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This novel shows how one misunderstanding--one missed communication--between sisters Mabel and Bertie can nullify Mabel's sacrifices. It underlines the serious consequences of Bertie's stubborn heart that have an ill effect on her, the next generation, and then even the next. I wish I had come away with a more hopeful feeling when I finished the book, but it is a good read with well-defined characters. Book clubs would have much interesting discussion on several topics.
Michele J. (Port Orchard, WA)
A Good Book Club Choice
The Sisters is a compelling story that spans several decades and follows the story of two sisters who, although separated, lead intertwining lives. While a few of the premises of the story seemed contrived, the exploration of family dysfunction and relationships is noteworthy and I suspect that this novel will prove quite popular with book clubs. This is the author's debut effort and I look forward to her future efforts as her style becomes more mature and refined.
Carol G. (Little Egg Harbor, NJ)
A very complex and moving novel that led me to reflect on my own family and my own life and how my life was shaped by those decisions. The reader is drawn into this story deeper and deeper, when nothing turns out as planned for the sisters, stemming from the first misunderstanding!
Diane W. (Lake Villa, IL)
This extraordinary novel of two sisters and their families spanning over eighty years is one not to be missed and would be a wonderful discussion book for my book club.
This book will stay in your thoughts long after yo have read the last page. I look forward to reading future novels from Nancy Jensen.
First books, I believe, are often an author's best as they seem to be the culmination of many years of thought, reflection, and craft. This book did not disappoint me in that opinion: complex and varied characters; sound writing of a tale of family dynamics, secrets; paths taken vs. not taken; decisions made and the consequences that follow. Would definitely be a good choice for complex discussions and strong opinions in a women's book club or group. Recommended!
Sharon A. (Tierra Verde, FL)
Sister to sister
I liked the concept of the book, although the elements were depressing. I had a hard time keeping track of the characters from chapter to chapter, having to make sure I read the chapter heading, character name, city and the changing time frames. Other readers may enjoy reading a story of details better than I did.
Beth K. (New York, NY)
A well written book that I couldn't really enjoy
It is hard for me to assign a numerical rating to this book because while I believe that it is very well written, with authentic characters and an interesting story, it was simply too bleak for me to enjoy it. The women in this story endure one tragedy after another, and are uniformly tortured souls. I can read and appreciate a sad book with the best of them, but this one had not one uplifting moment, with the exception of one section toward the end.
Mary M. (Lexington, KY)
While reading this one, I couldn’t help but think of another novel that I read last year that I recommend often, The Quickening, by Michelle Hoover, which was also quite bleak in its tone and underlying story -- but I ended up really liking it because there were moments of pure joy expressed by some of the characters.
This was a fine book. It just wasn't for me.
I really enjoyed this book. I waited a few days after finishing it to write this because I wanted to see if I felt the same way after some time had passed. I can say that the characters and their stories are going to stay with me for some time. It is a very well written book. I would recommend it to book clubs. There are many issues that could be discussed. It is interesting to see how the lives of the sisters and their children change over 80 years. This is a wonderful book.
Carm D. (Omaha, NE)
The Sisters by Nancy Jensen
This was an excellent and interesting story about how one miscommunication can affect the lives of so many generations. I found it compelling and could hardly put it down. The characters were well developed and I especially liked Alma and her courage. I recommend this highly.