The Sisters

By Nancy Jensen
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312542702, 336pp.)

Publication Date: November 8, 2011

List Price: $24.99*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the December 2011 Indie Next List
“This is a powerful story of family through three generations, beginning with two sisters from a small town in Kentucky. In 1927, a tragedy and a misunderstanding separate them when they are both in their teens. We follow their stories and those of their daughters up to 2007. Jensen shows us that strong women are able to use lives cobbled together out of fear and pain as building blocks to create something resembling happiness, or at least stability. This debut novel is a page-turner with characters that remain with the reader long after the book is closed.”
-- Marian Nielsen, Orinda Books, Orinda, CA


Description

 In the tradition of Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping and Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge, a dazzling debut novel about the family bonds that remain even when they seem irretrievably torn apart

Growing up in hardscrabble Kentucky in the 1920s, with their mother dead and their stepfather an ever-present threat, Bertie Fischer and her older sister Mabel have no one but each other—with perhaps a sweetheart for Bertie waiting in the wings. But on the day that Bertie receives her eighth-grade diploma, good intentions go terribly wrong. A choice made in desperate haste sets off a chain of misunderstandings that will divide the sisters and reverberate through three generations of women.

What happens when nothing turns out as you planned? From the Depression through World War II and Vietnam, and smaller events both tragic and joyful, Bertie and Mabel forge unexpected identities that are shaped by unspeakable secrets. As the sisters have daughters and granddaughters of their own, they discover that both love and betrayal are even more complicated than they seem.  

Gorgeously written, with extraordinary insight and emotional truth, Nancy Jensen’s powerful debut novel illuminates the far-reaching power of family and family secrets.




About the Author

NANCY JENSEN, who received an MFA in Writing from Vermont College, has published stories and essays in numerous literary journals, including The Louisville Review, Other Voices, and Northwest Review. She was awarded an Artist Enrichment Grant from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and an Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council, and teaches English at Eastern Kentucky University. The Sisters, her first novel, was named one of the Best Fiction Books of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews.

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