Friday, December 30, 2011

SISTERS by Nancy Jensen

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.

I heard so much great buzz about Nancy Jensen's THE SISTERS that I was really excited to read it!  Bertie and Mabel Fischer are as close as two sisters can be.  In 1920s Kentucky, they cling to one another as they struggle without their mother who passed away and left them with a difficult and menacing stepfather.  Bertie is excited about graduating from 8th grade in front of the people she loves the best---her sister and her sweetheart.  When neither one shows up for her graduation, Bertie fears the worst.  Good intentions turn bad and a series of misunderstandings have catastrophic consequences that will affect generations to come. The story follows the paths of the two sisters and their offspring and what happens to each of them.

I love the idea of this book. It is wonderful to see a story that follows a family through several generations of women. It is heartbreaking to see how seemingly small decisions and misunderstandings can have such far-reaching effects.   Although I think Jensen is a very creative storyteller, the book fell flat to me.  I almost wish it had been a bit longer with greater attention and detail paid to each character.  It felt as if there should have been more to the story.

BOTTOM LINE:  A very good tale of love, loss, and family that doesn't quite hit the mark.  It just didn't pack the emotional wallop that I thought it would.

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