By Mary Hogan
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 3/4/2014
My Rating: 4 Stars
One family, two sisters, a lifetime of secrets . . .The third child in a family that wanted only two, Muriel Sullivant has always been an outsider. Short, dark-haired, and round, she worships her beautiful blond sister, Pia, and envies the close bond she shares with their mother, Lidia. Growing up in their shadow, Muriel believes that if she keeps all their secrets—and she knows plenty, outsiders always do—they will love her, too.
But that was a long time ago. Now an adult, Muriel has accepted the disappointments in her life. With her fourth-floor walk-up apartment and entry-level New York City job, she never will measure up to Pia and her wealthy husband, their daughter, and their suburban Connecticut dream home. Muriel would like nothing better than to avoid her judgmental family altogether. One thing she does quite well.
Until the day Pia shows up to visit and share devastating news that Muriel knows she cannot tell—a secret that will force her to come to terms with the past and help her see her life and her family in unexpected new ways.
Two Sisters is a powerful and poignant debut novel about two sisters—opposites in every way—as well as their mother and the secrets and lies that define them all.
TWO SISTERS, By Mary Hogan, is a beautiful, and heartfelt debut adult novel, which readers will love, especially if you are a sister, have a sister, or always wished for a sister.
This was my first book by Hogan, and enjoyed learning about the author’s inspiration behind this powerful novel, which made it even more special. My heart goes out to Mary, as appeared she began writing TWO SISTERS, only two weeks after her only sister, Diane died of breast cancer.
A coming of age journey for Muriel, as she feels she is the outcast, a huge disappointment, and misfit of the family, where her mother (Lidia), adored her older, beautiful sister, Pia. Then there is the brother, so the dad is happy, and then came Muriel, as more of an outsider. The mother is very self-centered, an indifferent father—not the makings for a warm lovable family.
With the mother/daughter and son/father relationship, everyone is teamed up, except for Muriel. A page-turner, which is filled with tension, raw feelings, humor, and emotion—a story of sibling rivalry and a family which has strayed from the important things— When Pia, the oldest daughter is diagnosed with breast cancer, the family secrets and lies begin to unravel piece by piece.
TWO SISTERS is a poignant story about forgiveness and redemption. The characters were very realistic and well-developed. The take away is inspiring, offering readers the acceptance of family dynamics being imperfect and flawed-- is not always a bad thing.
I could definitely relate as have one sister, three years younger and we live about eighteen hours away from one another, and do not get to spend too much time together. As our mother was recently diagnosed with colon and secondary liver cancer, and have come home to visit. Even though we are very different with different interests, TWO SISTERS, makes me reflect and value our time. It also makes me feel better knowing our family is not the only dysfunctional one!
“Sisters” seem to be a popular theme with new releases and upcoming releases, as have recently read or currently reading: The Hurricane Sisters, The Silent Sister, The Never Never Sisters, The Moon Sisters, The Summer Wind, The Mill River Redemption, The Glass Kitchen, The Oleander Sisters, The Secrets Sisters Keep, Nantucket Sisters and TWO SISTERS --Each unique in their own special way--the good and bad relationships of sisters. Looking forward to reading more from this talented author!