Monday, 14 July 2014

Review: Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld

Book: Sisterland

Author: Curtis Sittenfeld

Pages: 400 pages

I Read: The paperback edition pictured above

I Read It In: Across a week- I was reading other books too :)

Plot Summary: From an early age, Kate and her identical twin sister, Violet, knew that they were unlike everyone else. Kate and Vi were born with peculiar “senses”—innate psychic abilities concerning future events and other people’s secrets. Though Vi embraced her visions, Kate did her best to hide them.
Now, years later, their different paths have led them both back to their hometown of St. Louis. Vi has pursued an eccentric career as a psychic medium, while Kate, a devoted wife and mother, has settled down in the suburbs to raise her two young children. But when a minor earthquake hits in the middle of the night, the normal life Kate has always wished for begins to shift. After Vi goes on television to share a premonition that another, more devastating earthquake will soon hit the St. Louis area, Kate is mortified. Equally troubling, however, is her fear that Vi may be right. As the date of the predicted earthquake quickly approaches, Kate is forced to reconcile her fraught relationship with her sister and to face truths about herself she’s long tried to deny.

What I Liked: I liked the premise of this book. This book promised to unravel a complicated sister relationship as well as deal with the super-interesting topic of psychic abilities. So, it seemed like it is going to be a very interesting and enlightening read. 
I liked the flashbacks to Violet and Kate's childhood- to their dysfunctional family life, how they were in school and what led to Kate swearing off her 'abilities'. That is pretty much the extent of what is likable in this book. 

What I Didn't Like: Let's do this in bullet points, eh? :) 
  • There was not enough context on how the girls' psychic powers came to be recognised or how they actually used or dealt with these powers as kids. There was some weird attempt at showing that the psychic powers of the girls were derived from their ability to connect with 'spirits' and that the spirits told them what was going to happen in the future. Now, I am no expert on psychic abilities but don't people with proven psychic abilities have 'visions'? I mean, don't they see the future rather than the future being whispered in their ears by some ghosts? I found this highly unsatisfying and weird. Given that this was a core conflict point in the book, there wasn't enough time spent on this aspect of the twins' life at all.
  • I didn't care for any of the characters. We see the events in the book from Kate's perspective and Kate is annoying, whiny and just insipid. I had to restrain the urge to fling the book away from me at multiple times when she got all needy and whiny and just plain idiotic! UGH! 
  • Violet would have been the more interesting narrator- she seemed more fey and open and less of a whino than Kate. 
  • The story was highly predictable.
  • Also, nothing really happens in the book. The purpose of writing this story seems utterly pointless. What was the purpose of this book, really? Kate's reason to stop doing her psychic thing is ridiculous and weird. The story is supposed to build up to an earthquake, which is dealt in a totally uninteresting manner. 
  • The writing was no great shakes. I have read SO much better. Heck, some crappy YA books have better writing.
Rating: 1/5 (Dont' waste your money) 

1 comment:

Locomente said...

Aww... The plot indeed seemed interesting... But, thank you! Nice review :)