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Sisterland by [Sittenfeld, Curtis]
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Sisterland Kindle Edition

3.3 out of 5 stars 136 customer reviews

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Length: 417 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

Praise for "Sisterland"
"Psychologically vivid . . . Sittenfeld's gifts for portraying the inner lives of her heroines [bring "Sisterland"] closer, in terms of emotional chiaroscuro, to two classics about pairs of sisters, "The Old Wives' Tale" by Arnold Bennett and "The Easter Parade" by Richard Yates . . . "Sisterland" is a testament to the author's growing depth and assurance as a writer."--Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times"
"Novelists get called master storytellers all the time, but Sittenfeld really is one, a kind of no-nonsense, BabyBjorn-wearing Scheherazade. . . . What might be most strikingly excellent about "Sisterland" is the way Sittenfeld depicts domesticity and motherhood."--Maggie Shipstead, "The Washington Post"
"[Sittenfeld's] gifts are in full effect with this novel, and she uses them to create a genuinely engrossing sense of uncertainty and suspense."--Sloane Crosley, NPR's "All Things Considered"
"In ["Sisterland"]," " the accomplished Sittenfeld . . . is as skillful as ever at developing an intriguing premise and likable characters. . . . Sittenfeld's affectionate take on sibling rivalry is spot-on."--"People"
"The power of [Sittenfeld's] writing and the force of her vision challenge the notion that great fiction must be hard to read. She is a master of dramatic irony, creating fully realized social worlds before laying waste to her heroines' understanding of them. . . . Her prose [is] a rich delight."--"The Boston Globe"
"Wise and often wickedly entertaining . . . Readers who have siblings--especially women with sisters--will likely come away feeling as if the author really is psychic, able to learn the truth of their own dark secrets, and forgive them."--"USA Today"
"Full of quiet, surprisingly relatable moments, ["Sisterland" is] a thoughtful look at the near-supernatural closeness between sisters. . . . As she did so well in her first novel, "Prep, " Sittenfeld richly evokes the

"Psychologically vivid . . . Sittenfeld's gifts for portraying the inner lives of her heroines [bring "Sisterland"] closer, in terms of emotional chiaroscuro, to two classics about pairs of sisters, "The Old Wives' Tale" by Arnold Bennett and "The Easter Parade" by Richard Yates . . . "Sisterland" is a testament to the author's growing depth and assurance as a writer."--Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times"
"Novelists get called master storytellers all the time, but Sittenfeld really is one, a kind of no-nonsense, BabyBjorn-wearing Scheherazade. . . . What might be most strikingly excellent about "Sisterland" is the way Sittenfeld depicts domesticity and motherhood."--Maggie Shipstead, "The Washington Post"
"[Sittenfeld's] gifts are in full effect with this novel, and she uses them to create a genuinely engrossing sense of uncertainty and suspense."--Sloane Crosley, NPR's "All Things Considered"
"In ["Sisterland"]," " the accomplished Sittenfeld . . . is as skillful as ever at developing an intriguing premise and likable characters. . . . Sittenfeld's affectionate take on sibling rivalry is spot-on."--"People"
"The power of [Sittenfeld's] writing and the force of her vision challenge the notion that great fiction must be hard to read. She is a master of dramatic irony, creating fully realized social worlds before laying waste to her heroines' understanding of them. . . . Her prose [is] a rich delight."--"The Boston Globe"
"Wise and often wickedly entertaining . . . Readers who have siblings--especially women with sisters--will likely come away feeling as if the author really is psychic, able to learn the truth of their own dark secrets, and forgive them."--"USA Today"
"Full of quiet, surprisingly relatable moments, ["Sisterland" is] a thoughtful look at the near-supernatural closeness between sisters. . . . As she did so well in her first novel, "Prep, " Sittenfeld richly evokes the daily lives of young women who are trying to figure themselves out. . . . "Sisterland" is a compelling portrait of what it's like to grow up alongside your best--and worst--self."--"Entertainment Weekly"
"Arresting . . . Captivating . . . "Sisterland" is a long story of shake-ups: eerie precognitions, seismic shifts, lapses in fidelity. Like life itself, it graphs both the agonizing longueurs of domestic life and the horrific thrill of sudden disasters. . . . Character is [Sittenfeld's] great strength, and the moral complexity of ordinary life her main subject. . . . "Sisterland" unfolds like a good prophecy--inevitable and shocking."--"San Francisco Chronicle"

"From the Hardcover edition."

Psychologically vivid . . . Sittenfeld s gifts for portraying the inner lives of her heroines [bring "Sisterland"] closer, in terms of emotional chiaroscuro, to two classics about pairs of sisters, "The Old Wives Tale" by Arnold Bennett and "The Easter Parade" by Richard Yates . . . "Sisterland" is a testament to the author s growing depth and assurance as a writer. Michiko Kakutani, "The New York Times"
Novelists get called master storytellers all the time, but Sittenfeld really is one, a kind of no-nonsense, BabyBjorn-wearing Scheherazade. . . . What might be most strikingly excellent about "Sisterland" is the way Sittenfeld depicts domesticity and motherhood. Maggie Shipstead, "The Washington Post"
[Sittenfeld s] gifts are in full effect with this novel, and she uses them to create a genuinely engrossing sense of uncertainty and suspense. Sloane Crosley, NPR s "All Things Considered"
In ["Sisterland"]," " the accomplished Sittenfeld . . . is as skillful as ever at developing an intriguing premise and likable characters. . . . Sittenfeld s affectionate take on sibling rivalry is spot-on. "People"
The power of [Sittenfeld s] writing and the force of her vision challenge the notion that great fiction must be hard to read. She is a master of dramatic irony, creating fully realized social worlds before laying waste to her heroines understanding of them. . . . Her prose [is] a rich delight. "The Boston Globe"
Wise and often wickedly entertaining . . . Readers who have siblings especially women with sisters will likely come away feeling as if the author really is psychic, able to learn the truth of their own dark secrets, and forgive them. "USA Today"
Full of quiet, surprisingly relatable moments, ["Sisterland" is] a thoughtful look at the near-supernatural closeness between sisters. . . . As she did so well in her first novel, "Prep, " Sittenfeld richly evokes the daily lives of young women who are trying to figure themselves out. . . . "Sisterland" is a compelling portrait of what it s like to grow up alongside your best and worst self. "Entertainment Weekly"
Arresting . . . Captivating . . . "Sisterland" is a long story of shake-ups: eerie precognitions, seismic shifts, lapses in fidelity. Like life itself, it graphs both the agonizing longueurs of domestic life and the horrific thrill of sudden disasters. . . . Character is [Sittenfeld s] great strength, and the moral complexity of ordinary life her main subject. . . . "Sisterland" unfolds like a good prophecy inevitable and shocking. "San Francisco Chronicle"

"From the Hardcover edition.""

Book Description

New from the bestselling author of American Wife, a novel about twin sisters who share a special gift, and the enduring power of the bond between them.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1903 KB
  • Print Length: 417 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1400068312
  • Publisher: Transworld Digital (6 Jun. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CA88K3E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars 136 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #38,173 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved Prep and The Man of my Dreams, but I have to admit that initially I was a little wary of this one - the subject matter - two twins sisters with psychic powers -sounded more like an Alice Hoffman plot and I'm not overly keen on mainstream authors dabbling in magic realism as the results are often distressingly whimsical.

However I needn't have worried here - the book really is a delight from beginning to end. The writing is excellent - so much so that the whole predictions/psychic insights theme just fits in naturally with the plot - you either believe it's a gift that the sisters have inherited or you don't but it really doesn't overshadow everything else. On the surface this is the story about a psychic predicting an earthquake and the media storm that erupts around her - we see events unfold from the viewpoint of the 'normal' twin Kate who has done everything to blend in as much as possible in complete contrast to flamboyant, attention seeking Vi. Kate believes that she has put her 'witch girl' past behind her with her name change and marriage and fears that she will be dragged back into the spotlight. But is her marriage the safe refuge she believes it to be? I'm sure I'm not the only one who saw a parallel with the TV series `Betwitched' - Kate has extraordinary powers yet she's happy to give them up to be a wife and mother. I loved Sittenfeld's honest portrayal of the day to day dynamics of Kate and Jeremy's marriage - the compromises both have to make for the sake of the family's survival.

This really is a page turner and I had to force myself to put aside so that I wouldn't finish it too quickly. Would really recommend to Sittenfeld fans, this is definitely the best book I have read (so far) in 2014!
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By Welsh Annie TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I really wanted to try this one - a few years ago I enjoyed Curtis Sittenfeld's very clever American Wife, the fictional account of a First Lady with more than a passing resemblance to Laura Bush. Her other two books - Prep and The Man Of My Dreams haven't made it off my bookshelves yet. But there was something about the synopsis of this one, the twins with a special gift, that really attracted me.

"Sisterland" is the sign on the twins' bedroom door as they're growing up. The identical twins, Daisy and Violet Shramm, are rather forced into their own world: after a traumatic birth experience, their mother withdraws from life into her bedroom, and their father is equally disengaged. Very different in character - a difference that increases as they grow older - the girls discover they have a psychic gift. Daisy (who changes her name to Kate in an attempt to be normal, and leave behind the "Daze" of her youth) settles into life with her professor husband and her two young children. Violet lives life to the full and finally earns her living as a medium, achieving a measure of success in finding a missing child. The turning point of the novel comes when Violet predicts an earthquake will hit their home town of St Louis on 16 October, and a media circus follows, along with other far-reaching consequences.

Kate tells the story, but it alternates between present day and the earlier lives of the twins, with some wonderful descriptions of what life is like in small town America. As the narrator, Kate portrays herself as the constant voice of reason, the stabilising influence, the exemplary mother and child, but the flaws in her character are beautifully revealed and portrayed.
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Format: Paperback
This could have been a fascinating story, investigating the concept of psychic twins, Kate and Vi, who have very different feelings and attitudes towards their senses of precognition. When Vi makes a public prediction of an imminent earthquake, Kate is filled with horror, not least because the prediction may be accurate. If only the author hadn't buried her plot in an avalanche of mundane unnecessary details! Yes, she is brilliant at invoking an atmosphere of time and place and of portraying the anxieties of a young mother but there were too many things I just didn't need to know and, in addition, I found the ending very "twee".
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I loved Prep and thought it was very authentic and beautifully written. Sisterland is awful, unfortunately. The book is like clickbait - promises much and then delivers nothing but disappointment. There are glimpses of a great writer, mostly narrative, but these are fleeting, mired in horrible characterisation, cringe-worthy dialogue and an insanely dull plot. Sisterland reads like a Mumsnet blog, its linear and abjectly mundane and trivial timeline chronologically-juggled as if that provides meaning or variety, which it does not. Sittenfeld provides us with dull protagonists from corporate stock photos, and then places them in entirely ordinary contexts, all the while promising a whirlwind of drama that fails to materialise. The ending is so mind-numbingly dull and vapid it made me regret having read any of the book at all. Very disappointing.
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Identical twins Violet and Daisy believe they have psychic powers. It is irrelevant to the plot whether or not these powers because they both believe they do. The story centres, in my opinion, on the least interesting twin Daisy. She is unhappy with her powers, so tries to deny them. She changes her name to Kate, marries a lovely and sensible man and settle down to a "normal" suburban life. The story is told solely from Daisy/Kate's point of view. As she is so keen to fit in, Kate is horrified when her twin goes on TV to predict a huge earthquake where they live. As the date of the earthquake gets closer, you wonder whether or not Vi is right in her prediction - yet, at the end, this is unimportant. The earthquake story fizzled out (no pun intended) and was dealt with in a few sentences towards the end. The "earthquake" that upsets Kate's life is fairly mundane and predictable as you follow the story. I was interested enough to finish the book but will probably be passing this on rather than re-reading it. As a one-off read it is ok - but it could have been so much more.
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