Monday, March 17, 2014


Whenever I have a friend whom I both love intensely and who can really get me mad, I say she is like a sister.  I have a lot of sisters; it's a relationship dynamic I'm very familiar with.  Perhaps that is what drew me to Curtis Sittenfeld's latest novel, Sisterland.

Sittenfeld takes the relationship a step further and makes her characters twins.  Twins who share psychic abilities they refer to as senses, as in "I have a sense about" anything that might happen.  Their senses, however, seldom help them make good choices.

The novel begins with an argument between sisters in a restaurant.  At first it seemed that the things said would cause irreparable damage to their relationship, but then I realized, no, their relationship is much stronger than bickering they engage in.  Which is part of the pleasure of reading this book.  Sittenfeld seems to have deep understanding of how people can fail and still endure in their personal lives.  The course of this novel follows their relationship through childhood, adolescence, college and early adulthood.  By the end of the book there is a strong sense of lessons learned and unbreakable bonds.  

--E.M. Reference Desk

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