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Stories For My Sister

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purchase at: elizabethduvivier.com It's May 1993. Two sisters, Bea and Mona, are about to spend ten days together under the worst possible circumstances. With seven years between them, as well as a lifetime of hurts and misunderstandings, is it too late for them to become friends?


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About the author

Elizabeth Duvivier

1 book16 followers
Elizabeth Duvivier is the founder of Squam Art Workshops (squamartworkshops.com). She has been a writer all her life and a teacher since she was 19 years old.

She studied at Swarthmore College, Lawrence University, la Sorbonne (Université de Paris), Bread Loaf and The French School (Middlebury College). Elizabeth has taught English & French Literature, Creative & Expository Writing in a wide range of settings: Lyceé Lavoiser (Paris, France); Buxton School (Williamstown, MA); Berlitz (Boston, MA); Holderness School (Holderness,NH); and the New Hampshire Institute of Art (Manchester, NH). Over the past few years, she has offered classes in writing and myth at Squam Art Workshops, a creative community that she founded in 2008.

She makes her home in Providence, RI with her dog, Remy.

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5 stars
22 (64%)
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11 (32%)
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Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 reviews
3 reviews1 follower
September 24, 2019
"Stories for My Sister" by Elizabeth Duvivier
This is a story of two sisters, seven years apart and a lifetime of hurts and misunderstandings between them, who spend ten days together under the worst possible circumstances.
I was completely overwhelmed by this writing. So tender and raw and savagely honest. I haven't let go of this book since I got it two days ago. I will remember and re read this again and again. Oh the writing! I am sad I reached the last page moments ago. Thank you Elizabeth for this beautiful story. www.elizabethduvivier.com
10 reviews
June 23, 2022
Oh, what a story! This book had me absolutely captivated. It’s not an easy story, but such an intimate exploration into the lives of two sisters and their mother, and all of the relationships intertwined. I really did not want this book to end and have been struggling with what to pick up next. Duvivier is a gifted storyteller who is able to transport the reader to another place. I loved this reading experience and cannot wait to read whatever she writes next!
Profile Image for Caroline.
211 reviews64 followers
October 17, 2019
Beautiful story with really lush prose. Characters are well conceived and completely believable. I was sucked into this world and very sad to leave it at the end. I enjoy completely character-driven writing very much and this was absolutely that. Fans of Elena Ferrante and Knaussgard will enjoy this book, as it has the same lyrical style that cycles between memories and the present. I look forward to reading more from this author!
Profile Image for Claire Beth.
15 reviews
December 2, 2020
Please, just get this book! You will not regret it. If you read all the reviews from September 2019 through December 2020, all the reasons to Love this book are already written. A definite 5 stars for me and a book that I will reread many times in the years to come. I’m hoping for another novel from this new author soon!
Profile Image for Anne.
39 reviews
September 9, 2019
This book is so beautifully written. I found myself really enjoying it although it is not like many books I usually read. I wanted it to last longer, it drew me in with the story.
1 review
September 30, 2019
Stories for my Sister is a brilliant book. The prose beautiful, the characters nuanced and complex, and the gradual unfolding of the storylines compelling.
Profile Image for Corinne.
Author 1 book19 followers
October 29, 2019
An exquisite exploration of family, secrets and truth held tight. Lyrical prose, an engaging story, and an overall stunning read.
Profile Image for Emma Bernard.
44 reviews29 followers
May 25, 2020

I’m a sucker for books about relationships between family members and even more so, between sisters. Bea and Mona are seven years apart in age and light years apart in personality. They are forced to be by each other’s side when Mona falls ill and Bea must be her caretaker. As the chapters switch between each sister it becomes clear how different they are. Mona is direct, chic, and ultimately sad. Bea is a free spirit who got a little lost, but also an intellect. Each chapter adds a little more detail to the sisters’ upbringing and what created their tense relationship. Their mother, Janet, is present during these flashbacks which gives some context about being a single mother in the 1980s. ⁣

As an older sister, this book hit my emotions hard. Within the first 30 pages, I was thinking about if this scenario happened with my sister and I. Luckily, my sister is healthy and we’re close. But this book put me in all the feels. Duvivier’s writing style also adds to the poignancy of the book. The writing is descriptive and poetic, making it easy to invest in the characters and their relationship. This book gave me the same vibes as Normal People by Sally Rooney and Fates and Furies by Lauren Geoff, but instead of a romantic relationship it was a sibling relationship. ⁣

Profile Image for The Mad Mad Madeline.
626 reviews15 followers
May 10, 2020
OMG this one was delicious.

I almost didn’t read it because the cover was a little hokey but then....you can’t always judge a book by its cover!!!

It was so obvious to me that we were looking into the author’s brain and seeing the world through her eyes with this book. Every sentence, every line, every description- it was all so lush and gorgeous. She was speaking of her own experiences and those experiences far and away always translate to the best books. One doesn’t need to know much about it other than it is the story between two sisters and their mother, and it is glorious. Often you see these stories played out and they are uninspiring and contrived. Not this one. It’s about the ebbs and flows and the meandering pathways of life and relationships and lessons learned and it is astounding.

The absolutely lush prose which serves as the backbone of this novel is something you don’t see too often in modern literature anymore. This woman has a gift- at times I would find myself just closing the book and hugging it, trying to absorb it in a different way.

Ugh marvelous. Contender for best piece of fiction read so far this year.
26 reviews
January 28, 2020
Stories For My Sister was my first book of 2020. Not having a sister I’m always intrigued by the complicated relationships that exist between them. Elizabeth superbly developed all of the characters and their relationships. I enjoyed the way she told the story by using the past and present. I found myself identifying with Bea but understanding Mona.
Profile Image for Polly Fraga.
176 reviews
March 31, 2020
Great first novel by Elizabeth Duvivier! I would like to read more by her. The story is about an older sister caring for her younger sister while she is ill. Parts of it take place in Wellesley, MA- a place I know well, and really ring true. Her characters are deep and complex. They feel like people I could possible know....
Profile Image for Michelle Kroll.
41 reviews1 follower
November 4, 2019
As I was listening to the audio book one day I notice that the release date was August 11th. This is also the feast day for St. Clare of Assisi. Even more poignant is that Clare’s name translates to light. Elizabeth Duvivier is that bright light for me. Stories For My Sister is a beautifully written testament to the intricacies of family, the beautiful and messy relationship that is unconditional love. I find Bea is the bright light in this story. My personal journey is not dissimilar to Bea’s, ever on the hunt for my way while aiding others on theirs. I am grateful for this story and even more grateful that Elizabeth is a bright light in my world.
1 review
November 19, 2019
Stories For My Sister was a poignant story of a complicated family and especially the relationship between two sisters. It is a story that anyone can relate to (even if you don't have a sister!). The author beautifully describes the characters' innermost thoughts in a style evocative of Elizabeth Berg and Ann Tyler. I highly recommend this book!
1 review2 followers
October 30, 2019
Such a good book. I really loved the Bea character and hopes she writes another book about her! It was a little slow for me at first but then I couldn't put it down. Beautifully written. I hope she writes more books.
289 reviews
October 30, 2019
I was drawn into the lives of the two sisters and was struck by the differences in their experiences and choices. In the end their love for each other was apparent.
Profile Image for Rachele Alpine.
Author 14 books173 followers
July 28, 2020
This is the type of book that you want to curl up with a full cup of coffee, a blanket, and savor. The pages quickly fall away and you're lost in the word of the two sisters Bea and Mona. It's one of those books that you don't want to end, but on the other hand, you keep turning the pages because you can't stop. It's the type of book that even a few weeks after finishing, still lingers in my mind.

Maybe it's because I have a sister of my own, or because I have two young children who I've witnessed within the last year create the strong bond of siblings, or maybe it's because I know the ebb and flow of family and what they can mean, and do, and affect you. I don't know what it is exactly, but I felt a deep rooted connection to this book and its story.

Elizabeth's words are gorgeous; her descriptions deep and full. She pulls you into this world and moves seamlessly through the past and present and one narration to another. She has a true talent for writing and creating a world that is so full of life (even when it is ending for one of the sisters). I read the end slowly, holding my breath because I knew what would happen, but even in the tragedy and sorrow of the book, Elizabeth created beauty and such immense love.

This book makes you reflect on your own family, relationships, and how fleeting and quick life can really be. A must read and a book I'd recommend to anyone.
Profile Image for Sharon.
49 reviews
November 20, 2020
This is one of those books I wish I could award half stars. If so, it would be 3.5 for me. The book is well written and at times wonderfully written, but choppy plot development and the story lacked originality. Dysfunctional mother, many husbands, children who don’t get along and illness that brings them together again. It just seemed like I’d read it all before.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Displaying 1 - 17 of 17 reviews

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