Friday, April 02, 2010

Sisters on pages

by Rachel

I have an older sister I keep in constant contact with--daily phone calls, emails, texts--it’s a relationship only other people with sisters can understand. I hear, “You’re calling your sister again?” on a regular basis. We’re sisters, we’re close! So being a sister makes me incredibly interested in reading about the different sisterly relationships out there.

Thanks to Lauren, I’ve come across a list of the five most memorable portraits of sisters from Zoe Heller’s article in the Wall Street Journal. A great list, I’ve got to say. But where is The Color Purple? Sense and Sensibility? Do you agree with her top five? Do you have further sisterly recommendations that might bump her chosen titles?


  1. Because I read a lot of middle grade and young adult books, these are a couple that came to mind:

    Hunger Games: I know the actual scenes between Katniss and Prim are few and far between, but it was a sacrifice one sister made for the other that started the story.

  2. i write a lot about sisters, i'm obsessed by sisters because i don't have one, i have three's not the same!:(

  3. I have two sisters across the country from me but we're in constant communication so I can completely relate. Interesting -- I just realized that none of the female MC's in my YA mss have sisters. I had to check that list to make sure Little Women was on there and was thrilled to see it as number 1.

  4. My sister (3 years younger) and I didn't get along very well when we lived with our parents but we started living together after she graduated college (we had a trial period first - she came to live with me for an internship during college) and we get along great now. In fact, I'm considering joining the Coast Guard and she wants to follow me.

    I also have to agree with the relationship in Hunger Games. There aren't too many scenes between the sisters, but let's put this in perspective - Katniss volunteered to fight in a DEATH MATCH for her sister.

    In one of my novels, the MC is an only child and in the other she has an older brother who more or less raised her after their parents died.

  5. I have three (much) older sisters, and, unfortunately, our relationships are the opposite of yours and your sister's. I used to try, but I've pretty much given up.

    As the youngest of four girls, though, I've always been fascinated with families of girls in fiction, mostly children's fiction -- the Marches, the Ingallses, the Bennetts...

    What always intrigued me is that it was almost inevitable for the second daughter to be the viewpoint character.

    There's a thesis in there for some grad student, I'm sure. But not for me [g].

  6. Liz Jensen's 'Egg Dancing' has a wonderful couple of sisters in it, all the more believable because they were close, but always squabbling.

  7. Have you checked out what's happening at the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge. We have some really creative participants who have joined us!


  8. Oh, I would have Jane Austened my list, completely: Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility - they'd have to be on.

  9. "THE OPPOSITE OF ME" by Sarah Pekkanen. It's fantastic!

  10. THE ALPHABET SISTERS by Monica McInerney - make sure you have tissues handy for the last sixty pages (and you're not reading in public).

  11. Emily, I've had a copy of THE OPPOSITE OF ME waiting for me to read for a while now. Thanks for the thumbs up! ~ Rachel

  12. I don't have a sister, but I love the YA by Aimee Friedman THE YEAR MY SISTER GOT LUCKY.

  13. I just got off skype with one of my sisters, lol. My tiny big sister and I cowrote horrible twin sister capers when we were really young. Those are rightfully not on the list. But I almost thought putting Little Women was lazy, lol, because it's so obvious. And I think the #1 for me would be The Color Purple.


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