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.
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 love.
Of course, obtaining a book and actually reading it are two different things these days. We’ve dubbed 8-month-old Superfast Baby “The Path of Destruction,” which makes me wonder how I’m actually writing this blog post. Oh, right–because she’s eating the book, which she pulled off the dining room table onto the floor.
Book rescued. The Path of Destruction slept for both halves of our round-trip subway ride from Queens to Brooklyn and I got to read the whole darn thing in one day. Such a simple pleasure, taken for granted in my childless leisure. I’d forgotten what it treat it is to read a book cover to cover in a day, and The Sister was the perfect book to bring it all back.
The narrative is not quite as twisty as those crafted by my beloved Barbara Vine, but there was more than enough psychological complexity to make up for the lack of plot twists. For the record, I think that plot twists are way overrated and way overused these days–I’m so tired of trying to telegraph the surprise ending. Gothic does not necessarily mean misdirection. Sometimes the creepiest tales are also the most straightforward.