Sunday 7 September 2014


Finished September 5
Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld

This novel takes place in St. Louis, Missouri and the plot varies between a narrative by Kate in the near present and her life growing up. Kate is a twin, and she and her sister were very close when they were young. Kate's real given name is Daisy and her twin is Violet. They always had a difficult relationship with their mother Rita, but things became more so when they were eleven and came home one day to find her locked in the bedroom. The two girls began to cover for her, but their home life created more isolation from other children. Both girls also had some psychic ability, and Kate tried at one point to use this to further her social life, an experience that backfired badly.
In the present, Kate is married with two young children, Rosie and Owen, and Violet is leaning towards a homosexual identity, and makes her living from her psychic abilities. When Violet predicts an earthquake for the near future, both women's lives are focused around the prediction and its implications for them and those they care for. Kate has always felt herself to be the responsible one, but as we see her story unfold, it would seem that this isn't necessarily so. Kate has buried her psychic abilities to a large extent, but they exist despite this.
As we see the sometimes difficult relationship between the two sisters, their interactions with others from their present and their past, we learn that things are not always as we perceive them, and that sometimes circumstances force one to face up to the reality of our behaviour.

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