller lists simultaneously. Home Front has been optioned for film by 1492 Films (produced the Oscar-nominated The Help) with Chris Columbus attached to write, produce, and direct.

Kristin's highly anticipated new release, The Nightingale, will be published on February 3, 2015 (St. Martin's Press). The novel --an epic love story and family drama set in France at the dawn of World War II--is a profound and compelling portrait of two estranged sisters, living in a city under siege and a country at war, where sometimes surviving means doing the unthinkable.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Ratmammy VINE VOICE on February 9, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
BETWEEN SISTERS by Kristin Hannah
February 9, 2008

Rating 4/5 stars

This was my first book by Kristin Hannah and I loved it! I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the story and how fast I was able to get through it.

Meghann Dontess is a high-powered divorce lawyer and is obviously very successful based on where she lives and how she lives. She goes from man to man, never seeing anyone for very long, avoiding commitments. Her life is empty. Part of Meghann's problem is a guilt that she's lived with for most of her life. She and her younger sister Claire Cavenaugh were separated when Meghann decided to leave Claire with Claire's biological father. Their mother rarely was around to take care of them, and in order to save themselves, Meghann had gone in search of Claire's biological father, who promptly took them in. But Meghann and Claire's father clashed, and so Meghann ran away, knowing she was leaving Claire in responsible hands. But since that parting, the two sisters have grown apart, and every time they do talk on the phone, they fight. Meghann actually took care of Claire as a mother would a daughter, because their own mother was not responsible enough or was ever there to take care of them herself. Being an actress was much more important to their mother.

Now, Meghann and Claire are reunited. Claire has decided to marry a man that she had just recently met, and Meghann feels it's her responsibility to steer Claire in the right direction. Meghann had been out of Claire's life for the past 27 years, but now she feels it's time to do the right thing. Claire, however, doesn't want her older sister meddling. All she wants is Meghann's blessing.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By TJ's Mommy on September 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
What a great book! The story of Meg and Claire will evoke every emotion you can muster up...anger, misunderstanding, happiness, sadness, joy...I could go on and on. I don't even need to describe the story line, all you need to know is that if you like a heartwarming story...this is the book for you. Kristin Hannah has done it again.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Author Hannah sets up an intriguing dilemma, one that will be familiar to many readers. Two sisters strike out in different directions, then come together again at a critical point in their lives. WIll they reconcile? That's what keeps the pages turning. But I believe the deeper question is: Why should they feel guilty if they don't?
The novel begins with big sister Meaghan, a hotshot divorce lawyer, being challenged by her highly-paid therapist. She's almost a stereotype: wealthy and successful with an unsatisfying, empty personal life. Coincidentally Claire, the younger sister, has just become engaged to a country singer. Naturally Meaghan's first thought is not to congratulate the bride, but to offer help with the pre-nuptial agreement!
Hannah begins by emphasizing the contrast between the sisters. Claire, a party-girl who dropped out of college, versus Meaghan who got a law degree. Claire, simple in the country; Meaghan, sophisticated in the city. Stereotypically, we're supposed to feel sympathy for Claire and resent Meaghan's heavy-handed intrusions.
Meaghan feels guilty about losing touch with Claire, but it's hard to see why. As children, left alone by a self-centered mother who stumbled into a starring television role, Meaghan saved Claire from a foster home with Social Services. It was Meaghan who ended up homeless, who put herself through college and law school. In the novel, I believe the Meaghan character was more well-rounded and more interesting, with contradictions that led to questions.
Following a bizarre episode in a courtroom, Meaghan finds herself with time on her hands. She visits Claire and volunteers to help with the wedding.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Liz Corey on October 9, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is one of the most outstanding books that I have ever read! It has all the elements of a book that can't be put down nor wait until the next chapter. I listened to it in audio form and even carried the cassette player in my pocket while doing chores! That's how good it was. Didn't want to miss a single line. I HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a book that has love, family, mystery, challenges, good and bad relationships, healing old wounds and appreciation of people that touch your lives. You won't be able to put this one down!!!!!!!!!!!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Judith E. Pavluvcik on July 16, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Between Sisters by Kristin Hannah, is another heartwarming story by this amazing author. I have read all of Hannah's books, and each and every one of her books is endearing and so filled with life's realities. Hannah is able to draw the reader directly into the story and one just does not want to put her books down until the every end! The reader is relating to all the characters by feeling all of their emotions and seeing their world perfectly due to the artistry of Hannah's words.
I love Hannah's books, as they are so full of hope and love, even through the challenges that life presents each and every one of us. There is nothing stronger than love and Hannah portrays that so very well in all of her books. A crisis surely pulls a family together, where the love of one another is able to overcome even the strongest challenge.
Hannah portrays that so well with her latest book on the bond of two sisters, broken apart by life, yet love pulls them and those around them closer together. Love heals, as Hannah so clearly shows. Sisters torn apart by family forces yet brought together again though their love of one another.
Hannah's books are not only wonderful stories, but she also weaves a message throughout her books that just fills one with hope.
I loved this book and highly recommend it anyone! You will not be disappointed! Five stars does not do this book justice!
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