Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld


Brilliant and mesmerizing, one of the best novels of 2013, five stars, a must read!  Loved Sisterland!

Sisterland is about twins Violet and Daisy.  Both have “senses”–and Violet turns hers into a cottage industry, finding lost children, predicting natural disasters, but mostly counseling people.  She predicts an upcoming earthquake in St. Louis, Missouri, and then navigates the media frenzy caused by her premonition.  Meanwhile, Daisy does not embrace her psychic abilities, and in fact, doesn’t want anyone to know she has any inkling about the future.  She is married, at home with two young children, and navigating the playground scene happily.  Despite wanting to keep her “senses” secret, and not wanting to be sucked into her sister’s circle of craziness, Daisy finds it hard to distance herself, and hard not to believe an earthquake is going to happen.  (She just can’t stop stocking up at Target.)

This is an engaging novel-a few pages in and you really want to get to know the characters.  Sittenfeld writes about being a mother, a sister, a wife, a daughter with great insight and accuracy.  I was intrigued by her exploration of the idea of premonitions-what is a “sixth sense” so to speak, and the role one’s intuition has in their decisions.  There is a wonderfully redeeming  scene toward the end of the book when Violet is hosting one of her sessions, which sounds more like group therapy and less like a séance or reading.  Here, Violet presents as a kind and encouraging listener and less like a nut, while Daisy makes a choice, on her own, with life changing consequences.   

Worth the read!

The Falmouth Memorial Library owns both a regular print copy and a large print copy of Sisterland.