Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld
A Novel

78%

12 Critic Reviews

There are wry touches of humor here and there. And there's just enough tension – will the earthquake actually happen?! - to keep you reading...
-Guardian

Synopsis

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST NOVELS OF THE YEAR BY
Slate • Daily Candy • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Guardian (U.K.)

“Novelists get called master storytellers all the time, but Sittenfeld really is one. . . . What might be most strikingly excellent about Sisterland is the way Sittenfeld depicts domesticity and motherhood.”—Maggie Shipstead, The Washington Post
 
“Psychologically vivid . . . Sisterland is a testament to [Curtis Sittenfeld’s] growing depth and assurance as a writer.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
 
“[Sittenfeld’s] gifts are in full effect with this novel, and she uses them to create a genuinely engrossing sense of uncertainty and suspense.”—Sloane Crosley, NPR’s All Things Considered

Curtis Sittenfeld, 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 another, more devastating earthquake will soon hit the St. Louis area, Kate is mortified. Equally 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 to face 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.

Praise for Sisterland
 
“What’s most captivating about Sisterland is the intimate, intense portrayal of identical twin sisters. . . . [The novel] unfolds like a good prophecy—inevitable and shocking.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“The accomplished Sittenfeld . . . is as skillful as ever at developing an intriguing premise and likable characters. . . . Sittenfeld’s affectionate take on sibling rivalry is spot-on.”—People
 
“The power of [Sittenfeld’s] writing and the force of her vision challenge the notion that great fiction must be hard to read. She is a master of dramatic irony, creating fully realized social worlds before laying waste to her heroines’ understanding of them. . . . Her prose [is] a rich delight.”—The Boston Globe
 
“Wise and often wickedly entertaining . . . Readers who have siblings—especially women with sisters—will likely come away feeling as if the author really is psychic.”—USA Today
 

About Curtis Sittenfeld

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Curtis Sittenfeld is the author of The Man of My Dreams and Prep, which was chosen by The New York Times as one of the Ten Best Books of 2005. Her nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic Monthly, Salon, Allure, Glamour, and on public radio's This American Life. Her books are being translated into twenty-five languages. www.curtissittenfeld.comFrom the Hardcover edition.
 
Published June 25, 2013 by Random House. 417 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Jul 14 2013
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Critic reviews for Sisterland
All: 12 | Positive: 10 | Negative: 2

NY Times

Below average
Reviewed by Ann Leary on Jun 28 2013

...About halfway through, I couldn’t help feeling that I had been invited to Daisy’s for a sleepover, only to discover that all the fun is happening on Vi’s side of the room.

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NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by Michiko Kakutani on Jun 16 2013

Although Ms. Sittenfeld’s orchestration of such plot points can be predictable and ham-handed in the extreme, her portrait of Kate...is so psychologically vivid that the reader easily overlooks the slick story line.

Read Full Review of Sisterland: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Emma G Keller on Aug 05 2013

There are wry touches of humor here and there. And there's just enough tension – will the earthquake actually happen?! - to keep you reading...

Read Full Review of Sisterland: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Alex Clark on Jun 13 2013

Sisterland is not a perfect book: it is too long, has a few too many detailed digressions about life with toddlers and introduces too much...too late in the day. But it also has a delightfully devil-may‑care attitude towards what a novel can and can't include and a beautifully delicate way of describing both familial and conjugal love.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by VIv Groskop on Jun 01 2013

Although this isn't a thriller, it is a work of psychological genius and has a wonderful twist at the end. Sittenfeld has crafted a literary page-turner masquerading as a feud between two sisters.

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Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Alex Clark on Jun 13 2013

Sisterland is not a perfect book: it is too long...But it also has a delightfully devil-may‑care attitude towards what a novel can and can't include and a beautifully delicate way of describing both familial and conjugal love.

Read Full Review of Sisterland: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by VIv Groskop on Jun 01 2013

...it is a work of psychological genius and has a wonderful twist at the end. Sittenfeld has crafted a literary page-turner...

Read Full Review of Sisterland: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Apr 22 2013

...delivers a rich and intimate tale of imperfect, well-meaning, ordinary people struggling to define themselves and protect the people they love.

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NPR

Above average
Reviewed by Sloane Crosley on Jun 26 2013

For a novel ostensibly about the future, it can get bogged down in flashbacks and backstory.

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Kirkus

Excellent
on Mar 31 2013

A rich portrait of intricate relationships within and among families by one of commercial fiction’s smartest, most perceptive practitioners.

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Star Tribune

Good
Reviewed by Ellen Akins on Jun 26 2013

To make such a story work, the mundane must be perfect...convincing. And so it is in “Sisterland.” Sittenfeld has a true gift for the quotidian, for getting the minutiae of everyday exchanges so right that whatever else she throws in gets a pass.

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LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Alana Semuels on Jun 27 2013

By the end of the book readers will wish that Kate and Violet were real people, both because they're relatable women and because it's fun to imagine that psychics exist...

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Reader Rating for Sisterland
60%

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Patrick Priore 9 Jul 2013

Rated the book as 4 out of 5

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