The Language of Sisters
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The Language of Sisters

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  671 ratings  ·  123 reviews
Ten years ago, Nicole Hunter left her troubled home behind her, unable to cope with the demands of a life with her disabled sister, Jenny. Though her search for happiness—both in career and in love—has fallen short of her dreams, Nicole pretends that all is well. Then a shattering event turns her world upside down, and suddenly, she is back in her homet...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published July 31st 2012 by Washington Square Press (first published September 3rd 2002)
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Imagine that you've found the perfect fabric and the perfect pattern, and you set out to make a dress you know you're going to love. You realize that you didn't buy enough fabric, so the unfinished dress gets stuffed back into the darkest reaches of the craft room, where it lies forgotten and unfinished. Now, that's how I felt about this book. The premise is heart-wrenching: a young woman who left home, feeling she failed as a sister, believing horrid truths about her father, returns home to sta...more
This book tackles some very difficult subjects in an emotional look at the lives of two sisters. Most of the story focuses on Nicole who left her home ten years ago to begin a new life. When she learns that her disabled sister, Jenny, was raped she comes home to try help her and to make up for being gone so long. The more time Nicole spends with her mother and sister the more she feels like the new life she had made for herself was not as great as she thought it was. She starts to take a good lo...more
Not even halfway through reading "Best Kept Secret" (the first novel I read by Amy Hatvany), I knew I would want to devour all of her books. Was I surprised that I also loved "Outside The Lines?" Absolutely not! I’m sure you see the common thread here and can predict I will say that "The Language of Sisters" is a beautiful and stunning novel.

Ten years ago, Nicole Hunter left her troubled home behind her, unable to cope with the demands of a life with her disabled sister, Jenny. Though her search...more
Judy Collins
I have read 4 of Amy Hatvany’s books and each one of them is 5 Star plus) quality. I so love her style of writing and how she is not afraid to tackle controversial and social issues. Language of Sisters was incredible (I now cannot wait for her next book). I read the e-book on a flight in two days and hated when the flight attendant instructed to close the electronics, as could not wait to dive back in on next flight connection.

I highly recommend this book as a story of two sisters and their in...more
I actually read this book in 1 day, which is VERY fast even for me! I just could not put it down. The story follows Nicole Hunter, who lives in San Francisco and doesn't really have a relationship with her family since she moved away over 10 years ago. Her younger sister Jenny is extremely handicapped and has been living in an institution. One day Nicole just feels like something terrible has happened to Jenny and a few minutes later calls her mother who confirms that Jenny was raped and is now...more
This was probably my favorite book so far by Amy Hatvany. The emotion and reality that was presented was so real that at times I had to just walk away. In every one of her books she creates characters that are so three dimensional and easy to relate to. How many times have we made assumptions of someone and found out you were wrong later, how many times have you wanted to walk away from your life and all of its challenges. This book is relatable, whether you have to deal with a handicapped siste...more
Beth B
"...Nicole Hunter left her troubled home behind her, unable to cope with the demands of a life with her disabled sister, Jenny. But when a shattering event turns her world upside down, she finds herself back in her hometown, caring for her pregnant sister and trying to heal her embattled relationship with her mother."

A quick read and very touching story. Addresses life in institutions and the difficulty of caring for a handicapped loved one. I also found the decision making process of whether or...more
Shannon White
As reviewed in Localiez magazine (by me)

The Language of Sisters is both heartbreaking and uplifting. The novel explores the lives of two sisters, Jenny and Nicole. Jenny is both physically and mentally disabled and was institutionalized years ago when Nicole was a child. Saddled with feelings of guilt for abandoning her sister, Nicole pushes her family out of sight and out of mind by moving across the country and rarely visiting until a disturbing phone call draws her back home. Nicole and her m...more
Book Him Danno
I had several thoughts while reading this beautiful little book. It is said you love most those you serve (thus explaining how Mothers seem to love their children through thick and thin), how you don’t know what you have until it is gone, and how family members of the severely disabled usually say the person’s influence in their lives made them who they are today (i.e. they have been blessed by their presence). Amy Hatvany has managed to capture these emotions perfectly in the story of two siste...more
Nicole Hunter is pretty pleased with her life in San Francisco. She has a great boyfriend, who is a well established lawyer, owns a house, whose life is pretty ordered and the way he wants it. Problem is, Nicole, who trained as a therapist, is now baking cupcakes in a restaurant. 10 years ago, she left her home in Seattle, turning her back on her mother and her 15-year-developmentally disabled sister. Now, a call from her mother has brought her back to Seattle, to take over most of Jenny's care....more

The Language of Sisters is a re-release of a book written in 2002, so keep that in mind when reading this book. There are a few small nuances that you might notice that indicate that the book was written a few years ago, but nothing that changes the flow of the book. Nicole's devotion to Jenny is quite admirable. At first I thought she was doing it purely out of guilt (and maybe she was at first) but then I realized that she was taking care of Jenny and Je...more
I loved Outside the Lines by Amy Hatvany. If I love one book by an author, I will certainly go back for more. Amy Hatvany succeeds at capturing the emotional and complex relationship between sisters in The Language of Sisters.

Nicole Hunter has what she thinks is a great life. Her career as a therapist wasn't as fulfilling as she thought, instead Nicole is trying to make it as a pastry chef. At home, her boyfriend Shane likes everything neat and organized. He's handsome and has a successful caree...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The main character in this story, Nicole, moves back home after 10 years away to take care of her sister, who is developmentally disabled (don't want to spoil anything for you). There are some predictable scenes, but overall, I really enjoyed it. I liked how the author wrote with such emotion, and I loved how real the characters seemed. I thought it was a good look at different types of relationships: mother, daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend. It was also nice to see Nicole address things in...more
stuck with an extremely limited selection of paperbacks at an airport, this is the only one that didn't make me want to gouge my eyes out just from the description. Honestly I didn't think I would like it past the length of the flight, but I couldn't put it down and finished it before I went to bed that evening!
A very pleasant surprise; I would give it 3.5 stars. It wasn't amazing, I did enjoy it, I will definitely be findig some friends to lend it to!
If you like reading about special needs fami...more
Oct 23, 2007 Shawna rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girls
i love this book. it talks about a women who comes home to take care of her sister. Her sister is in a wheelchair and is retarded. She has been raped. The women deals with her past and her future. She learns how to love her mother again and to love new people. I recommend this book to girls of all agains. The story describes a silent bond between sisters. They speak to each other without words but through their hearts. This book showed me the bond between sisters is an unbreakable one and it wi...more
Anita Adams
As one of three sisters, I know that sisters do indeed share a language all their own. I have always loved to read about the sister bond of others because my own is so strong. In The Language of Sisters, we first meet Nicole living in San Francisco with a controlling man she thinks is out of her league, giving up her dream of marriage and motherhood, and working in a lower level career than that for which she was trained. Nicole is running and hiding--and has been for over 10 years. Nicole's mot...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Another really good book by Amy Hatvany. The relationship of two sisters- one being special needs- the people in their lives and the connection they hold. Loved the way the book was written. Felt like you could see inside the characters and you knew their outcomes before they did. Sort of like watching them work through their issues to arrive at the same conclusion. Thought the ending was a tad too neat but gave it 5 stars regardless. Really enjoyed it.
The Language of Sisters is the first book I have read by Amy Hatvany, but after finishing it around 1:00am last night, I know for sure it will not be the last books of hers I read.
After reading a few so-so books lately, and honestly just looking to read a few books to add to my bag of to-be-sold-to-the-used-bookstore, I was expecting that this book would end up in that pile as well. I can say that it most definitely is not.
The Language of Sisters, and it's cast of characters touched my heart....more
Kristin (Kritters Ramblings)
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings

A heartwrenching story about sisters who come from the same home, but are completely different. Nicole is a normal child and her life is very normal until her younger sister is born with disabilities that are never diagnosed. She must live a life where the world revolves around her sister's care. A tragic event takes her back home to confront everything that she ran away from 10 years ago.
I really loved this book the author did a great job with the sisters in this book. She made the people human and complex and you loved them , it was a very interesting story, something that I am sure has happened before, I loved the sister Nicole, she lived most of her life as a secondary person, Nicole believed something that ruled how she lived her adult life. But in the end, she came full circle, made life decisions, all in all a great read.
Erin Clemence
"The Language of Sisters" tells the tale of one sister who takes on the responsibility of raising her developmentally delayed sister's baby. This book surprised me in all of the best ways. The writing was poetic, genuine and downright magical. The plot was original and heartfelt. We understand the character of Jenny (the sister) as just "Jenny". Since her diagnosis is never revealed in the book, the reader does not have a label to give Jenny, and is forced to see her as a genuine person with nee...more
Mell Simons
The deep and abiding relationship between sisters is explored in this novel by Amy Hatvany. The complication in this story exists because one sister is disabled. I enjoyed the book very much, even though much of its content was difficult to read, and process. No one on earth wants to think of things like this happening, but they do. All thanks to Amy for writing yet another wonderful book!
I truly enjoyed this one. There is so much to digest and to enjoy in The Language of Sisters.

Nicole lives in San Francisco, at least she has since she left her parents' home in Seattle ten years before the start of the novel. She not only left her parents' home, she left a lot of heartache, confusion, and a severely handicapped sister that she loves. When the book opens, it is with a phone call telling of some awful news. Devastated, she realizes that it is up to her to return home to deal with...more
Karen White
Although it wrapped up a bit quick in the end, this was a great read, wonderful story of the challenges faced when a child is severely handicapped, by the parents and sibling. I don't have such an experience myself, but it seemed to me that the frustrations and fears and everyday difficulties were realistically portrayed.
Amy is my favorite author. Her books really make you think.

Her writing is beautiful. I love the way she phrases things; it is so descriptive. For example: "He stepped over to hug me, and I felt stiff in his arms, a circle trying to fit into a square hole." I can't wait for Amy's next book!!!
Such a great read! I love the inner turmoil of the main character as she works thru her 'family of origin' issues. It's a beautifully told story about sisters, mothers, disabled people, and growing up to find that your family is really where you find yourself.
I really liked this book. It was nothing like I expected, but just what I needed to read. I loved the characters and while it was sometimes obvious what would happen I still liked it. I wanted to continue reading about their lives and hearing their stories. Great book!
Touching story about a woman who returns to her childhood home to care for her pregnant, disabled sister and learns a lot about herself in the process. This is the third book I've read by this author and I really enjoy her writing,
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Amy Hatvany was born in Seattle, WA in 1972, the youngest of three children. She graduated from Western Washington University in 1994 with a degree in Sociology only to discover most sociologists are unemployed. Soon followed a variety of jobs – some of which she loved, like decorating wedding cakes; others which she merely tolerated, like receptionist. In 1998, Amy finally decided to sell her car...more
More about Amy Hatvany...
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