I had never read any book by Marilyn Yalom before, but after finishing "Blood Sisters" I'm eager to do so! For anyone interested in the French Revolution and what I call "personal history" - the history of individuals, as opposed to that of economic or political processes - this book will be a gem. Frenchwomen from all walks of life come alive through their memoirs and recollections of a chaotic, painful time, and, under Yalom's intelligent guidance, paint for us a picture of individual lives shattered by the upheavals of radical change.
The one thing which dissatisfied and somewhat irritated me was Yalom's insistence in drawing parallels between the violence and massacres aroused by the Revolution, and the Jewish Holocaust. I really don't see how this was necessary for the understanding and appreciating of the book and its message. I do not wish to call into question the horrors of the Holocaust, which is one of the great tragedies of our times, and undoubtedly one of the worst examples of what man is capable of - but there have been many other instances of barbarity and cruelty, notably in the context of other Revolutions before and since that of France, which would make better parallels. I cannot help but thinking (and I'm not saying this disrespectfully) that in this particular aspect Yalom's Jewishness has gotten the better of her discernment as a scholar. A minor bother in an otherwise rich and engaging book.