RICHARD reads reviews: SISTERS, Nancy Jensen

Nancy Jensen’s powerful debut novel illuminates the far-reaching power of family and family secrets.

The Sisters
Nancy Jensen

Growing up in hardscrabble Kentucky in the 1920s, with their mother dead and their stepfather an ever-present threat, Bertie Fischer and her older sister Mabel have no one but each other—with perhaps a sweetheart for Bertie waiting in the wings. But on the day that Bertie receives her eighth-grade diploma, good intentions go terribly wrong. A choice made in desperate haste sets off a chain of misunderstandings that will divide the sisters and reverberate through three generations of women.

What happens when nothing turns out as you planned? From the Depression through World War II and Vietnam, and smaller events both tragic and joyful, Bertie and Mabel forge unexpected identities that are shaped by unspeakable secrets. As the sisters have daughters and granddaughters of their own, they discover that both love and betrayal are even more complicated than they seem.

Gorgeously written, with extraordinary insight and emotional truth, Nancy Jensen’s powerful debut novel illuminates the far-reaching power of family and family secrets.
[ Goodreads ]

Richard says…
This genre of books is not my style, doesn’t suit my tastes.

The Sisters is what I would call a ‘romance,’ in the same vein as any of the Bronte books. They just are not to my liking. These types of books require meditation, consideration and deeper analysis, not the reasons why I read.

I read for escapism, excitement, entertainment and diversion. The storyline can be fictitious and even extreme, but if it has action, suspense and some sensationalism, its a grabber for me.

The Sisters doesn’t do it for me. From the start, I found the characters numbing and keeping track of them a confusing challenge. The storyline drags even when manipulative ploys such as a pedophilic rape scene is inserted to jar one’s attention and attraction back to the story at hand.

Perhaps others will find the ‘romantic’ descriptions magnetic. Perhaps they will find the pedantic descriptions attractive. I do not. For me, they make a dull book duller. Others may arguably disagree and hold that Jensen captivates readers with sophisticated descriptions, with authentically based scenarios, with attractively fleshed-out characters. It may be true for those readers and I compliment them on their patience, perseverance and tolerance. I lack those characteristics.

This is not my style of book. Hence, I find it unappealing and not to my taste.

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