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11 Reviews
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pay Attention World! A Compelling Piece of Literature!!!!
Not only will this keep you reading till all hours of the night.

You won't be able to sleep when you're done.

At it's heart: it's a riveting story. Behind the curtain of this story, there is a towering intelligence pulling the cranks, blowing whistles, and letting out the steam of everything from Freud, to grunge bars to feminist theory to the...
Published on January 21, 2006 by Roger W. Wright

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to like it...
Believe me, when I picked up this book, I wanted to like it. I thought I surely would! I mean, it's set here in Chicago and revolves around the lives of identical twins (also quite applicable to me!). And while it was an engrossing story, it left me feeling unsatisfied and that the whole book was rather inconclusive.
Also, and I am not quite sure why, the book...
Published on June 11, 2008 by Yolanda S. Bean


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pay Attention World! A Compelling Piece of Literature!!!!, January 21, 2006
By 
Roger W. Wright (Chicago, Illinois) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: My Sister's Continent (Paperback)
Not only will this keep you reading till all hours of the night.

You won't be able to sleep when you're done.

At it's heart: it's a riveting story. Behind the curtain of this story, there is a towering intelligence pulling the cranks, blowing whistles, and letting out the steam of everything from Freud, to grunge bars to feminist theory to the souless chasm of the suburbs. But the intelligence never gets in the way of the story.

Twin sisters navigating the Clinton years and family wars perhaps as old as time. Set with complete and total realism in Chicago and the Northern Suburbs of the city. Language that holds nothing back.

This book will probobly never make it on to Oprah. (If it did, prepare for a seismic shift in the elevation of true literature in our society) It does not have the pat, feel good cliches of an author telling us how to think and feel warm and cozy. Nothing here that feels like fresh baked cookies. This book is somebody else's expensive scotch guzzled too fast at 2:00 am with a momentary ally in the creepy dark sleet of winter night.

This is an author holding up a mirror to these riveting characters and letting the reader SEE the reflections. The effect is that, just like great music, a lot of the power is what is NOT said, the pauses, the missing pieces as we catch a reflection---not totally sure what we saw--but compelled by the power of the story to keep reading. Keep reading.

You won't forget this story.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Psycho Sexual Tour of Two Troubled Female Lives, June 28, 2006
By 
Doug "dcb" (Holladay, Ut United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: My Sister's Continent (Paperback)
This book will grab you quickly and take you into an ultra real world of two beautiful and intelligent female twins who are both struggling with their lives and especially their relationships with men. It is told through the eyes of one of the twins who is in therapy to help her cure an ongoing irritable bowel problem and also through a clever approach where she superimposes interpretations and understanding of her twin sister through reading her journals after she has left and then telling her story in her own voice. But the thing that keeps you spellbound and interested like a voyeur is the very real sexual and sometimes self destructive behavior each of the girls exhibit while they search for love and happiness, at the same time doing things that are way out there on the kinkiness scale. And yet, by the time the book is over, amazingly, we love them both and understand them both and feel nothing but compassion and hope.

There are other excellent characterizations, the well meaning and alcoholic father, the stern and icey cold mother, the therapist and three very different boyfriends who are trying to understand and help the girls through their dysfunctional lives, yearning for love and sex.

The writing is mature, full of metaphors which help us follow the girls' journies through madness and to a lesser extent, redemption. This book is no frilly, happy little romance novel. It is just the opposite, an almost brutal look into real life and understanding of the psychology of dysfunctional, yet normal, human relationships. The genius of the author is her ability to delve into these abnormal yet very interesting sexual and emotional needs of people through the Freudian approach. I loved the book and feel enhanced.

I hope there is a follow-up book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gina Frangello is here to stay!, June 19, 2006
By 
Angela Stubbs (Sherman Oaks, California) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: My Sister's Continent (Paperback)
This book is completely amazing. I haven't read a book this good in over a year or more. Honestly, you won't be able to put the book down. Not only does Frangello address a wide range of issues from AIDS, sexual abuse, anorexia, sibling rivalry and relationships in general, she has a unique way of crafting this very real, very disturbing web of family and dysfunctionality into something that matters. I could not put this book down. The story mirrors Freud's case story of Dora, which in my opinion is pretty deep, disturbing stuff to begin with but Frangello then took that blue print and created one of the most moving and depressing stories while keeping hope and redemption alive in this novel. I'm truly astounded at the quality of writing, the research that had to have gone into this novel and really for Chiasmus Press for publishing this great work. And my fellow Bookslut co-hort has nailed it when she said she found herself holding her breath through a would-be sex scene. There are several moments in the book where you find your self caught up in this anticipatory frenzy--all of which lends to the "can't-put-it-down" factor. Please read this book. You'll be thinking about it for days after you've finished.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sisters Karamazov, February 9, 2006
By 
James A. Boring "Buck" (Margate, Florida, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: My Sister's Continent (Paperback)
What a story! As if the author brought all the Karamazovs back to life in modern Chicago, condensed them into twin sisters, put gags over their mouths, and made them try to articulate the motives and passions of the demons that possessed them. Dora would be pleased. Sigmund would be pleased. Schroedinger would be pleased. I am overwhelmed.

The characters are vivid and real, their language flows like blood and burns like Scotch on their wounds, self-inflicted and otherwise. Written and edited to perfection. I couldn't put it down. There is awe associated with the novel. Frangello has created characters and atmosphere and story of such acuity and intelligence and intensity that it is impossible to over-praise.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars and now for something different from a WOMAN, January 10, 2006
This review is from: My Sister's Continent (Paperback)
seriously, I'm so dang tired of women's confessional writing as well as women following a novelistic tradition with temperance and care...this is NOT a novel like that. This is a novel with guts. I'm saying that because it takes on the story of two sisters, dices it with sexual identity politics as well as the dynamics of an oedipal family plot, and then weaves in history -- a la Freud and psychosexual discourse -- now THAT'S interesting. Bravo CHIASMUS PRESS for finding this woman, and BRAVO Gina Frangello.

What a relief.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gripping and unforgettable psychodrama, July 9, 2011
This review is from: My Sister's Continent (Paperback)
Frangello's text leaps off the page in My Sister's Continent, a contemporary take on Freud's infamous Dora case study. The text explores the relationship between twin sisters who reconnect after a gulf expressed in time, distance, and emotion, and the slow and insidious bubbling to the surface of their innermost secrets and flaws as their family unit dissolves in the face of scandal and disease.

Frangello's writing is extraordinarily strong and vivid; she perfectly captures the Chicago backdrop and the intricacy of familial relationships in a way that feels as real as solid wood. Her characterisation is considered and completely truthful - she has constructed a world where you find yourself nodding in recognition at the ways in which people relate to each other, in kindness and in cruelty.

It's perhaps not a book for the faint-hearted; a lot of the material Frangello works with here is gritty in its sexuality and humanity, but the book is ultimately hugely rewarding, and calls up many questions about relating to sex, relating to others, relating to truth and relating to self.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I wanted to like it..., June 11, 2008
This review is from: My Sister's Continent (Paperback)
Believe me, when I picked up this book, I wanted to like it. I thought I surely would! I mean, it's set here in Chicago and revolves around the lives of identical twins (also quite applicable to me!). And while it was an engrossing story, it left me feeling unsatisfied and that the whole book was rather inconclusive.
Also, and I am not quite sure why, the book oozed self-publication, and despite the author claiming to live in Chicago, it seemed as though some of the details were pretty off. I also didn't see the point in the focus being almost entirely sexual... it is hard to maintain, and Frangello definitely did not keep my interest. I also felt like all the characters were unattractive and unlikeable. I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone other than my own sister, and even then just to see what she thinks of it.
Maybe someday I will re-visit this book and see if my opinion has shifted, but I think it will be on the shelf a long while before that happens.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, highly charged story, November 5, 2006
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This review is from: My Sister's Continent (Paperback)
This is one of the few books in recent memory that has continued to linger in my mind. It's on my Reread Soon list. Frangello's characters are all rendered warmly, with depth, and sympathy, no matter how cold, scheming, or hypocritical they might be. I found myself caring for each and every one of them, warts and all. The story of one twin's attempt to understand and tell her sister's life plunges us into a zig-zagging attempt at revealing truth. As each facet her sister's and family's life is revealed (drink, drugs, AIDS, S&M, recovered memories, and lies, lies, lies), you gain a broader, deeper picture, but one that is ultimately as murky as real life often is. Despite what some might consider sensationalistic subject matter, it is not presented as titillation. One of the best books I've read in recent years.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not sure..., March 21, 2007
By 
mfaromantic (Bristol, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: My Sister's Continent (Paperback)
I'm about 100 pages in and I can't decide whether to keep reading or not. I was really expecting to be totally enthralled with this book as a result of the description and the reviews but so far, I can't get connected to the story or the characters. I find the concept of the book fascinating but ultimately, I don't find the characters engaging and in some ways it all seems superficial or contrived to me. At the same time, I keep believing that if I stick it out a little longer, I will find it more compelling and that I might miss out on a good book if I give up. My philosophy has always been that I would rather walk away from a book I'm not enjoying or gaining anything from in favor of others that I would find more satisfying. With this one, I'm very torn. I think I may ultimately move on to something else. That being said, if the description interests you, I would recommend giving it a chance; maybe it will speak to you more than it has to me.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars, November 16, 2014
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This review is from: My Sister's Continent (Paperback)
I loved this book until the final chapter. Too many unanwered questions.
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My Sister's Continent
My Sister's Continent by Gina Frangello (Paperback - January 1, 2006)
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