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My Sister, My Self: Understanding the Sibling Relationship That Shapes Our Lives, Our Loves, and Ourselves Paperback – Bargain Price, September 5, 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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From the Back Cover

Discover the unexpected ways that being a sister affects your life choices

Whether your sister relationship was close, conflicted, or somewhere in between, that childhood bond shaped the woman you are today. Having grown up as an older, younger, middle, or twin sister influences your choice of occupation, your circle of friends, your love life--even how you feel about your own body.

My Sister, My Self provides you with powerful tools to:

  • Come to terms with a challenging sister relationship
  • Make sense of your need to depend on or control others
  • Recognize how your sister role influences your interactions with friends and colleagues
  • Understand the sister role you've played since childhood

"Vikki Stark's study of sibling relationships will take you to new depths of understanding of yourself, your sister, and the myriad ways you shaped each others' lives. You'll find a wealth of workable suggestions for getting . . . to a healthier, happier relationship with the one woman who shares your genes and your history."
--Adele Faber, coauthor of Siblings Without Rivalry

About the Author

Vikki Stark, M.S.W., has twenty years' experience as a family therapist, supervisor, and educator and appears regularly as a guest expert on television. Originally from New York City, she now lives in Montreal.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (September 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071478795
  • ASIN: B002QGSXNM
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,926,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 22, 2006
Format: Paperback
When I review a book, I usually have a copy right next to the computer, so I can refer to key passages and even quote a few lines. But this time I don't because I gave away my review copy right after I read it. I have a friend who's very close to her two sisters and I knew she'd enjoy reading this book. And I just ordered a gift copy to give a professional associate who's very close to her own sister.

That's the kind of book My Sister, My Self is: destined to keep circulating and (unless you're very careful) dog-eared and pencil-marked.

The theme of this book is, Your position as a sister will influence just about every area of your life - family, career, personality. What drew me into reading and re-reading is Stark's assertion that she can guess the birth order of a woman with only a few brief clues. Accountants (if I remember correctly) tend to be middle sisters.

And what amazed me is, she got my number! I am an older sister -- the bossy kind, not the caretaker type. And I fit her description quite accurately: totally independent and enjoy being in charge. I can't help noting how many older sisters tend to seek entrepreneurial careers and never really fit in as "team players."

I suspect most readers will do what I did: fast-forward to the chapters describing themselves. But I hope therapists and coaches will also enjoy reading this book because a lot of behavior that seems dysfunctional can be attributed directly to birth order. And from what Stark tells us, these influences go deep and can be hard to change.

Stark focuses solely on families with sisters, which means someone else has to write the book about sisters with brothers and only children.
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Format: Paperback
They say mothers most affect us. Women are our caretakers. Those of us who have a sister know the power of this relationship, so instrumental is it to our development and sense of self. Vikki Stark details this relationship, its dynamics, societal expectations, and taboos, elevating it to near Oedipal dimensions.

Women are complex individuals, more so in relationships with other women. To be a women in a sibling relationship with a sister is to know this relationship's most powerful influence. Vikki Stark details the sister relationship in all its forms offering practical measures to negotiate the relationship with the intention of strengthening the bond. Yet she does not shy away from the difficulties and the possibility that, in some cases, the relationship may fail. She is a reasoned voice who clearly articulates the struggle.

Moreover, she does not judge. She validates, supports, and comforts, quite simply, because one can so easily identify with all she writes. She is the therapist who has lived your experience. She is a psychologist whose observations are near psychic.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a must-read for anyone hoping to delve deeper into the intricate workings of the sister relationship. By speaking and engaging with numerous sets of sisters, Mrs. Vikki Starks thoroughly examines how a woman's childhood role as a sister has the remarkable power to influence and shape who she becomes later in life. As an identical twin, the topic of sisterhood has not only always fascinated me, but mystified me as well. There are so many complex emotions involved, such intense love, intimacy, and affection...and yet sometimes there is that simultaneous jealousy and resentment. This book was so refreshing to read because it is sometimes easy to lose sight of the fact that the sister dynamic is supposed to be messy and convoluted...that's what makes it so wonderful. As you read this book, you will laugh aloud with some of the cited sisters' happy memories, cry with some of the heartaches and struggles, smile to yourself as you relate (almost uncannily) to some of the stories, and most importantly, make you realize just how lucky you are to have a sister.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As the eldest of seven sisters, this book resonated with my own childhood and adult experiences. The author offers a summary of behavior patterns gleaned from extensive interviews with hundreds of female siblings, including twins and multi-generational groups. The conclusions the author draws about how female birth order shapes the way sisters relate, family dynamics, and the impact on life choices are well drawn and fascinating. The author offers excellent insights into how sisters relate; however, it is not a do-it-yourself manual to mend sibling relationships. It offers plenty of insight but does not attempt to provide solutions to problems. I wish the author had enlightened us more on the diversity of the group she interviewed because it left me wondering how that might influence the outcome of her interviews. If you have or are a sister, read this book.
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Format: Paperback
Sisters know it's not all hair ribbons and whispering about boys.

Ms. Stark's book was refreshingly real, based on sound qualitative research, exploring the sometimes ugly issues that are part and parcel of sibling rivalry, bullying, bossiness and babying, as well as the more common themes of friendship and interdependence. Often funny, sometimes sad, but always touching and informative, anyone who has ever had a sister should read this book.
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