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My Sister's Continent

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  20 reviews
Fiction. MY SISTER'S CONTINENT is a contemporary retelling of Freud's infamous "Dora" case study, following a loosely parallel plot and containing similarly controversial sexual themes and layers of possibilities. Kirby is a young woman attempting to come to terms with a "failed" bout of therapy while concurrently trying to decipher the truth about her identical twin, ...more
Paperback, 316 pages
Published January 1st 2006 by Chiasmus Press
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  93 ratings  ·  20 reviews

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Jul 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The good twin stayed close to her Chicago home. She found a nice, albeit taupe mate named Aris, whom she plans to marry. They live together in a little loft in Chicago. She has a college degree. She makes nice with her parents and is still malleable in their hands.

She's also got a wicked case of the runs.

It's chronic. It is billed as being the side effect of pre-wedding jitters. But it is debilitating. Splurge on a few slices of pizza, and Kirby will spend the next few hours on the can. It's
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. I wanted to be disturbed like many of the other Goodreads reviewers but I wasn’t. I did like the ending and the last sentence but somehow it seemed more fitting to another story - perhaps a less complex and shorter story.
immensely engrossing/disturbing. would not recommend to most people, but to those whom i would, i'd recommend it highly.
shelley jackson's Half Life rarely approaches the complexity of twin psychology that this book achieves. though Half Life is about conjoined twins, which is, yes, different than frangello's merely identical twins, jackson is all over the place and so smug with the metaphorizing of twin identity, it's overdone and too cerebral; frangello's twinning is visceral - and can't
Dec 24, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: awful, lit-fic, sold, twins
Believe me, when I picked up this book, I wanted to like it. I thought I surely would! I mean, it's set here in Chicago and revolves around the lives of identical twins! And while it was an engrossing story, it left me feeling unsatisfied and that the whole book was rather inconclusive.
Also, and I am not quite sure why, the book oozed self-publication, and despite the author claiming to live in Chicago, it seemed as though some of the details were pretty off. I also didn't see the point in the
Dec 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Great book. Story of two twins in their 20s, told primarily from one twin's viewpoint. The back cover's description of it being "a contemporary retelling of Freud's infamous 'Dora'" made me wary of it. Having read it, I'd just throw that description away. You don't need to think about Freud (or know the Dora story) to read it. It's very intense, including some sadomasochistic sex and self destructive behavior, so there are definitely people I would feel I couldn't recommend this to. But if ...more
Jul 26, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2006
it's kind of a reworking of freud's book about dora and hysteria, but i've never read that and i still loved it. it's kind of a disturbing story about twin sisters. the book is told from multiple perspectives and through diary entries, flashbacks and dreams as well as straight-forward narration and each perspective provides conflicting information on the family history and people's motivations. while i was reading, i wanted the truth to become clear and all the misunderstandings and conflict ...more
Oct 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
This novel is supposedly a "contemporary retelling" of Sigmund Freud's case study of Dora, who was diagnosed with hysteria and undergoing psychoanalysis. As a psychology undergraduate student, I am familiar with the Dora case study, and I was naturally intrigued by the premise of this novel.

My Sister's Continent is an intelligently executed read that is both disturbing and compelling. Frangello addresses a wide range of issues from AIDS, sexual abuse, anorexia, sibling rivalry, and relationships
Nov 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Can we just talk about the last sentence here for a second? I don't think I've ever read a single sentence that so completely changed everything I thought about the book I was reading. It completely changed my entire outlook on the book (added a couple of stars to my review, and made it absolutely imperative that I reread the whole thing as soon as possible). I think that both the book and that sentence are going to stick with me for a long time.

That said, I felt (and can understand) some
Aug 24, 2007 rated it did not like it
So maybe I didn't actually read this whole book, but I read enough. Geez. To use Nathan's words, the back cover description "sounds like someone's master's project"--and no offense to all you aspiring MFA's out there, but honestly, such a comparison begs to be made and is the only way to describe how truly awful this book is.
Jan 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Missy, clinicians, people who like psychological thrillers
This book is not for everybody. It's certainly not for the squeamish. You think about this one long after you finish it; it has that haunting, disturbing quality. I read this book after hearing the author discussing it on NPR, and as a therapist, I really got into the idea of a re-examining the case of Dora. However, this book could definitely stand on it's own!
Willy Blackmore
Jun 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a totally thrilling and engaging book--which isn't exactly what one might expect from a book based on Freud's casestudy of Dora. The intensity of the characters and their emotions is amazing. Its the kind of story that bodily drags you through from beginning to end--you're far from being in control as a reader and, in this case, that's an awesome expereince.
Anna Sternberg
Jun 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
I found this at times a little clever for its own good, however I did become drawn into the characters and situation. A modern tale. My main criticism being occasionally lost and confused, as the reader, for the distance she created with me in her desire to demonstrate her intellectualism as a writer.
Jul 07, 2009 rated it did not like it
I lost the desire to finish this book after I read the first 100 pages or so--I found it neither disturbing nor exciting. What little mystery the book purported was lost in my general dislike of all the characters.
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: amazon
an easy 4.5. frangello writes in an incomparable style, and that last sentence will stick with me for a long time. every part of this is explicit and ugly, simultaneously totally unbelievable and incredibly real. i love her voice even though i shudder at what it's saying. fantastic.
Jan 20, 2008 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
I wrote this, so I can't exactly rate it! But you can find out more about it on if you're interested!
May 14, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of the most powerful and provocative novels to hit bookstore shelves in years ... brilliant.
Apr 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
Best book I've read in the last several years. DARK but brilliant. Totally realistic, non-patronizing look at female sexuality and psychology.
Sep 18, 2010 rated it liked it
This book was really strange but I couldn't stop reading it. The whole family is really messed up.
Jun 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
A very unusual read and pretty disturbing. I really got wrapped up in the story though.
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Gina Frangello is the author of the collection Slut Lullabies (Emergency Press 2010) and the novel My Sister's Continent (Chiasmus 2006), which was selected as one of the top 10 books of that year by Las Vegas City Life and was a "Read This!" finalist for Spring 2006. For more than a decade, Gina edited the award-winning fiction literary magazine Other Voices, and in 2004 co-launched its book ...more