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Sister Mine Hardcover – March 12, 2013

4.4 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Acclaimed novelist Nalo Hopkinson is well-known for her unique postmodern mythos, often drawing on Caribbean folklore, and placing complex characters smack in the center of worlds whose magic isn't always kind and in which decisions are rarely easy. Her newest novel, Sister Mine, has a lighter edge than some of her previous work; it's an engaging, messy fable about the interconnectedness of even the little things in our lives...This is a book about family, and Sister Mine remains a suitably imperfect and vibrant story of family in all its unfathomable wonders and annoyances, and the power it holds over us - or gives us."―NPR

"She's a powerful writer with an imagination that most of us would kill for. I have read everything she has written and am in awe of her many gifts. And her protagonists are unforgettable - formidable haunted women drawn with an almost unbearable honesty - seriously, who writes sisters like Nalo? Takes courage to be that true."―Junot Diaz, in the LA Times

"Hopkinson's most wildly imaginative novel since Brown Girl in the Ring.... and some of her most accomplished prose to date; at one point, she conveys the multivalent perceptions of Makeda through stunning passages of pure synaesthesia."―Locus

"While the fantastical is ever-present, it's the personal and familial that make Sister Mine engaging and captivating. Self-doubt, interpersonal conflict and the struggle for acceptance are just as powerful as the novel's magical objects. Hopkinson's deeply saturated, poetic language is perfect to relate this story, which is deeply felt."―Globe and Mail (Toronto)

"The comingling of the fantastical and the real world in this urban fantasy is seamless and surprisingly credible . . . complex relationships and knotty family ties, all with a tasty supernatural flavor."―School Library Journal blog

"Hopkins writes in the tradition of African-American science fiction authors like Samuel R. Delany and Octavia Butler, but her approach is singularly expansive, a mythography of the black diaspora. (There are parallels with fellow Caribbean native Junot Diaz's work, not to mention King Rat, China Mieville's similarly musical urban fantasy.) . . . Hopkinson's prose intermingles the quotidian settings and cosmic mysticism with sly, assured ease."―National Post (Canada)

"Hopkinson is extremely talented at crafting complicated protagonists, and Makeda is no exception...Her books always feel like glimpses into worlds that are fully detailed and stand on their own...Another great novel from one of the best fantasy authors working today."―io9.com

"The author of sci-fi classics The Salt Roads (2003) and Brown Girl in the Ring (1998), conjures up another hit with Sister Mine."―Essence Magazine

"As audacious as it is addictive."―A Toronto Life "Must Read"

"Hopkinson has lost none of her gift for salty, Caribbean-Canadian talk...and the relationship between Makeda and Abby always rings true: resentment and anger enduringly intertwined with love and loyalty."―Kirkus Reviews

"Sister Mine explores kinship, twinship, and the intense rivalry and intimacy unique to sisters...a fast-paced, slyly transgressive, satisfying supernatural adventure."―The Cascadia Subduction Zone

"A most impressive work . . . vivid and richly nuanced, utterly realistic yet still somehow touched with magic."―Toronto Star on The New Moon's Arms

"With sly humor and great tenderness, Hopkinson draws out the hope residing in age and change."―Toronto Globe and Mail on The New Moon's Arms

"[A] considerable talent for character, voice, and lushly sensual writing . . . her most convincing and complex character to date."―Locus on The New Moon's Arms

"A book of wonder, courage, and magic . . . an electrifying bravura performance by one of our most important writers."―Junot Díaz, author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao on The Salt Roads

"Sexy, disturbing, touching, wildly comic. A tour de force from one of our most striking new voices in fiction."―Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on The Salt Roads

"Vibrant . . . stunning . . . Hopkinson puts her lyrical gifts to good use."―New York Times Book Review on Skin Folk

"Hopkinson has already captured readers with her unique combination of Caribbean folklore, sensual characters, and rhythmic prose. These stories further illustrate her broad range of subjects."―Booklist on Skin Folk

"Succeeds on a grand scale . . . Hopkinson's narrative voice has a way of getting under the skin."―New York Times Book Review on Midnight Robber

"Rich and complex . . . Hopkinson owns one of the more important and original voices in SF."―Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Midnight Robber

"Excellent . . . a bright, original mix of future urban decay and West Indian magic . . . strongly rooted in character and place."―Sunday Denver Post on Brown Girl in the Ring

"Utterly original . . . the debut of a major talent. Gripping, memorable, and beautiful."―Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club on Brown Girl in the Ring

About the Author

Nalo Hopkinson was born in Jamaica and has lived in Guyana, Trinidad, and Canada. The daughter of a poet/playwright and a library technician, she has won numerous awards including the John W. Campbell Award, the World Fantasy Award, and Canada's Sunburst Award for literature of the fantastic. Her award-winning short fiction collection Skin Folk was selected for the 2002 New York Times Summer Reading List and was one of the New York Times Best Books of the Year. Hopkinson is also the author of The New Moon's Arms, The Salt Roads, Midnight Robber, and Brown Girl in the Ring. She is a professor of creative writing at the University of California, Riverside, and splits her time between California, USA, and Toronto, Canada.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1st edition (March 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446576921
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446576925
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #757,667 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
To me, not much can be negative in a book that features Jimi Hendrix's guitar as the male character Lars, boyfriend to one of the twins in this masterful mythological work. With the exception of the mention (not an actual description) of incestuous relations (consensual, at least), the book is exquisite: prose-worthy, humorous, all-around different than the usual publications. As in mythology, one twin--Abigail--is divine and the other--Makeda--is not. Their relatives include the Grim Reaper, the Ocean and the Bejis who are also twins (according to the Yoruba in Nigeria who call them Ibejis). Twins appear in most world mythologies so rather than trying to match them up, I just sat back (against my pillow in bed) and enjoyed the story. Accessible and imperfectly perfect, it is easy to relate to these Geminis. If you are interested in family, love, jealousy, and the childish but very real desire for justice, be sure to add Sister Mine to your reading list.
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Format: Hardcover
Part of the fun of reading Sister Mine is digging deeper and deeper into Makeda and Abigail's story to find out what truly happened when they were born, how their mother disappeared, and where there daddy is.

Not to mention who their daddy is. And who their uncle is. Because Makeda and Abigail were born into a family where some of the members usher humans into life and death. They are Shiny, in Makeda's words, and what Makeda wants more than anything else in the world is to find her own mojo; just like her sister Abigail.

She starts out looking just for independence from her Shiny sister in a battered old loft in a converted industrial building. But her new digs house a band, and a boy, who are more than they seem. Now if only Makeda can escape the haint following her around, find enough money to make rent, and somehow deal with daddy's wandering....

This is an urban fantasy, and the tight-but-rich writing weaves a first layer of Toronto over Makeda's Orisha family, and as you discover more about Uncle Flash, Grandma Ocean and the others and more of their secrets, the more you dig deeply into human fears and foibles.

These are gods and demi-gods we are reading about, and while some of their antics are not ones modern society approves of, they are based in the deepest parts of human history and psyche. This is a story to bathe yourself in, not to enjoy for intricate plots or clever action.

This Book's Snack Rating: Kiss Trinidad Fruit Cake for the rich, delicious characters containing sweet nuggets of universal human truth
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It took me a few tries to get started, but once I got involved, I really liked this book. It's fun and crazy and colorful and unexpected but very sound at heart. I loved the love between Abby and Makeda and the rest of her powerful, crazy family. I loved that the whole family, despite being deities, was "normal" with the same squabbles and slights and snits and love that most extended families have. I liked that I never really knew where the story was going to go next. However, it's a very slight story for all the flash and glitter. Nothing much happens except Abby and Makeda come to a better balance in their relationship with each other. I guess I expect more movement and growth in the characters of a novel. This book reads more like an extended short story. It's excellently written though, and I'd certainly recommend it as a fun quick read.
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As usual, Nalo tells a good story. Some of the references she makes would not be easily or quickly understood by those not familiar with Caribbean culture and folklore. Those who do will appreciate Nalo's clever twist(s) on things. But I'm not going to give the plot away.
Without trying to genre-lize it, I would say if you are a fan of sf, postmodernism, Caribbean lit, magical realism and/or Nalo herself, I would say, take a read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Um... this book is really weird, and I like weird books, but this was weird even for me. I didn't really connect with the writing style and the plot seemed to be well defined at first, but then plot threads pick up and drop off out of nowhere, and the ending does not tie everything up at all. I did finish the book, but it was very hard to get through, and the only thing that got me through the book was the wacky cast of characters. At the end though, I couldn't help feeling that reading this book was a waste of time. It was just... weird... weird for the sake of being weird... meh...
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Makeda and Abbey are conjoined twins, born from a mortal and a god. Between their weird immortal family , helping their dying father, try to cope living on their own, their mortal relatives and all sorts of paranormal things going on around them, the novel is imbued with love, the kind only sisters can share, a love that goes beyond anything and survives everything. Loved it. The author creates a magical world around the sisters, crazy -like all bets off kind of universe which somehow makes perfect sense and draws the reader within willingly. It's fun to catch uncle death riding a magical carpet made of wool and invisible birds while visiting a leviathan like mother monster and being attacked by a huge vine carrying the spirit of a god.
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