Monday, November 17, 2008
Book Look Review "The Sister"
This is the review for this week - but I also wanted to post the picture of my sister Sue becoming an American in time to vote this year. Oh Canada became America The Beautiful. I became a citizen 20 years ago so I could vote and be involved in the community where I live. We don't love Canada less, we just added USA to our list. Having a Canadian Dad and an American Mom, we feel equal affection for both sides of the border.
When someone recommends a book and says it is a clean read, what does that mean exactly? Is it squeaky clean, or spick-and-span, or clean as a whistle, or cleaner than my teenage son’s bedroom floor? There are many websites that rate book content for language, violence and sexual references. One of the sites I use is ratedreads.com. There are not many selections there but I like the rating system using N for none, M for mild, and Mo for moderate. There are two separate files for books that are Off the Charts and Dirt. I chose “The Sister” by Poppy Adams from the website to read and review it this week.
It is the story of two sisters who reunite in their crumbling childhood mansion after fifty years. The adventurous Vivien left home to live in London as a teenager and never returned home. The reclusive Ginny was left behind to carry on her father’s research on moths. As the women reunite, Ginny remembers her happy childhood with her sister and wonders why they have been apart so long. “There’s rarely a sole cause for the separation of lives. It’s a sequence of events, an inexorable chain reaction where each small link is fundamental, like a snake of upended dominoes. And I’ve been thinking that the very first one, the one you push to start it all off, must have been when Vivi slipped off our bell tower and nearly died, fifty-nine years ago.”
Vivien disturbs the tranquility of Ginny’s orderly life, and we soon sense that Ginny may be more than eccentric. She is obsessed with time to the point she must wear two watches, determined to keep her bed sheets so neat she must pin them in place and unable to tolerate the presence of even her own sister. The suspense builds as we wonder how many of the past family tragedies accidents were really accidental and if there is another one yet to come.
“The Sister” was rated as a clean read. It did have the Mo rating which alerts the reader that there is some language to be aware of. It is definitely an adult fiction selection. There is also the caution that there is “mild” discussion of a sexual scene. I would rate it cleaner than a teenage boy’s bedroom floor but definitely not squeaky clean.