Fiction · Sadie J

Sisterland | by Curtis Sittenfeld


Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld
(Random House, 2013, 400 pages)

Growing up, Kate and Vi knew that they were different from everyone not only because they were identical twins, but also because they were psychic. They didn’t always know when or what exactly was going to happen, but premonitions came to them mostly through dreams and strong feelings. As they grew older, Vi fully accepted her psychic powers and started to make a living off her abilities. Kate, on the other hand, destroyed her powers the best she could so she could live a normal life with her husband and two small children. Then Vi shakes up everyone’s lives predicting a major earthquake to hit St. Louis in the coming weeks. As Vi begins to get more media attention on her prediction, Kate must decide if she should use her powers to protect her family or stay true to her beliefs to leave her powers in the past.

I enjoyed this book mostly because Kate’s moral struggle was so interesting. She has such panic attacks whenever she thinks that her family might come off as anything but normal that she tries to control the situation immediately. So the fact that she and Vi have these psychic powers and that Vi embraces them so publicly has led to a lot of strain in their relationship. When Vi predicts the earthquake, Kate wants to protect her family but she also doesn’t want to come off as believing what Vi says or letting on that she has powers of her own. Also the fact that it’s set in St. Louis led to some interesting takes on St. Louis personalities and landmarks.


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