Bibliomaniac's Book Club: October 2017
This month's Bibliomania is for Sisters!
Something a little bit different this month!
Have you noticed how many titles have the word sister in them at the moment? What is it about families - particularly the relationship between sisters or siblings - that fascinates and intrigues the reader so much? Why do the relationships between siblings provide such a great starting point for a drama, a crime, a mystery or a thriller?
Here are a few of the most talked about and most best selling books about sisters that have published this year. Why not pick a couple to read and then think about the questions at the end?
MY SISTER by MICHELLE ADAMS
My Sister tells the story of Irini, who was given away by her parents at the age of three, whilst her volatile, destructive sister was kept within the family. Twenty years later Irini receives a phone call from her estranged sister to say that their mother has died, compelling her to return for the first time to the family home, and to uncover the shocking truth that has defined both their lives.
THE SISTER by LOUISE JENSEN
Grace hasn't been the same since the death of her best friend Charlie. She is haunted by Charlie's words, the last time she saw her, and in a bid for answers, opens an old memory box of Charlie's. It soon becomes clear there was a lot she didn't know about her best friend.
When Grace starts a campaign to find Charlie's father, Anna, a girl claiming to be Charlie's sister steps forward. For Grace, finding Anna is like finding a new family, and soon Anna has made herself very comfortable in Grace and boyfriend Dan's home.
But something isn't right. Things disappear, Dan's acting strangely and Grace is sure that someone is following her. Is it all in Grace's mind? Or as she gets closer to discovering the truth about both Charlie and Anna, is Grace in terrible danger?
There was nothing she could have done to save Charlie ...or was there?
BAD SISTERS by SAM CARRINGTON
Sisters. Allies. Liars.
Stephanie is scared for her life. Her psychologist, Connie Summers, wants to help her face her fears, but Connie will never really understand her. Stephanie’s past has been wiped away for her own protection. Stephanie isn’t even her real name. But then, Dr Summers isn’t Connie’s real name either.
And that’s not all the women have in common. As Stephanie opens up about her troubled relationship with her brother, Connie is forced to confront her own dark family secrets.
When a mutilated body is dumped in plain sight, it will have devastating consequences for both women.
Who is the victim?
Who is to blame?
Who is next?
And what about a few classics?
Why not compare some of these recent stories with novels about sisters from a few years ago (a very few years ago in the case of Dorothy Whipple - but she is just so good!!)
THEY WERE SISTERS by DOROTHY WHIPPLE
Three sisters marry very different men and the choices they make determine whether they will flourish, be tamed or be repressed. Lucy's husband is her beloved companion; Vera's husband bores her and she turns elsewhere; and Charlotte's husband is a bully who turns a high-spirited naive young girl into a deeply unhappy woman.
MY SISTER'S KEEPER by JODI PICOULT
Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate-a life and a role that she has never challenged . . . until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister-and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.
My Sister's Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life, even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less? Should you follow your own heart, or let others lead you?
READING GROUP QUESTIONS
1. Did you think the portrayal of the relationship between the siblings was convincing and authentic?
2. What values, in terms of families and sibling relationships, do you think the author was trying to explore or encourage in their novel? What might they have been trying to say about siblings?
3. Was there a sister or sibling in the novel that you felt more empathy towards? Why?
4. Why do you think stories about sisters and sibling relationships are so fascinating?
5.Do any of the novels mentioned above, or that you have read, have anything in common in their assumptions, judgements and portrayals of siblings?
6. Do you think you have to be a sister, or have a sister, in order to fully appreciate these books?
7. Would these books read as well if the characters were friends instead of relations? What impact would it have on the dramatic tension, mystery or emotional journey of the character if it was about a friend rather than a sister?
8. Are there any other novels that you think deal with the relationship between sisters or siblings really effectively? Are there any other titles you would add to the ones on this page?
OTHER SISTER TITLES TO EXPLORE....
For more recommendations and reviews follow me on Twitter @KatherineSunde3 or via my blog bibliomaniacuk.blogspot.co.uk or website bibliomaniacuk.co.uk