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Sisterland: A Novel Paperback – May 6, 2014
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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, July 2013: After tackling east coast prep school and the life of a first lady in previous works, writing about twin sisters with ESP might seem like a strange move for Curtis Sittenfeld. But Sisterland is not a book about what it means to live with psychic powers. Rather, it’s a deeply emotional study of two closely-linked siblings who share many similarities but ultimately choose different paths in life. Having grown up with a mild form of ESP—what they call “senses”—the twins are confronted with how to deal with their powers. One chooses to “go straight” and become a suburban housewife and mother, while the other sister drops out of college to become a medium. The ESP part is not overplayed, and the story bears all the hallmarks of Sittenfeld’s other novels: an exploration of adolescence and the choices that people make, expertly drawn inner monologues, an artist’s complete grasp of the little moments in life. This is a unique—and at times pitch perfect—take on family, loyalty, and how people deal with the vapor trails left by childhood. -- Chris Schluep --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Twin sisters Kate Tucker and Violet Schramm are at the heart of Sittenfeld’s (American Wife, 2008) latest novel, which opens with a modest earthquake striking St. Louis. In the aftermath, Violet goes on television predicting that a much larger quake will hit the area, much to her sister’s horror. Kate has spent her life trying to shove aside the psychic abilities she and her sister share, choosing the safe confines of marriage and motherhood over nurturing her gifts the way Violet has. Violet’s prediction becomes national news, thrusting her into the spotlight and causing a mild panic in St. Louis. Kate finds herself under intense scrutiny as well, from acquaintances and even friends, including her husband’s colleague Courtney, a scientist who finds Violet’s prediction absurd. Sittenfeld alternates between the present and the past, revealing the Schramm sisters’ fraught childhood and complex relationship. A late-in-the-game twist makes the final pages fly, but the real strength of this moving story is Sittenfeld’s nuanced examination of the strength of familial bonds, whether they are between sisters or spouses. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: A concerted promotional campaign will support the newest daring novel by best-selling Sittenfeld, while the film version of her big hit, American Wife, is in development. --Kristine Huntley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Overall, I liked the background of their story and how the girls grew up and came to find themselves back where they started. I liked the first two thirds of the book, perhaps a little more. The only thing I didn't love is the ending. I'm not sure if I just didn't see it coming, didn't like it, or both, but that is why I'm giving the book only 4 stars. Nothing wrong with this story, and Sittenfeld is a wonderful story teller. I enjoy her work very much. I just know for a fact that while I've read Prep more than once, and would gladly read American Wife again, I'm simply not sure I'd feel that pressing need to read Sisterland again. Although I never say never for a favorite author, of which Sittenfeld certainly is.
Most recent customer reviews
This book captured feelings so deep. I really recommend this book for pure