I feel very fortunate that I come from a large family. Through good times and bad I can always count on my siblings for advice, help, support and comfort when I need it. I feel especially fortunate to have three sisters. A British study a few years ago found that those of us who grew up with a sister in our lives were more open and willing to discuss feelings. Additionally, girls who had sisters also tended to be more independent. Yes, sometimes we have a love-hate relationship, but we are always there for each other when something important happens in our lives. Books about sisters have always held a place among literary favorites; the March sisters in Little Women and the Dashwood sisters from Sense and Sensibility come to mind. In the last few months I’ve noticed a few other books about sisters that look interesting and should provide some good discussion points for book groups.
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown was just released in paperback and has already moved onto the bestseller list. The Andreas sisters, daughters of a Shakespearean scholar, have come home to take care of their ailing mother. However, the real reasons they have returned have more to do with the lives they have made for themselves and the issues with which they are dealing. As they reconnect and start to deal with their problems, they will learn much more about themselves and each other. Ms. Brown has captured that sister rivalry perfectly in this quirky novel filled with quotes from Shakespeare.
Nancy Jepsen has written a family saga, The Sisters, which captures the struggles of women in the 20th century. This story of two sisters who are separated when they are young involves misunderstandings, family secrets and social issues. Through four generations, the lives of the Fischer family intersect in this touching novel filled with interesting and complex characters. This is a first novel for Ms. Jepsen who based the story on her grandmother’s mysterious relationship with her own sister.
Sister, written by Rosamund Lupton, is a literary thriller about the bonds that sisters share. Bee, living in NYC, returns to London to investigate the death of her younger sister Tess. Although the death is declared a suicide, Bee refuses to believe it. As she investigates her sister’s death, Tess discovers more about herself and her sister than she could have imagined. The bond between the two sisters is clearly evident in this suspenseful page-turner.
The relationship between sisters can be very complex, as these three very different books show. Sisters play an important part in women’s lives and most women truly value that relationship. Sometimes you may need to work on it a little, but it’s worth the effort.