Darren was kind enough to give me this book for my birthday, in April of this year, and I read it not long after – hence the number being in the earlier end of the list. It’s taken me until now to get around to actually reviewing it, though.
Sisterland – Curtis Sittenfeld
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.
I was a little disappointed in this book, if I’m quite honest – I thought that it would just be more than it was. There was nothing wrong with this book, per se, it just wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. There wasn’t as much of a deconstruction of the sisterly relationship, there wasn’t very much about the senses that Vi and Kate share, there’s no real coming to terms with the truths about herself that the blurb promised for Kate.
I thought this would be a sweeping, entrancing book about the relationship between two sisters set against a backdrop of a terrible tragedy, but all it really ended up being was a seedy little story of an objectionable, selfish, and really quite disagreeable woman, who doesn’t have to deal with the consequences of her actions. I actively disliked Kate by the end of the book, really. She’s not a very nice character, and her motivations are really just… mean and small.
That’s not to say that it was a bad book, just not a very good one – that’s why I gave it a very middling score.