Two Sisters (Paperback)

By Mary Hogan

William Morrow & Company, 9780062279934, 365pp.

Publication Date: March 4, 2014



Mary Hogan's powerful and poignant debut novel about two sisters--opposites in every way--plus their mother and the secrets and lies that define them all.

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 blonde 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.

Conversation Starters from

  1. In what way does belief in God define and motivate the characters?
  2. Why is Muriel such a good secret-keeper?
  3. If Muriel and Pia were closer in age, how might their relationship be different?
  4. Is Lidia’s behavior forgivable?
  5. Is Joanie a good or bad “mother figure” for Muriel and why?
  6. Should Owen have insisted on a divorce the moment he learned the truth about Pia?
  7. What will happen with Muriel and John, the guy she meets at the end of the book?
  8. Will Lidia and Owen grow old together or eventually grow apart?
  9. Why did Muriel need to confront her brother, Logan, in person?