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The Quintland Sisters

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  159 ratings  ·  66 reviews
"A historical novel that will enthrall you... I was utterly captivated..." — Joanna Goodman, author of The Home for Unwanted Girls

For fans of Sold on a Monday or The Home for Unwanted Girls, Shelley Wood's novel tells the story of the Dionne Quintuplets, the world's first identical quintuplets to survive birth, told from the perspective of a midwife in training who helps b
Paperback, 464 pages
Published March 5th 2019 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Aisling No, I loved it! It did not sugar coat the affect on the Quints and the love story was realistic.

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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  159 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What a mixed bag! The writing itself is excellent and the plot is compelling as all get out. I didn't want to put it down...except for when I wanted to throw it out the window.

Two reasons I couldn't truly enjoy The Quintland Sisters:

Reason 1:
The portrayals of the quints' parents are one-dimensional, often inaccurate, and occasionally downright hurtful. Two big examples:

a. Oliva Dionne was NEVER in favor of charging the public admission to see the quints. I don't understand how you could do as mu
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The heart-wrenching story of five identical little girls born to a poor family in Ontario, lovingly told through the eyes of a young woman who was present at the birth and stayed on to help these girls grow and thrive, despite the fact that hundreds of people came every day to see this miracle of birth. These French Canadian girls were the first quints known to have survived infancy, against the overwhelming odds. They were removed from their parents' home, as it was thought the parents had neit ...more
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had never heard of the Dionne Quintuplets until this book. I did some research and reading up on these famous sisters after reading this book. There was not a lot of details on the sisters and thus for what little details there were, I thought author, Shelley Wood did a good job with this book. It helped explain why there was not a lot of details spent on the sisters in this book. That was one factor that had left me craving more. I wanted to get to know more about each sister and their person ...more
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic! Not only a very compelling novelization of the birth and early lives of the Dionne Quintuplets, but a very moving coming of age/love story that was dazzlingly handled/revealed in the last 50 or so pages. What an epic look at human nature and fate. This book is enjoyable on many, many levels. I don't think anyone will be disappointed if they pick it up. Loved it!
Long before Kate Plus Eight or the Octomom, there were the Dionne Quintuplets, the first quintuplets to survive their infancy. They were born in French-speaking, rural Canada in 1934. Their parents had five other children. They were shamed for it. People also sent money and fan mail. The government took custody of the girls, leading to many disputes over the years. A doctor and his crew of nurses took over care of the girls.

The Quintland Sisters tells the story of the first few years of the qui
Shannon Dyer
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This was an extraordinary story based on true events!
Stephanie Fitzgerald
Beautiful novelization of the first five years of the Dionne quintuplets, a story that is quickly fading from history because it began in 1934. So glad the author chose this subject for her debut novel! The details of the girls’ daily lives were fascinating; I’m sure if I’d been around in the 30’s I would have kept a scrapbook of articles and pictures of them!😊 I did knock off a star for the ending scene on the train; it just didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the book and I surely did not expe ...more
Ashley Howard
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I knew almost nothing about the Dionne Quintuplets before reading The Quintland Sisters, so I devoured this book as a novel, not as historical fact.

I loved it—the mix of diary entries and newspaper articles (which I gather were real) made for a fascinating blend of fact and fiction and it made me, as a reader, have to do some of the work to fill in the gaps, which I always love in a book. The plot is fast and compelling, with a constant hint of foreboding, and the characters were beautifully dr
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, 0-reviewed, arc2019
I'm not wild about an early review here being a negative one, because of me, but...


This started out strong, then gradually drifted off the rails. This genuinely just felt like a personal project, unplanned, unedited, that Wood wrote and wrote and wrote for fun until she got bored and then dropped the thing. It was nice and relaxing to read about this cozy, charming little life, but it never had a point, and that gets exhausting when your book is nearly 500 pages. I lost my patience (but
Meg - A Bookish Affair
"The Quintland Sisters" tells the story of the Dionne quintuplets, a famous set of siblings born in Canada in the 1930s. While quintuplets are still not common, they were really not common back then as this was well before the age of fertility interventions like IVF and the like. The Dionne sisters become celebrities of a sort almost from the time that they were born. They

If you've followed my reviews or my blog for any length of time, you may know that I have twin girls. They are identical and
Leslie Lindsay
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Historical debut about the famous French-Canadian quintuplets born during the Great Depression, THE QUINTLAND SISTERS (William Morrow, March 5 2019) is about love, heartache, and resilience

I am stunned and amazed that I never knew so much as a peep about the first surviving identical quintuplets. Journalist and debut author, Shelley Wood, tackles the vast amount of research in bringing these tiny miracles to life.

Born in 1934 to French farmers in a hardscrabble area of Northern Ontario, reader
Mar 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reality television – or any television – hadn’t been invented yet when the Dionne Quintuplets were born in Canada in 1934, but if it had been, their lives wouldn’t have been any less tragic, or crazy.

Their story, as told by Emma Trimpany, a seventeen-year-old midwife-in-training, is the dichotomy of the the fish and the fishbowl. Inside, Emma sees each of the five “Quintland Sisters” – ripped from their family by the doctors who saw them as a means to fame and fortune – as a unique person, each
All I really know about the Dionne siblings was from watching a late 1930s documentary that aired on them late one night when I was in college. I had forgotten most of the story, even when they were born.

About 10% into this book -- and not particularly enjoying it anyway as it's not that skillfully written -- it suddenly occurred to me that one or more of the Dionne sisters might still be alive. I checked Wikipedia, and discovered that not only are two of them still living, but that they had al
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of the Dionne Quintuplets—five identical baby girls born in rural Canada in the 1930s whose uniqueness captured the attention of their own country and beyond—is endlessly fascinating. In this fictionalized version, their story is told through a fictional midwife's assistant who helps deliver the babies and stays on for years to help tend them. Through our heroine's eyes, we see the tension, conflict, and criticism that stalked the five girls and their family throughout all of their liv ...more
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not sure how I felt about the ending like did the nurse ever talked to the girls again? It ended so abruptly and I just need MORE.
But I really really liked this and I am not disappointed.
Lori Willett
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!! I was fortunate enough to win an ARC of this book and I am so happy that I did! It follows the story of the real life Dionne quintuplets in Canada, born in the 1930s. This book was written from the perspective of a young nurse who was there from the time they were born until they were around 5 years old. It is in the format of journal entries, letters and newspaper articles and is written so lovely that I was seriously saddened when I reached the last page. If you are a fan ...more
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First, I would like to say I was incredibly lucky to be given the opportunity to read an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review. I knew I wanted to read this book because, though I didn’t mention it to anyone except some family members, I actually grew up incredibly close to where the Dionne quintuplets (Yvonne, Annette, Marie, Cecile, and Emilie) were born, and so I’ve heard about them in passing my entire life. This includes seeing the old log cabin that was the family’s home turned in ...more
Brenda Benny
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Historical fiction has never felt more contemporary!

The Quintland Sisters is a captivating tale of historical fiction which holds up a mirror to today’s celebrity-focused world by reflecting back upon the appropriated lives of these helpless young quintuplet girls, as told through the naïve eyes of their fictitious midwife/nurse, Emma Trimpany, in the WWII era. Shelley Wood cleverly shines a light on our society’s fascination with “reality entertainment” long before the spawning of television s
Joan Happel
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story of Yvonne, Annette, Cécile, Marie and Émilie, better known to the world as the Dionne quintuplets, is told from the perspective of the fictional Emma Trimpany, a 17 year-old Canadian who assists at the birth of the famous girls. The first ever surviving quintuplets were born in Northern Ontario in 1934 to a French-Canadian family already struggling to support their five older children. The babies are made wards of the British King through the Dionne Quintuplets’ Guardianship Act of 193 ...more
Kathleen Gray
Mar 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In some ways, given how common multiple births are today, it's amazing and jaw dropping to read about what happened to the Dionne quintuplets. Told from the perspective of their young nanny Emma, it covers their first five years. Emma's an interesting character (she's not a real person) and her view of things, as well as her involvement provides the fiction element of a story which has become better known over the years. There are parts of this which I found annoying - Wood is especially unkind ...more
Sherri Lewis
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*** I received an arc from LibraryThing in exchange for my honest review

I have to go ahead and admit that I had never heard of the Dionne quintuplets before, so this story was entirely new to me. That being said, I found it a mix of fascinating & disturbing the way those poor girls were all but worshiped but some and used for financial gain by others. I felt the book started off very slow and I was tempted to give up at first, but I kept reading and it became more interesting the further int
Katherina Martin
Mar 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Very enjoyable book. I started getting restless about 3/4 of the way through because it started to repeat itself. Face it, the quintuplets didn’t really do new and exciting things but the author was able to add some romance. I gave it 4 stars and not 5 because I would have liked to have more of the main characters story. The ending was a surprise.
Mar 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, historical
Fascinating! The amount of research is amazing.

This is a fictionalized story of a nurse who kept a journal while taking care of the Dionne quints.
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019-mt-bookpile
The use of real news stories and reports about the Dionne quintuplets makes this feel less like historical fiction and more like the newly published diary of one of the carers in Quintland. Emma is a little too naive for the world she finds herself in, not really knowing how to read people and events (she's especially blind to the exploitation of the girls), which bothered me. The reason she finally leaves her "home" with them could have been done differently, with a little more obscuring of the ...more
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent read.
Robert Duncan
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easily the best book I have read in the last few years!
Sarah Davalt
Jan 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received this book from Goodreads in a giveaway, it is to be released March of 2019.
This is historical fiction of the lives of the Dionne quintuplets from the point of view of their nurse Emma Trimpany. At four months of age they were made wards of the state for the next nine years under the Dionne Quintuplets' Guardianship Act, 1935. The Ontario provincial government and those around them began to profit by making them a significant tourist attraction. Almost 3,000,000 people walked through t
Irene Marston
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
beautiful book anyone having this many children should be happy they had all the help raising them both happy and sad
The first 80% of this book is really quite good. It details the better part of the first five years of the real-life Dionne Quintuplets, through the eyes of their fictional nurse, Emma Trimpany. Emma is 17 in 1934 when she assists the midwife at the quints' birth, and has led a fairly sheltered life until then. As the Depression deepens and the situation is Germany gets worse and worse, Emma's focus remains resolutely on her charges, staying with them even as many other caretakers come and go. E ...more
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had heard of the Dionne Quints before but I had no idea what a tragic life they had. It was no small miracle that they survived birth and its a credit to the doctors and nurses who cared for them. Then they were removed from their parents care into the care of their doctor and appointed guardians. They were basically kept like zoo animals for the viewing pleasure of the fascinated general public and to generate money. After reading this story which is told from the perspective of a fictional c ...more
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