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The House of the Seven Sisters: A Novel of Food and Family
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The House of the Seven Sisters: A Novel of Food and Family

3.29  ·  Rating details ·  246 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
When Martha and her six sisters are abandoned by their father following their mother's untimely death, the family bakery becomes their only means of survival. Martha, the eldest, is forced to lead the household and take on the responsibilities of her missing father. Witnessed through Emma, Martha's daughter from a failed marriage, The House of the Seven Sisters follows the ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published November 25th 2003 by Harper Paperbacks (first published 2000)
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Sandra de koning-vd pol
Een indrukwekkend boek over familie zijn, ben benieuwd naar het vervolg...
Ik kwam dit boek toevallig tegen - het zat ergens in mijn achterhoofd als een boek dat ik (ooit) wilde lezen- en heb het meegenomen op vakantie naar Parijs.Ik heb het in 2 dagen uitgelezen. Toen ik om te beginnen op de achterkant keek, zag ik (lichtelijk verontrust) een citaat uit een recensie uit Trouw: 'een echt vrouwenboek'. Eerlijk is eerlijk: het boek viel me alleszins mee. Een (lichtelijk) magisch-realistiche roman, autobiografie en geschiedenis van 7 zusters. Hun dromen, de harde realitei ...more
May 30, 2011 rated it did not like it
The review quoted on the front said that fans of “Like Water for Chocolate” would find resonances in ”The House of the Seven Sisters.” There were indeed resonances – but for me they were dim. This novel about women and food did not inspire me.

The story is about seven sisters who run the family bakery after their mother dies and their father leaves with no explanation. The sisters are all very different and they each have their own dreams and opportunities, but the strength of their sisterly bond
Cortney Nadig
Feb 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
It read like a diary that you weren't really interested in. If it were a real diary by someone that was related to you it would have been more interesting, but it was a little slow and I couldn't get that interested until I was about 3/4 the way through. The last few chapters were the best part of the book and showed the real characters of the women in the story. It wasn't awful but it wasn't fantastic. It was interesting to read about what life might have been like during a war and makes you re ...more
May 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic, well written story about the life of a woman and her siblings from childhood to old age in the Netherlands. I couldn't stop reading it was so interesting.
Dec 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
LOVED this book. Practically read it in one sitting. An intriguing concept and well-written -- even in its translation from the original. Enjoyed it quite a bit.
Nov 23, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2016, fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Merrill Medansky
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
What an unexpected story! Contrary to the book's cover, this is not really a book about food, but about family. Whether you like them or not.
Apr 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since I read a book this quickly, but from the moment I started the book I craved to continue reading it.
Sep 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sue Maryon
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was confussing at first. But when I figured it out, it was a emotional read. Martha had to raise her six sisters. while they raised her daughter.
chambejd / Joy
May 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
I didn't really care for this book and that's why it took me just over two years to finish it. Maybe it is better in its original language?
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
The more novels I read that have been published in another language, the more I wonder what gets lost in the translation. Sometimes I felt the language was coarse, or slightly off.

The story had potential, telling the story of seven sisters and the bond they have through the struggle for survival. I didn't care for the way the story looped between characters. I read another review that stated it felt like a compilation of vignette's and I felt that too. Sometimes it was hard to remember what was
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
The House of the Seven Sisters by Elle Eggels is set in Holland. It's about a baker who abandons his seven daughters, leaving them to run the business. It spans WWII down to the '90s, yet it reads like a fairy tale, because so many characters are the butcher, the baker, the candle-stick maker. If they were cashiers, or system analysts, or HR people, it would definitely sound American and crisply modern. If you like stories that lead you from the narrator's childhood, wherein she tries to make se ...more
Inge (Inge1990)
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Heel leuk boek, geschreven vanuit het oogpunt van de kleindochter van een vrouw die de bakker overnam nadat haar moeder stierf en haar vader wegliep. Ze neemt de zorg van haar zusters en de bakkerij over. Soms is het verwarrend omdat het is opgeschreven door de ogen van de kleindochter die luistert naar de verhalen. Omi komt later aanwaaien (geen echte oma) en praat in dialect. Op zich goed te volgen maar soms moet je een paar keer lezen of hardop uitspreken.
Later in het boek komt ineens de sti
Jul 27, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I liked the epic span of the story - it follows the lives of 7 sisters and their work, loves, joys, sorrows, relationships, etc., through the eyes of the child of one of them. But the narrative was mostly "telling," not "showing," and you don't get to really know the characters. I wouldn't call it boring, but maybe a bit plodding. I also think it could be a lot longer if there were more action and dialogue and delve deeper into each of the sisters and the characters in their lives.
Sep 02, 2010 rated it liked it
This is a gentle story about seven Dutch sisters whose mother dies giving birth to the twins. Their father abandons them and they need to survive by keeping the family bakery going. The book tells of each sister's comings and goings as each pursues her dreams, careers and relationships. I really enjoyed Elle's writing style. She has the most beautiful, but unique descriptive phrases. It was difficult at first to keep track of each sister's adventures. You might want to keep a list!
Jul 11, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Average novel about seven sisters. I think if there had been fewer, the author could have focused more on the relationships between them, instead of just recounting events to show the differences between them. I read it because it was about sisters, but it just kind of made me sad that the bonds didn't seem to be there.
Sep 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
This book is a translation from Dutch.
A tale of sisterly love, loyalty and the strength of their committment to one another when they are left without parents and must run the family bakery business on their own.
The intriging part is the appearance of ghosts to guide special members of the family.
Oct 23, 2015 rated it liked it
While I liked this book well enough, it didn't hang together in a coherent whole for me. The book reads like a series of vignettes in the lives of the seven sisters who are bound together in the family bakery by the oldest sister who feels the obligation to keep the bakery (and the sisters) on track.
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Before I turned 18, my parents somehow realised I didn't have a sister and decided to buy me books and films with a sisterhood theme to it.

This book was the first in the sisterhood series and although it was a translation, it was pretty good.
Dec 24, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this novel in the original Dutch, and I enjoyed it very much. The storyline is a bit old-fashioned, but, wow, she can write! She has a lovely style all her own, and I hope the English translation mirrors that.
May 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
Written in the "folkloric" style - too fanciful for me!
Jul 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book, reading about the life in early 20th century in a small Roman-Catholic village in the Netherlands (Limburg) village. Finished it in no-time
Nov 24, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Het verhaal kabbelt voort, maar tussen de regels door is het een ontroerend verhaal. Door de ironische schrijfstijl blijft het toch boeien.
Jun 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Would have given it a 3.5 if Goodreads allowed. A nice read, but a little bit boring.
libro feuilleton.
la storia sembrerebbe (auto)biografica e questo, se fosse vero, sarebbe l'unica cosa interessante del libro.
Aug 25, 2008 rated it did not like it
I finally gave this up. I have been making myself stick to it for more than 2 weeks, and obviously it's not that great. I really wanted to like this book, but its been time wasted.
Heidi Boyd
Jul 08, 2010 rated it liked it
Written like a fairytale, this story makes artistic leaps and connections out of everyday experiences and relationships. The story spans two generations of sisters and their loves in wartime Europe.
Jan 31, 2015 rated it liked it
I saved it - but I can't really remember it...the summary seems familiar and I know I read it - but clearly it wasn't one of those that stays with you forever.
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