Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Curtis Sittenfeld


Genre: Women's Fiction

Summary (from Goodreads):  Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times bestselling author of American Wife and Prep, returns with a mesmerizing novel of family and identity, loyalty and deception, and the delicate line between truth and belief.

From an early age, Kate and her identical twin sister, Violet, knew that they were unlike everyone else. Kate and Vi were born with peculiar “senses”—innate psychic abilities concerning future events and other people’s secrets. Though Vi embraced her visions, Kate did her best to hide them.

Now, years later, their different paths have led them both back to their hometown of St. Louis. Vi has pursued an eccentric career as a psychic medium, while Kate, a devoted wife and mother, has settled down in the suburbs to raise her two young children. But when a minor earthquake hits in the middle of the night, the normal life Kate has always wished for begins to shift. After Vi goes on television to share a premonition that another, more devastating earthquake will soon hit the St. Louis area, Kate is mortified. Equally troubling, however, is her fear that Vi may be right. As the date of the predicted earthquake quickly approaches, Kate is forced to reconcile her fraught relationship with her sister and to face truths about herself she’s long tried to deny.

Funny, haunting, and thought-provoking, Sisterland is a beautifully written novel of the obligation we have toward others, and the responsibility we take for ourselves. With her deep empathy, keen wisdom, and unerring talent for finding the extraordinary moments in our everyday lives, Curtis Sittenfeld is one of the most exceptional voices in literary fiction today.

Review:  I quite liked this book about two very different sisters and the relationships they have with the people around them. 
The summary was a little misleading, making the reader think it's going to be primarily about an earthquake and a psychic, when really it is Kate's relationship with her family and her desire to suppress her psychic abilities.  Parts got a little tedious - the author provides a lot of details around Kate going about her every day life and since she's a stay-at-home mom, I found I didn't really need to be reminded of all those details while I was reading to try to escape them.  The book is set in St. Louis, which was interesting to me, but the author name dropped a lot of streets, parks, shops, restaurants, etc, and it got to be a little much.  Yes, it's set in St. Louis, thanks for reminding us about that AGAIN.  And if Kate and Vi are identical twins, why do the girls on the cover have different color eyes?  Pay attention, cover designers!

I was also perturbed by the change in the book about 90% through; the author threw in a twist that I did not see coming, and that I didn't think really fit the characters.  It completely changed the focus of the book in a not-positive way.

Hmmm, so my review is pretty negative, but while I was reading it, I enjoyed it and didn't want to put it down.

Rating: 4 stars (maybe 3.5 stars, after writing the review)

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