Sunday, August 25, 2013

The Language of Sisters

My goal is to read 100 books by the end of 2013.  I just finished book 55.

The Language of Sisters by Amy Hatvany

Summary (via Goodreads):
Ten years ago, Nicole Hunter left her troubled home behind her, unable to cope with the demands of a life with her disabled sister, Jenny.  Though her search for happiness - both in career and in love - has fallen short of her dreams, Nicole pretends that all is well.  Then a shattering event turns her world upside down, and suddenly, she is back in her hometown, caring for her pregnant sister and trying to heal her embattled relationship with her mother.
Reunited with her family and forced to confront the guilt that haunts her, Nicole finally has the chance to be the sister she always wished she'd been.  And when she is faced with the most difficult choice of her life, Nicole rediscovers the beauty of sisterhood - and receives a special gift that will change her life forever.

My Opinion:
I'm not going to nitpick scenarios/character choices, even though I found them implausible, but I have to address my hot button issue - the gratuitous use of the 'r' word.  I could not reconcile the two halves of Nicole: the sensitive Nicole that uprooted her entire life with no hesitation to move home and take care of her sister and the completely offensive Nicole that could utter the phrase "This was not the sole lesson I learned about life as the sister of a retarded child". By the way, the passage that followed that sentence in the book was beautiful and spoke to my heart.  The fact that Nicole is a trained therapist adds even more reason that she would never use the 'r' word in such a cavalier fashion and even less reason that she would make all the choices she did.  Even when I don't agree with someone's choices, I have to understand why they made them (which is not the same as justifying them; it's just finding their motivation).  If I can't make that connection, I'm out.

Although I like the author's writing style a lot and will definitely read another one by her, my opinion on this particular book is to skip it.  I just couldn't shake the negative reaction I had at the beginning of the book even though the second half was much better.

Quote from the Book:
"My heart ached with emotion I had forgotten I was capable of experiencing."

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