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Sisterland – Curtis Sittenfeld

Sisterland – Curtis Sittenfeld

sisterland-coverReleased: 2013

At some point during our lives, I’m sure we’ve all wondered what it would be like to be able to predict the future, and top of most people’s lists would probably be next week’s lottery numbers.

Identical twins Kate and Violet were born with unique ‘senses’ in the form of psychic abilities to predict future events and innately know other people’s secrets. Although both girls seek to hide the abilities, at thirteen years old, Kate inadvertently reveals their secret and spends the rest of her life trying to escape her ‘senses’. Twenty years on Kate is happily married and a full-time mother to her two children, having successfully hidden her talents from all her friends and even her husband. Vi on the other hand has embraced her visions and even made a career out of them as a psychic medium. Eccentric, single and openly experimenting with her sexuality, she is somewhat of an embarrassment to conservative Kate, and so has put as much difference between them as possible. However, when Violet predicts a major earthquake in the St Louis area where they both live and creates a media frenzy, Kate is drawn back into the life she had tried to avoid as she too begins to receive messages concerning the disaster and the sisters begin to bond over their shared desperation to warn people.

Curtis Sittenfeld, well known for her bestselling novel American Wife, has a beautiful style of writing and builds a suburban world in the imagination of the reader which acts as a strikingly ordinary background to the intense drama, making the story rather more believable than you might expect. From the first page the book sucks you into the story, running Violet and Kate’s life as young girls parallel to the developments in their present life and effortlessly flitting between the two. It’s almost impossible to put down as it is so fast paced, and you will find yourself bonding with Kate as she struggles to come to terms with the spirit world she has gone to great lengths to escape. The novel will leave you rethinking any desires to have the ability to predict future events as Vi shows the responsibility that comes with such a power.


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