I wanted to read Sisterland right away because it is about identical twins. As an identical twin myself, I love reading twin books. I want to see if the author gets it “right”. Curtis Sittenfeld definitely does. At one point Kate, the narrator, mentions that while she and Vi were not best friends growing up, there really was no basis for comparison against being twins. That’s how Emily and I always responded when people asked if we liked being twins. Since we’d never been singletons, how could we really say how being twins compared? Sittenfeld also very accurately portrays Kate’s innate desire to support her sister Vi…even against her husband’s wishes.
I listened to the audiobook, and the long stretches of backstory made it confusing to restart listening. I had a hard time placing myself in the story when I didn’t remember if we were in the present or the past. But, at least, the backstory was told chronologically.
I also struggled to determine what the main plot of the story was supposed to be. I thought it was Vi’s prediction of the earthquake in St. Louis, but as the novel got closer to ending, it seemed to stretch on beyond that and shift focus a bit.
I liked the character Hank: Kate’s stay-at-home dad best friend. Their friendship was my favorite part of the book, but Sittenfeld managed to warp even that by the end of the book.
There were several controversial subjects thrown into the book that didn’t really seem necessary. While I agreed with the prevailing opinion of the book on all of them, for me, it distracted from what little plot there was to have these topics included in the story.
In the end I just felt like not much happened in the book, even though a lot of things did take place.
Rating: 2 Stars
This review was originally published on Mom’s Radius.