Title: The Sister
Title: Poppy Adams
Genre: Literary fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Juliet Mills
First line: It’s ten to two in the afternoon and I’ve been waiting for my little sister, Vivi, since one-thirty.
The Sister by Poppy Adams is the story of Virginia and Vivien Stone, two daughters of famous lepidopterist, Clive Stone. The book opens with Ginny waiting for Vivi, who is returning to Bulburrow, their family home, after an absence of over forty years. As the two sisters get reacquainted, it becomes obvious that they each have very different memories of their childhood. They remember the same instances in diverging ways – and their memories of their parents don’t match up.
Ginny is our unreliable narrator, telling us how the weekend after Vivi’s return unfolds, as well as recounting scenes from their childhood. As we witness the conversations between Vivi and Ginny, it becomes obvious that there is an undercurrent of foreboding in the story. Listening to this book was like having a nagging feeling that I was forgetting something important – I knew there was something not being said, something I wasn’t quite getting. And because the narrator, Ginny, also seems to be missing that something, the reader/listener has to rely on their own interpretation of Ginny’s memories of events and conversations and try to piece together the truth.
The Sister is a novel about family and the secrets people harbor, the lies people tell themselves. The question: Are Ginny’s delusions willing or unwilling? And what will she do when her version of the truth is threatened?
If you enjoy novels with a gothic feel that make you question everything you’re reading, you will love The Sister.