NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST NOVELS OF THE YEAR BY
Slate • Daily Candy • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Guardian (U.K.)
“Novelists get called master storytellers all the time, but Sittenfeld really is one. . . . What might be most strikingly excellent about Sisterland is the way Sittenfeld depicts domesticity and motherhood.”—Maggie Shipstead, The Washington Post
“Psychologically vivid . . . Sisterland is a testament to [Curtis Sittenfeld’s] growing depth and assurance as a writer.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“[Sittenfeld’s] gifts are in full effect with this novel, and she uses them to create a genuinely engrossing sense of uncertainty and suspense.”—Sloane Crosley, NPR’s All Things Considered
Growing up in St. Louis, Missouri, Kate and her identical twin sister, Violet, are extremely close—sharing a room, weathering the eccentricities of their parents, and delighting in the music and movies of their 1980s childhood. But in junior high, Kate makes a fateful decision that drives the sisters apart and sets them on different paths toward adulthood. Years later, Vi is living on the fringes of society while Kate, a devoted wife and mother, is doing everything she can to fit into suburban life. After a chance occurrence in the middle of the night, the sisters find themselves drawn together once again, forced to face the secrets of the past and to reconcile the differences between them. As the sense of order Kate has worked so hard to create in her adult life begins to falter, it’s not clear to her whether Vi, the one person who knows her best, will save Kate—or be her undoing.
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“What’s most captivating about Sisterland is the intimate, intense portrayal of identical twin sisters. . . . [The novel] unfolds like a good prophecy—inevitable and shocking.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“In [Sisterland], the accomplished Sittenfeld . . . is as skillful as ever at developing an intriguing premise and likable characters. . . . Sittenfeld’s affectionate take on sibling rivalry is spot-on.”—People
“The power of [Sittenfeld’s] writing and the force of her vision challenge the notion that great fiction must be hard to read. She is a master of dramatic irony, creating fully realized social worlds before laying waste to her heroines’ understanding of them. . . . Her prose [is] a rich delight.”—The Boston Globe
“Wise and often wickedly entertaining . . . Readers who have siblings—especially women with sisters—will likely come away feeling as if the author really is psychic, able to learn the truth of their own dark secrets, and forgive them.”—USA Today
An Amazon Best Book of the Month, July 2013: After tackling east coast prep school and the life of a first lady in previous works, writing about twin sisters with ESP might seem like a strange move for Curtis Sittenfeld. But Sisterland is not a book about what it means to live with psychic powers. Rather, it’s a deeply emotional study of two closely-linked siblings who share many similarities but ultimately choose different paths in life. Having grown up with a mild form of ESP—what they call “senses”—the twins are confronted with how to deal with their powers. One chooses to “go straight” and become a suburban housewife and mother, while the other sister drops out of college to become a medium. The ESP part is not overplayed, and the story bears all the hallmarks of Sittenfeld’s other novels: an exploration of adolescence and the choices that people make, expertly drawn inner monologues, an artist’s complete grasp of the little moments in life. This is a unique—and at times pitch perfect—take on family, loyalty, and how people deal with the vapor trails left by childhood. -- Chris Schluep