Little Sister by Barbara Gowdy
A Novel

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Thanks to Gowdy’s imaginative intelligence, the Rose and Harriet duo is never ridiculous. What drives the novel, however, is not so much their interaction as Rose’s encounters with the indisputably real individuals who populate her world...
-National Post arts

Synopsis

A groundbreaking novel about the porous boundaries of intimacy and consciousness, and the possibility of forgiveness.

Thunderstorms are rolling across the summer sky. Every time one breaks, Rose Bowan loses consciousness and has vivid, realistic dreams about being in another woman's body. 

Is Rose merely dreaming? Or is she, in fact, inhabiting a stranger? Disturbed yet entranced, she sets out to discover what is happening to her, leaving the cocoon of her family’s small repertory cinema for the larger, upended world of someone wildly different from herself. Meanwhile her mother is in the early stages of dementia, and has begun to speak for the first time in decades about another haunting presence: Rose’s younger sister. 

In Little Sister, one woman fights to help someone she has never met, and to come to terms with a death for which she always felt responsible. With the elegant prose and groundbreaking imagination that have earned her international acclaim, Barbara Gowdy explores the astonishing power of empathy, the question of where we end and others begin, and the fierce bonds of motherhood and sisterhood.  

 

About Barbara Gowdy

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Barbara Gowdy is the author of six previous books, including The White Bone (Picador 0-312-26412-7), Mister Sandman, and We So Seldom Look on Love. Recipient of the prestigious Marian Engel Award, she lives in Toronto, Ontario.
 
Published May 23, 2017 by Tin House Books. 300 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Horror. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Little Sister
All: 4 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 0

Globe and Mail

Above average
Reviewed by Jos Teodoro on Apr 21 2017

Little Sister is all depth and grace and yet never more than a sentence away from a playful nudge in the ribs.

Read Full Review of Little Sister: A Novel | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

National Post arts

Above average
Reviewed by Philip Marchand on Apr 20 2017

Thanks to Gowdy’s imaginative intelligence, the Rose and Harriet duo is never ridiculous. What drives the novel, however, is not so much their interaction as Rose’s encounters with the indisputably real individuals who populate her world...

Read Full Review of Little Sister: A Novel | See more reviews from National Post arts

Toronto Star

Good
Reviewed by Brett Josef Grubisic on Apr 15 2017

Gowdy might be utilizing a kind of science fiction premise, but the enjoyable bounty of her novel does not result strictly from the novelty of the idea. Rather, it’s how Gowdy uses the device to explore a character’s life and her ability and willingness to change...

Read Full Review of Little Sister: A Novel | See more reviews from Toronto Star

Globe and Mail

Good
Reviewed by Jose Teodoro on May 30 2017

...exactly the sort of intelligent, enthralled, playful and empathetic literature that Gowdy has been delivering for the last three decades.

Read Full Review of Little Sister: A Novel | See more reviews from Globe and Mail

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