Thursday, May 15, 2014


Title/Author: Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld.

Narrator: Rebecca Lowman

Genre: General Fiction.

Publisher: Books on Tape.

Source: Library.

Synopsis: 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 psychoic 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 lave led them both back to their hometown of St. Louis. Vi has pursued an eccentric career as a pyschic 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 a devastating earthquake will soon hit the St. Louis area, Kate is mortified.  More 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 truths about herself she's long tried to deny.

Midnyte Musings:  I was very excited to read this book.  However, I was disappointed because although the sister's pyshic abilities are kind of the revolving factor in the book, it wasn't a main point.  There were one or two true paranormal scenes that I enjoyed, but because Kate is uncomfortable with her gifts and embarassed that her sister uses them to make a living, it is very much downplayed. 

This is a very quiet story and although it kind of felt like nothing happened in Sisterland, I became very interested in the characters.  Maybe because their lives are mundane just like mine and the problems are relatable.  I still find myself  thinking of the characters even though I finished this book over a week ago.

The story follows Kate as she goes through life with a sister who is very different from her.  At times I liked each sister and at times I disliked them.  I could see their points of view.  Kate is at times, too worried about what people think and embarasses easily and Vi, doesn't seem to care at all and is often quite embarassing.  I think if perhaps if they weren't so entertwined with each other it wouldn't be such an issue.  But sometimes in life, you are very enmeshed with a sibling and these two are twins.  Their bond is everlasting and for all their differences they are close.  They fight, they make up in their own way, they support each other.  When they were young, they put a sign on their bedroom door with the word "Sisterland."  As Vi says to Kate, they will always live there.

The writing is descriptive but at times, a bit much.  I didn't need to know all the details that Kate thought at certain points of the day.  I didn't need to know the backstory of Kate's green sweatshirt vest, yet I can relate to it.  Little things in life may not have the most exciting details, but can take on a life of their own.  Also, I listened to the audio book, so maybe it would have been more clear on paper, but the story went back and forth to present day and at different times in Kate's past.  So, that was a bit confusing. 

I do have to say that the moments of expressing her love for her children, whether literally or just inferenced were quite lovely. 

Finally, when something does happen and Kate makes a very bad decision, I felt like yelling at her to not be so stupid.  I don't understand why she did what she did.  And if it were me that found myself having to face the consequences, I don't know if I would have been brave enough to make the same decisions she did.

Narration:  The narration was very good.  I liked Lowman's voice and her delivery.  I appreciated that the male voices were believable.

Starstruck Over: Although I didn't think this story was super exciting, I admit that it's one that still has me thinking about it. 


fakesteph said...

I remember thinking about reading this a while back. I'm really disappointed to hear that the paranormal aspect was downplayed, but glad that you were able to enjoy it anyway.

I'm looking forward to seeing you in less than two weeks!

DoingDewey said...

It's too bad the paranormal aspect wasn't more the focus! I don't read much contemporary, but this one caught my attention because the paranormal thing seemed pretty unique.

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