My Sister Life by Maria Flook

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Synopsis

When Maria Flook's fourteen-year-old sister Karen disappeared from their suburban home, the author was changed forever. My Sister Life maps the story of two castaways from American suburbia who, while apart from each other, live mysteriously parallel lives.

With unrelenting realism and beguiling wit, Flook gives us an intimate account of her sister's life as a child prostitute, and of their coming of age in the 1960s--that surreal and wrenching moment of baby-boomer disenfranchisement, when the sexual revolution collided with the domestic fallout from the Vietnam War. From the ocean liners and Paris vacations of their refined upbringing to the gritty peepshows and adult theaters where they find jobs, the girls flee from a beautiful and tormented matriarch with secrets of her own.

Her missing sister becomes Flook's secret heroine--the sole example to follow in her journey into womanhood. The sisters live in trailer parks. They are faced with sexual assault, car thefts, and petty crimes with unpredictable men. Escaping from an abusive Vietnam vet, Karen takes her toddler to join her sister, who is herself raising a baby on her own; it is the first time they are under the same roof since their childhood. Their unorthodox reunion allows the sisters to forge a life-saving bond.

My Sister Life moves beyond biography or memoir to give us an astonishing vision of an American family--an authentic testimony to the defiant, undaunted faith between two sisters who connect after years apart.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Maria Flook

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The recipient of an NEA fellowship and a Pushcart Prize, Maria Flook is the author of  My Sister Life: The Story of My Sister's  Disappearance, two novels, Open Water and Family Night (which received a PEN American /Ernest Hemingway Foundation Special Citation), and a collection of short stories, You Have the Wrong Man.  She teaches at Emerson College.
 
Published July 13, 2011 by Broadway Books. 353 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Parenting & Relationships, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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Karen escapes from her man by jumping down two stories from a fire escape with her baby in her arms;

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