Amy's Reviews > The Sisters

The Sisters by Nancy Jensen
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Nov 24, 11

Read in November, 2011

Family secrets are common in novels yet Nancy Jensen has created a fresh and innovative look at the long term consequences of these secrets in her novel The Sisters. Opening in 1927 on a pivotal day for sisters, Mabel and Bertie a life altering misunderstanding is presented to readers in two chapters, from the perspective of each sister. Subsequent chapters are told from the point of view of the sisters as well as the female children and grandchildren of the two women over the course of the following 80 years. What ensues is a unique combination of snapshot of a moment in time calling to the reader’s mind many of the pivotal events of history, but also a look at the way resentments and misunderstandings can be nurtured and in fact passed from generation to generation. Most of the male characters have been damaged in war, be it the First World War or Vietnam, while the women are featured as the stronger and more resilient sex. In lesser hands the novel could become a disjointed collection of stories but Jensen nimbly weaves the threads of the women’s stories and the reader is left with a complete picture of each of the women featured as well as their motives. Each woman is completely drawn and full of complexities and flaws demonstrating Jensen’s keen insight into human nature. In her debut novel Nancy Jensen proves herself a talent to be watched.
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