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Sisterland: A Novel | [Curtis Sittenfeld]

Sisterland: A Novel

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 abilities concerning future events and other people’s secrets. Though Vi embraced her visions, Kate did her best to hide them. Now, years later, their different paths have led them both back to their hometown of St. Louis. Vi has pursued an eccentric career as a psychic medium, while Kate, a devoted wife and mother, has settled down in the suburbs to raise her two young children. But when a minor earthquake hits in the middle of the night, the normal life Kate has always wished for begins to shift.
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Publisher's Summary

Curtis Sittenfeld, New York Times best-selling 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 abilities concerning future events and other people’s secrets. Though Vi embraced her visions, Kate did her best to hide them.

Now, years later, their different paths have led them both back to their hometown of St. Louis. Vi has pursued an eccentric career as a psychic medium, while Kate, a devoted wife and mother, has settled down in the suburbs to raise her two young children. But when a minor earthquake hits in the middle of the night, the normal life Kate has always wished for begins to shift. After Vi goes on television to share a premonition that a devastating earthquake will soon hit the St. Louis area, Kate is mortified. More troubling, however, is her fear that Vi may be right. As the date of the predicted earthquake quickly approaches, Kate is forced to reconcile her fraught relationship with her sister, and truths about herself she’s long tried to deny.

Funny, haunting, and thought-provoking, Sisterland is a beautifully written novel of the obligation we have toward others, and the responsibility we take for ourselves. With her deep empathy, keen wisdom, and unerring talent for finding the extraordinary moments in our everyday lives, Curtis Sittenfeld is one of the most exceptional voices in literary fiction today.

©2013 Curtis Sittenfeld (P)2013 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"A smart and sophisticated portrait... Sittenfeld has an astonishing gift for creating characters that take up residence in readers’ heads." (The Washington Post, on American Wife)

"Hilarious...a richly textured narrative." (The New Yorker, on Prep)

"[Sittenfeld] writes with humor, intelligence, insight, and heart. She’s also as good at sharp social satire as she is at tender mercies." (The Boston Globe, on The Man of My Dreams)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (354 )
5 star
 (85)
4 star
 (143)
3 star
 (96)
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 (27)
1 star
 (3)
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3.7 (321 )
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (321 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (61)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
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  •  
    Erica United States 07-05-13
    Erica United States 07-05-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    53
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too many minor details and not enough story."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I am from St. Louis and I grew up during the same time that these girls did. The time and places from the story was a chance to revisit my youth. That part was wonderful, however, if I weren't from St. Louis this book would not have been a much of a listen.


    Would you recommend Sisterland to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would to someone my age from St. Louis. Anyone else I would say it isn't bad but it isn't anything to go out of your way for.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I liked the parts that spoke of the places I have been and things I have done.


    Did Sisterland inspire you to do anything?

    Yes. It made me tell my husband how much I love him and how I would never ever do something like that to him.


    Any additional comments?

    I can't believe how many times they mentioned Target and Schnucks. The entire book seemed to be more about running errands than have an actual story. I'm still trying to figure out the point of the book. Don't believe in psychics? Love your sister? Don't love your sister? Ways to waste $15,000? Don't have an affair? It just didn't really seem to have much of a point.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 08-17-13
    Beth SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 08-17-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    30
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    "Great story, great narrator"
    What did you love best about Sisterland?

    I love how the story was told through a combination of flashbacks and present day events. It was a great way to develop the characters and keep me guessing about what they'd do next.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Vi - she embraced her quirks and stood her ground even when she held unpopular opinions.


    What about Rebecca Lowman’s performance did you like?

    I loved Rebecca Lowman's performance in "Dark Places," and was equally thrilled with this performance. There's something about her voice that is equal parts soothing and entertaining to me.


    Any additional comments?

    All siblings have complex relationships, but twins are even more complicated. This is a great story of one family's struggle to embrace their strangeness and hold on to their relationships in the midst of a crazy time in their lives.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debbie Lake Havasu City, AZ, United States 07-10-13
    Debbie Lake Havasu City, AZ, United States 07-10-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I liked it!"

    I like this author & I liked this book, unlike others who have written reviews. It was beautifully written & thought-provoking. What if you don't really like your identical twin, or approve of her life choices? The way this author writes maybe isn't for everyone, but I like her writing style.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arielle Sherman, TX, United States 07-01-13
    Arielle Sherman, TX, United States 07-01-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    17
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "There are other fish in the sea"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A better story


    What was most disappointing about Curtis Sittenfeld’s story?

    The psychic element being so minimal. Actually--the characters are so unlikeable. Can I just go on and say the story itself was the most disappointing part?


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I don't want to give away the ending, but I like a scene at the very end with Gabe.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The narrator was pretty good. A little inconsistent at first, but it leveled out.


    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    workout girl 08-03-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    "Better than I thought it would be"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Sisterland to be better than the print version?

    Didn't read the print version.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The twist - didn't see that coming!!


    What does Rebecca Lowman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her emotional attachment to the characters.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, but not until the middle of the book - I was glued to my headphones!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kim dubray Sacramento, Ca 07-13-14
    kim dubray Sacramento, Ca 07-13-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A read meant for all those with siblings"
    Would you listen to Sisterland again? Why?

    Doubtful. The ending was uneventful.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Rosie. She was cute


    What does Rebecca Lowman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The feeling she really had the feelings about her sister


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Every time she realized how brave her sister must have been


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jennifer BROOKLYN, NY, United States 06-30-14
    jennifer BROOKLYN, NY, United States 06-30-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Easy to enjoy"

    Another fun listen from Curtis Sittenfeld. Story centers around female twins who share a psychic ability. It's not all "supernatural thriller" tho; this is a modern story with a dash of the magical. And there's enough relationship strain to keep you interested.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth J. Tarry-crowe Ann Arbor MI 03-31-14
    Elizabeth J. Tarry-crowe Ann Arbor MI 03-31-14

    Beer WenchA2

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    "A shocking, amazing, real life story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Sisterland to be better than the print version?

    I have only ever listened to Curtis Sittenfeld's books but have found them all amazingly entertaining as audio books.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Sisterland?

    When Kate acknowledges her lust for the neighbor.


    Which character – as performed by Rebecca Lowman – was your favorite?

    I thought she did a great job with the male voices and Jeremy was portrayed perfectly.


    Who was the most memorable character of Sisterland and why?

    Kate, without a doubt. I love characters that I can sometimes be really angry at, yet feel sympathy for and she did that many times over.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Roxanne Shell Beach, CA, United States 11-25-13
    Roxanne Shell Beach, CA, United States 11-25-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointed"

    I was disappointed, expecting a story more about twins and their psychic abilities and the consequences. Instead it is more about the relationship between two sisters, their differences and similarities, somewhat interesting but not exciting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Casey Chicago, IL 11-05-13
    Casey Chicago, IL 11-05-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Great performance, ho-hum storyline...until..."
    Any additional comments?

    Let me start by saying that I LOVE Curtis Sittenfeld. Prep is one of my all-time favorites. Having said that, Sisterland is just as well written and Rebecca Lowman's performance is excellent. However, the story is so boring for the majority of the book I almost felt like giving up on it. The 1st 80% of the book consists of Kate's flashbacks (most of which are completely irrelevant) and her interactions with Vi/Jeremy/Hank/the kids in present day. A ton of focus is put on Vi's earthquake prediction for the first 80% of the book. But then, it seems as though it was just written off in a few sentences as we moved on to the other big plot development. I almost felt duped--I had built up all of this anticipation for Oct 16th, only to be let down. Then it was like I was reading a completely different story in the last 20%. And the last 20% was the best part! In hindsight, I wish that Oct 16th would have just happened somewhere around the halfway point, so we could have explored the aftermath a bit more fully.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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