A Tale of Two Sisters
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A Tale of Two Sisters

3.3 of 5 stars 3.30  ·  rating details  ·  993 ratings  ·  117 reviews
The bestselling author of Getting Over It and Running in Heels, a writer who �excels at creating winning characters and placing them in artfully crafted muddles� (Florida Sun-Sentinel) has created an unforgettable story of siblings in the best of times and the worst of times in London.

Lizbet and Cassie are sisters and, though they�ve always wanted different things, best...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published August 17th 2006 by Dutton Adult (first published January 1st 2006)
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Jennifer
Sep 05, 2008 Jennifer rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: No one
I picked this up from the B&N clearance table to read on an Amtrak trip. I'm on page 122 and I really have no intention of finishing it. The main characters are too inconsistent for me. They just aren't that cohesive. They don't make sense. Also, the switch between narrators every few chapters doesn't really flow. I don't think the author handles it very well.

There is one sentence that stood out to me because it describes exactly how I sometimes feel lately:
But some days I have to force myse...more
Kate
Cassie is slender, clever, charismatic, successful. The one flaw in her perfect life may be her marriage. Her sister Lizbet is plumper, plainer, dreamier. An aspiring journalist, she's stuck writing embarrassing articles on sex for Ladz Mag. Her one achievement is her relationship with Tim, who thinks she's amusing and smart. Despite Cassie being the favored child, she and Lizbet have always been best friends. But then Lizbet gets pregnant.

Forced apart by mistakes not their own, enticed by new...more
Katherine Marple
I agree that A Tale of Two Sisters is not the normal Maxted style. It lacks the flair and outwardly hilarious moments that her others did. However, this is not an entirely bad thing.

Maxted creates characters that I love. Cassie is younger, prettier, more career-oriented, and "harder" in that she doesn't show her emotions. Lizbet is older, average looking, but really happy no matter what her situation is, care-free and very emotional. They are almost nearly completely opposites- which is normal...more
Catherine
I must say I was hoping for a humourous chick lit and instead all I got was the usual candy floss chick lit that I loathe. It wasn't funny, even when it was meant to be. The characters were so stereotyped and one dimensional. The one sisters emotional 'breakdown' made her even more one dimensional. The writer obviously tried to make it psychological and complex but failed miserably. I was expecting better.
Jenny
While this is chick lit, I always enjoy the way Anna Maxted weaves serious topics through her book. This book covers miscarriage, fertility issues and sibling differences. Miscarriage is so rarely mentioned in books I thought it was dealt with very well here and I was happy that it was not glossed over. However, the ending did feel a bit rushes and I'm not entirely sure if it should have had the ending it had.
Erin Black-Mitchell
I somehow read about 5 books in a row that dealt with pregnancy with out realizing. Maybe I should read what the books are about before I read them. There were moments in this book that I could truly relate to when one of the sisters was going through her pregnancy. The entire focus of the book isn't on pregnancy though, but the relationship between two sisters which I could also relate too.
Sarah
Anna Maxted writes what would be classified as (Brit) chick lit, but her books always have a darker/deeper element than that genre would imply. This book, told from two perspectives (the "two sisters" of the title) deals with family dramas large and small, pregnancy, loss of children, and romantic relationship issues in a way that keeps you reading.
Suzanne
Jun 03, 2007 Suzanne rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Sisters
Shelves: adult-fiction
Anyone with a sister, or even a life-long best friend, will be absorbed by these characters. There are a couple of inconsistancies (where was the editor?), but they were minute and did not influence the overall power of this story of life, loss, and love.
Laurel-Rain
Two sisters, Lizbet and Cassie, alternately tell this story using the first person narrative voice. As I slowly came to know them and their backstory, I found A Tale of Two Sisters captivating enough to continue.

However, at times, I would lose my way, as the story wended its way back and forth; occasionally, I had difficulty identifying who the narrator was at any given point. Sometimes chapters would identify the name of the narrator.

Despite those issues, however, I did come to enjoy the ups an...more
Rebecca
For some reason, I have been picking up a lot of books on families lately. And all have been okay.

This is about two sisters who are very close (I liked this aspect a lot). Older, more carefree is married and finds out she is pregnant. She originally didn't want kids, but changes her mind. She ends up having a miscarriage and it really effects her. Younger is the more serious sister, married as well. When she was 13 her parents tell her she was adopted and let her chose if she wants to tell Older...more
Sharon
Apr 02, 2008 Sharon rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Anyone interested in romance, parenting, adoption, or miscarriage (who hasn't had one recently)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy
Anna Maxted writes chick lit with a little more weight than is standard--her previous books have dealt with the death of a parent, date rape, and eating disorders. This one is no different, although it is a little harder to sum up the major "issue" of the book--or rather, maybe, there are more than one.

Instead of one heroine we get two: Lizbet, fairly standard chick-lit heroine in the Bridget Jones mold, who is dealing with a miscarriage, and the fact that her parents always favored her perfect...more
Chrissy
How easy it would have been for Anna Maxted to have created two sisters that were stereotypical opposites. While one sister in this novel is a high-achieving career girl and the other is a more free-spirited journalist, I found the characters to be nicely three-dimensional, even the men (who are normally pretty flat in chick lit). The relationship between the sisters is complicated and becomes increasingly so during the progression of the novel, but is very believable. Anna Maxted tends to deal...more
Leen
Je basic chicklit? Neen, niet helemaal. Het hoofdpersonage heeft haar droomman reeds aan de haak geslagen, maar raakt hem kwijt als ze een miskraam krijgt. Kan ze hem terugwinnen? Tussen haar zus en diens echtgenoot botert het niet meer zo goed; ze proberen al een tijdje zwanger te worden.
En niet eens zo slecht geschreven al zijn er, zoals gewoonlijk, heelder alinea’s die ik kon overslaan - en dan kan je nog makkelijk volgen hé.

De epiloog, daar werd ik nu eens misselijk van. Ja het is een chickl...more
E. Anderson
This book surprised me. While just as punchy as Maxted's other efforts in chick lit, this is as much a warm, heartfelt book about responsibility and growing up as it is a dry comedy. The story takes turns between the narratives of two sisters, Lizbet and Cassie, as they struggle through their relationships (Lizbet is single but committed, whereas Cassie is married but questioning her vows), their jobs (editor and lawyer, respectively), and their feelings for each other just as a surprise, follow...more
Kristin (Kritters Ramblings)
Ehhh. An alright read, nothing great but not horrible. It wasn't the Brit in the book that made it less than desirable, it was the vast amount of drama. I felt as though every chapter ended with some kind of dramatic event that was more intense than it should have been. I got whiplash from everything that happened.

I don't think I will be passing this along to anyone I know. By the end of the book, I don't think anything else could have occurred to these sisters. You name it, they had it happen t...more
Bella
Dec 14, 2008 Bella rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2008
I really enjoyed this book! It's told from the perspective of the two sisters in title - Lizbet and Cassie. Maxted did a nice job of giving each sister a unique voice when it was her turn to "tell the tale."

This is a book that is full of life - the joy, sadness, disappointment, anger, fear, happiness, love, heartbreak, and devotion that comes with it.

I would recommend this book to anyone, but especially someone who as a sister, as I do. While I didn't seem my sister and my relationship within...more
C'eleste
Dreadful. I had read Rich Again and really liked it. This was not a good read. The characters did not stand out. I found the first main character Lizbet to be scattered brained and annoying. When she discovers that she is pregnant I had to stop about 5 pages after. All it became for those 5 pages were bantering about all the baby stuff you would need. I am in a situation where for the last 2 years everyone around me has been having babies and talking about babies nonstop so I had to put it down...more
Linette
First of all, I RARELY put a book down. I am putting this one down today. I had a hard time switching back and forth between Lizbet and Cassie's stories. The characters were too one-dimenstional to have two narrators in the first place.

Also, I could not relate to the "loss" situation, etc., etc.

If you are looking for a good read with dual narration, I suggest "The Post Birthday World" by Lionel Shriver. Now THAT is a chick-lit story that is well-narrated and keeps the pages turning.
Cassie
This wasn't my favorite by this author. Usually, her novels have subtle undertones, simmering themes, that knock you over once they are fully revealed. This was less reading about everyday people, relationships, and problems, and instead Jackie Collins-esq drama and mystery. It wasn't bad, per se, it just wasn't very good either. I'd rather feel for a character because she is facing problems I can relate with, rather than worrying that some fantastical threat is out to get her.
Ida
A Tale of Two Sisters was an unexpectedly enjoyable read. Even though I wasn't sure I wanted to continue reading after the first few chapters (they were a little over the top), I thought the story improved as it progressed. It took some time becoming accustomed to the switch back and forth between narrators, Lizbet and Cassie. There was a sense of humor throughout the novel and Maxted balanced it with genuine emotion. The characters were full of life, even the minor ones.
Charlotte Erickson
Another Anna Maxted book to love! This novel seemed a little bit more serious than all of her previous ones. Maxted always writes about difficult subjects, and this book remains true to that, but, although her latest has its humorous points, I didn’t feel the same sarcastic undertone that I’ve noticed in her other novels. Still, it was a joy to read – so much so that, for two days straight, I couldn’t put it down. And now I’m out of Anna Maxted novels to read. Bummer.
Laura
I have been waiting for Anna Maxted to write another book for ages. Though not as brilliant as Getting Over It, I did really like this one. I have a sister myself, so I could relate to their relationship. I could see parts of my sister and myself in both of the main characters in this book.

Like her other stuff, she tackles some pretty serious issues, but makes her stories entertaining and even funny. A great fun read - take it to the beach this summer!
Laura
Women who haven't always gotten along with their sisters will probably relate to this. My sister and I hated each other for the first seventeen years or so, Finally my grandma's prediction came true and she became my best friend and the maid of honor at my wedding.

To be honest with you, I read this about a year ago and don't remember much other then feeling one or both of them were being very insensitive to the other. I do remember enjoying it, though.
Fiona Hopkins
This book made me cry all the way through. It manages to fit an awful lot in to one book. I found the emotional rollercoaster of a read left me feeling withdrawn and drained by the end. The style of writing was fine at the beginning, however, I was completely confused at the end, I didn’t know who was telling what. I couldn’t recommend this book to just anyone as it was hard on the tear ducts, a certain amount of sensitivity is definitely required!
Laura
I enjoyed reading this on vacation, but I honestly am already beginning to forget it a little. I think some parts were four stars and some parts were two--aka it was mostly pretty good and entertaining, but there were a few over-the-top parts that kind of marred the rest of the story. An attractive smooth sister and a less-so one both go through the process of evaluating their relationships and whether or not they should have children with their mates.
Mandi
Anna Maxted is a really funny British writer- but I don't think this is one of her better books. I think the best one is "Getting Over It." She's good at really comedic moments but she also writes in a serious issue as well. Usually the comedic outweighs the serious and it was in reverse on this book. It's not a bad thing in general if there are more serious issues than funny in books- but it wasn't what I was expecting from an Anna Maxted book.
Lalene Rasco
A brilliantly written book.
Talleyfamily6
As I have a sister, I thought she did a decent job of exploring the relationship between sisters - a childhood with times of deep affection for each other and then times of willingness to hurt your sister badly. But, as in real life, in this book, the sisters work through the relationship and in times of individual crisis turn to each other and find strength. Some of the plot was a bit more "maury popovich" than I prefer.
Cheryl
I bought this book because I wanted something funny and light for the beach. It is kind of funny, but deals with real people problems. I like that the story is told from two points of view (the two sisters) so you see how things affect them differently. The only problem was that it ended way to fast and left me a little confused. It was like the author had reached a page limit and all of the sudden had to finish the book.
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Anna Maxted is a bestselling author based in North London, England. Born in 1969, she is married to fellow author and journalist Philip Robinson and they have three young sons. She writes female contemporary fiction which is viewed to be at the high end of the chick lit market. Anna Maxted read English Literature at Girton College, Cambridge, before becoming a journalist. She is former Assistant E...more
More about Anna Maxted...
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“When you're right there in the crisi, you'll do anything to make yourself feel better, distract yourself from the misery, deny reality, not matter how stupid.” 6 likes
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