Sisterland
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Sisterland

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  18,412 ratings  ·  2,947 reviews
Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times bestselling author of American Wife and Prep, returns with a mesmerizing novel of family and identity, loyalty and deception, and the delicate line between truth and belief.

From an early age, Kate and her identical twin sister, Violet, knew that they were unlike everyone else. Kate and Vi were born with peculiar “senses”—innate psychic a...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published June 25th 2013 by Random House (first published 2013)
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M
I would like to rename this book: "Exhaustively and Minutely Detailed Memoir of the Most Boring Person Ever."
Oy, Curtis, Curtis, Curtis.
This book read like an MFA program gone wrong. Stories should have details, yes, but ones like 'I sped up to get into the next lane, passing a van,' should not be one of them. And first person is a choice one makes when one has a personality - not when we are merely slogging through the day - and thoughts - of a person who is just words on a page.
I don't really...more
Claudia Putnam
Kind of horrified. I have loved CS's other books and was looking forward to this one. I didn't mind the topic. I thought it might be interesting in the hands of a truly literary author who had always gone deeply into her characters' minds. And what mind might be more interesting than this one?

Till we find out more about Kate.

(One question that I just have to get off my chest: WHO complains about a guy taking too long to come? WHO DOES THAT? I guess maybe when you've got young children you might...more
Robert
I went Back To The Future in this gem of a novel. Although it saddens me to think in fifty years teenagers probably won’t get many of the pop culture references, I’ve decided to live in the moment, or the recent past, as this novel clearly does. With The Simpsons, American Idol, Letterman, Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, Rihanna’s “Umbrella,” Rolling Stone, Christina Aguilera, The Fugitive, “The Way You Look Tonight,” Today, Animal House, Spin Doctors, Blues Brothers, Monty Python, Good M...more
Blair
Daisy and Violet Shramm grew up as troubled young girls, struggling with their unhappy parents and being bullied at school, with their unusual abilities - they're psychic, a hazy set of abilities vaguely defined as their 'senses' - compounding these problems. Now the twin sisters are in their mid-thirties, and Daisy, who narrates this story, is married with two young children, having changed her name to the less distinctive Kate. Meanwhile, Vi has embraced the things that make her different; she...more
Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
It's been a while since I gave up on a book, but I just couldn't force myself to continue with this one. It isn't horribly written or anything, but I just found it extremely dull. It took me about three days to only get 10% into the book ... And at that point, pretty much the entire narration had been dedicated to the protagonist describing the everyday events of her life and her friends' lives and occasionally whining about how her sister is so weird. Maybe it gets more compelling later on, but...more
Heather
Well I think for a while I was punishing her for being Curtis Sittenfeld, of which I know a few things. One of the things I know about her is that she currently lives in St. Louis, and is married to a SLU professor, and recently wrote a purportedly positive article about St. Louis, but with which my hipster St. Louis friends strongly disagreed. Two is that she wrote Prep and American Wife, the fact of which is no state secret, but I dearly loved both of those books and thus held crazy high hopes...more
Susan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle♥
Yuck.

This was horrible.

I love the idea of twins, I even want them someday, just ask my husband I talk about it all the time! And then the fact that this book had psychic twins?! Uh, duh yeah! I wanted to read it.

But this book...just YUCK! I had to finish it to know what happened, but seriously I just don't care.

This read more like a day to day life than I ever wanted to hear about. I read books to escape my day to day life, not read about someone else cleaning up baby poop or doing laundry. Yawn...more
Ellis
Disclaimer: I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. While I love Sittenfeld's writing, none of this influenced my opinion in any way.

I like Curtis Sittenfeld. She doesn't feel the need to give in to peer pressure and make her characters likeable. She takes chances. She says things we might think or say to ourselves sometimes, but of which we know we should keep them for ourselves. She's funny in a subtle way.

The first and only one her novels I read before is Prep, w...more
Doreen
Mar 25, 2013 Doreen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: elle
When I opened the package my editor sent me and saw that one of the books I had to review was the latest Curtis Sittenfeld, the first thought that came to mind was, "Ugh, read this one first and get it over with quickly." The only other book of hers I've read is the horrible Prep and her magazine interviews always read as much too self-satisfied to me, so when the time came, I girded my loins, cracked open the book and consciously determined to be fair. I was very pleased to discover as I read,...more
Robin
Oooooof. I feel as though I was just punched in the stomach. What a great, great story.

Curtis Sittenfeld is one of my favorite writers; she gets to the heart of the most human, ordinary moments, and connects me as the reader in a way that makes me say "YES. THAT." all the time. "Sisterland" is a tale of identical twin sisters, Violet and Daisy Shramm, who came of age in 80s St. Louis. They have a shared sense of ESP beyond stereotypical twinness, or, as they call it "having senses." In adulthoo...more
Brian
This book started out as a solid 4 star, and had 5 star potential but by the end, it was a 3 star. Some books are about characters and don't focus much on plot, others have a great mix of both, and some are just action driven where you really don't know the characters. This one was strictly character driven, with little to no plot movement. The premise is that two sisters are psychic and one of them has repressed her psychic abilities, but the other still uses them. The other, Vi, predicts a ter...more
Knewmyer
This book pissed me off. I enjoyed it in a three star kind of way until about 2/3 of the way through. Until the book's "earthquake" that is and then all of the sudden I'm reading some cheesy Jodi Picoult book. Really? Vi virtually disappears from the story at this point.

It made absolutely no sense that someone of Jeremy's caliber would find himself with someone as dull, unimaginative, incurious, and unambitious as Kate/Daisy. At least Sittenfeld could have made her lively or interesting outside...more
Chris Go
I think anyone who has had a family member who makes him or her cringe, and that he or she has tried to keep a secret, will enjoy this book. If that family member is your sister, I think Sisterland will draw you in all the more. If you are fascinated by twins, you may also enjoy it. Heck, if you can read, you may just want to crack it open.

The sisters in Sisterland are identical twins, Vi (short for Violet) and Kate. They are in their 30's. Their mother has been dead for a decade, and their fath...more
Leanne
This hasn't taken the place of American Wife or Prep in my heart, but I was still engrossed through and through. Sittenfeld writes a novel exactly how I'd want to write a novel - detailed, observant, with plenty of meaty flashbacks. In fact, the flashbacks were probably my favourite part of Sisterland...full chapters about the twins growing up with this psychic ability hovering around them.

Daisy is a little too judgemental, and Vi is a little too out there (I'm no Daisy - but Violet was frustra...more
Polly Ascher
I had high hopes for this book. Earthquakes? I'm totally fascinated by them. The paranormal? I read a ton about it. St Louis? I consider it my co-hometown. I was hooked the first part of the novel.

Identical twins Daisy (known later as Kate) and Violet (Vi) have psychic abilities which Daisy try's desperately to suppress and Vi embraces. Vi makes a prediction about a major earthquake hitting St Louis on a specific date, and the story unfolds.

I thought Curtis Sittenfeld did a great job at the be...more
Chaitra
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Patricia
Ehhhhh. I liked this enough to finish it, but yeah.... I was a bit disappointed with how the story spun out of control towards the end. This book is about two sisters Violet and Daisy, who have ESP. The wild sister, Vi (Violet), makes it her livelihood.... the other (Daisy/Kate)represses her sensitivities for a more normal (read: boring) life. Like with her works Prep and American Wife, Sittenfeld does a great job with capturing the extraordinary out of the mundane in these characters' lives. Bu...more
Sandie
Touted as “brilliant and insightful” by its promoters, I found SISTERLAND to be neither of these. Instead, this book about identical twins with special senses is more “soap” than opera. Daisy/Kate the narrator is more than a little judgmental and her introspective moments come across as self-serving. Most of the characters populating this tome are intended to be a representative microcosm of our society------- the interracial couple, the college drop out sister with multiple unsuccessful male re...more
Kacunnin
Curtis Sittenfeld’s SISTERLAND is ostensibly the story of twin sisters born with precognition. Violet and Daisy grew up understanding that they had “senses,” meaning the ability to foresee future events. As an adult, Violet (or Vi) embraces those senses, and makes them part of her everyday life – she aids the police in a kidnapping case and does readings for paying clients. Daisy (who changes her name to Kate during college) rejects her senses, and makes every effort to become a normal housewife...more
Theresa
NetGalley provided me with an uncorrected copy of Sisterland in exchange for a fair review. I really lucked out with this one. It's been too many years since I read a Curtis Sittenfeld novel! Like her other novels, Sisterland, is written with Sittenfeld's smooth hand. It doesn't really matter what her novels are about, she makes even the most mundane seem terribly compelling with her deft use of language. I read this on my Kindle and I even learned a few new vocabulary words.
Perhaps this novel...more
Gayle
A new book from Curtis Sittenfeld is usually cause for great celebration on this end. I was particularly excited when I saw that she was signing copies of her latest book, Sisterland, at BEA last month. I cut my departure for the train station a little too close so that I could stand in line for the book and get her to sign it.

Unfortunately, Sisterland was not my favorite Sittenfeld novel. (That honor goes to Prep and American Wife, both of which I loved).

Sisterland represents a bit of a depart...more
Hank Stuever
I was sent a bound galley of this novel back in March and DEVOURED it; have been waiting closer to release date (next month) so that I can open my can of high praise. Curtis Sittenfeld has done it again, but she has also pushed her work in a different direction. "Sisterland" melds her talent for interior narration and deep, perfect descriptions of everyday life (relationships, friendships, private disappointments, sex and marriage, parenting, family) with the idea/notion of the sort of unsolved...more
Dianne
Really engrossing and well written story about twins Daisy (who later calls herself Kate) and Violet who have "senses" or psychic abilities. As the story begins, Violet predicts a strong earthquake is coming. The story weaves between the twins' past and present, fleshing out their complicated relationship, while building suspense - is a quake coming or not?

Sittenfeld is a master at character development and storytelling - highly recommend.
Tracey Garvis-Graves
Absolutely fantastic. I have actually read it twice. As a twin, there were so many things I could relate to.
Rebecca Foster
To call this a novel about twins with ESP would be a drastic oversimplification – it’s about parenthood, family inheritance, beliefs that contradict rationality, race and suspicion in modern America, loyalty, betrayal, and, above all, sisterhood.

Where Sittenfeld excels is in voicing an absolutely believable female, first-person subjectivity, especially when recreating adolescence and high school experiences; she also knows well the ways of introverts.

It cannot be denied that the plot becomes rat...more
Monica
I am once again slightly disappointed by Sittenfeld's storytelling. She weaves an intricately layered plot, taking the reader back and forth between the past and present for Kate Tucker. Sittenfeld has again created excellent characters, and done a wonderful job of illustrating the relationships among them, in all their variations of friendship, romance, and sibling rivalry. The story falls flat for me, though. There is a huge amount of buildup surrouding the prediction of a catastrophic earthqu...more
Jenny
Note: I received my galley copy from the publisher.

Prep depicted teenage-girlhood in such accurate detail it made me queasy at times; American Wife altered how I thought about Laura and George W. Bush; and Sisterland simply proves that Curtis Sittenfeld is one of the most skilled authors working today.

The story is narrated in first person by Kate Tucker, formerly Daisy Kathleen Shramm. Her name change is only one way in which she distances herself from her twin sister, Violet (Vi) Shramm: Kate e...more
Kirsten
I absolutely raced through this book. So I kind of did enjoy it, but it left me feeling very cross and disappointed with Kate.
The book could do with some serious editing, I understand that the author wanted to convey the everyday-normalness of Kate's life - and much of it I could very much relate to, I am a sahm - but some of the minutiae was just too much: details of meals and showers taken. I was also frustrated by the details of what routes the characters drove down, this sort of thing means...more
Carla
What a great read. One that explores and offers the reader to explore their past, future, and all that comes between. The complexity of the relationships that we hold in our lives are explored through the main character, Kate Tucker. What is it that lead us on the course we are on? And the people around us?
I found that from the relationship Kate has with her father, her husband, her sister, even her friends and husband's co workers - that she was a much more intricate character.
The book flashes...more
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Curtis Sittenfeld is the author of the bestselling novels American Wife, Prep, and The Man of My Dreams, which are being translated into twenty-five languages. Prep also was chosen as one of the Ten Best Books of 2005 by The New York Times, nominated for the UK's Orange Prize, and optioned by Paramount Pictures. Curtis won the Seventeen magazine fiction writing contest in 1992, at age sixteen, and...more
More about Curtis Sittenfeld...
Prep American Wife The Man of My Dreams A Regular Couple Prep and American Wife: Two Bestselling Novels

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“We all make mistakes, don't we? But if you can't forgive yourself, you'll always be an exile in your own life.” 11 likes
“Children are nothing but a problem people create and then congratulate themselves on solving.” 5 likes
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