by

Sisterland

Sisterland
Curtis Sittenfeld

Kate is, to all appearances, a normal suburban housewife who loves her husband and her two very small children. Her twin sister Vi- lesbian, pot-smoking Vi- is anything but. The sisters share a secret, tho- they are psychic. Not normal twin secret language psychic, but actual predicting the future, locating kidnap victims psychic. When Vi predicts a major earthquake in sleepy St. Louis, cracks begin to appear in the carefully laid foundation of Kate’s life. Old faultlines of family conflict buckle up against the present. When the shaking stops, nothing is quite like it was before.
The plot of this story is pretty good. One of the things that I enjoyed is that, while Kate is skeptical of psychic senses, the author really never deals with them as anything other than very real. The ending feels perhaps slightly cliche but has enough surprises tucked in to keep you turning pages til the last one.
At its heart, tho, this is a story about family relationships: parents and children, husbands and wives, sisters. The insight that the author brings to her portrayal of these relationships is what really sets this book apart.
I also had the delightful pleasure, while reading this book, to stumble across thoughts which had lazed inarticulate in my brain until I saw the author’s description, and then I knew instantly, “yes! exactly that!” Writing like this is rare and something I treasure.
Up until now, Curtis Sittenfeld’s books have been what I consider smart chick lit. This turn into more complicated, insightful writing has been very well done, and I hope she writes more like this soon.
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You might like: Her Fearful Symetry, Audrey Niffinger. Story Sisters, Alice Hoffman

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