Tag Archives: Sisters

The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell

I have a few things in common with one of the characters in The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell. I am the mother of girls, I homeschool them, and we belong to a private park. However, I hope that I won’t hold illusions about what my kids might be capable of. Both moms in this book suffer from a common literary problem–they are unable to imagine that their children may be up to no good, and while harboring this illusion, they continually push…

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Walk Me Home by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Synopsis: Two sisters set out to walk from New Mexico to northern California in the hopes that their mother’s ex-boyfriend will take them in, but the theft of some eggs while traveling through a Native American reservation threatens to bring their whole scheme crashing down around their ears. Review: Walk Me Home had me hooked from the very first pages. Carly and her little sister Jen have such a realistic, touching relationship that I couldn’t help but become immediately invested in their journey. As the…

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The Pretty One by Lucinda Rosenfeld

Synopsis: Three sisters approaching middle age find themselves caught in the roles they were assigned as children, and now the family tension is threatening to explode. Review: I loved the caustic, witty tone of Lucinda Rosenfeld’s I’m So Happy For You, and The Pretty One didn’t disappoint. Olympia is the titular pretty one, but she won’t tell anyone in her family that she used a sperm donor to conceive her 3 year old daughter Lola. Imperia (Perri) seemingly has the perfect life, but her obsession…

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All You Never Wanted by Adele Griffin

Synopsis: When her popular older sister Alex falls into a depression, ambitious Thea sets her sights on everything that she covets from her sister’s life. Review: Told in alternating POV chapters, All You Never Wanted is a merciless look at one sister bent on destroying herself, and another sister bent on helping her achieve her goal. As the mom of two daughters it made me sad to see the animosity between them, but I also really liked the complexity of their relationship and the way…

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Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

Synopsis: Chloe’s always admired her older sister, but when Ruby shows up with a girl who was dead the last time Chloe saw her, Chloe starts to fear that her sister can do anything–absolutely anything–she wants, no matter what Chloe or anybody else thinks about it. Review: Both Ruby and Chloe are compelling characters, for completely different reasons, and that’s what makes Imaginary Girls so successful. Ruby is obsessed with Olive, a town buried under a reservoir thanks to some eminent domain shenanigans in the…

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The Island by Elin Hilderbrand

Synopsis: In the wake of tragedy, a middle-aged divorcĂ©e, her sister, and her two grown daughters retreat to the family home on remote, rustic Tuckernuck Island off the coast of Nantucket, where buried secrets and repressed longings burst to the surface. Review: The Island is a book about loss, grief, and longing, with 3 of the main characters haunted by the untimely death of a lover. The main character, Birdie, has survived a divorce after decades of marriage, and has just embarked on her first…

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Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan

Synopsis: A quartet of unlikely best friends deal with a post-feminist, post-grad life out of Smith College. Review: The appeal of Commencement is in its depiction of Smith College, caught between poles of conservative femininity and radical lesbianism. Each of the four protagonists deals with life issues that have something to do with the plight of the modern women. Their struggles are portrayed with nuance and pathos, but I wondered if the story would have resonated had it been set in a less idiosyncratic place.…

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Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

Synopsis: A slave girl bent on gaining her freedom finds herself embroiled in the furor of the Revolutionary War in 1776 New York City. Review: It’s simply perfect, that’s all there is to it. Chains is one of the finest examples of a young adult novel you’re likely to find, from one of the genre’s finest authors, Laurie Halse Anderson. I have been reading YA for almost three decades now and while Anderson’s Speak, a fine, fine novel itself, is a classic of a certain…

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In the Woods by Tana French

Synopsis: A murder investigation cuts too close to the bone for a detective who was once part of a missing persons case himself. Review: The other Sunday, Superfast Husband had to go to Home Depot after church, and since Superfast Toddler would certainly fall asleep in the car, I needed a book to read while listening to her dulcet snores. We stopped into the murder mystery bookshop nearby, where I asked if they could request anyone who loves Barbara Vine, and likes Ruth Rendell but…

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The Sister by Poppy Adams

Synopsis: When elderly Ginny’s sister returns home for the first time since she was a girl, old memories surface that threaten Ginny’s carefully ordered existence. Review: I’m incredibly thankful for the Queens Library for getting The Sister to me so quickly–I can’t remember the last time I read a book so recently published. The review in the New York Times made me think that it’d satisfy my aching desire for more books like Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale. Gothic intrigue. Family secrets. Opaque narration. Superfast…

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