Two Sisters by Mary Hogan is a book about sisters, family, and the secrets that are entwined in them throughout a lifetime. This debut novel takes the reader on an inside look at how secrets can change families.
“One family, two sisters, a lifetime of secrets . . .
The third child in a family that wanted only two, Muriel Sullivant has always been an outsider. Short, dark-haired, and round, she worships her beautiful blond sister, Pia, and envies the close bond she shares with their mother, Lidia. Growing up in their shadow, Muriel believes that if she keeps all their secrets—and she knows plenty, outsiders always do—they will love her, too.
But that was a long time ago. Now an adult, Muriel has accepted the disappointments in her life. With her fourth-floor walk-up apartment and entry-level New York City job, she never will measure up to Pia and her wealthy husband, their daughter, and their suburban Connecticut dream home. Muriel would like nothing better than to avoid her judgmental family altogether. One thing she does quite well.
Until the day Pia shows up to visit and share devastating news that Muriel knows she cannot tell—a secret that will force her to come to terms with the past and help her see her life and her family in unexpected new ways.
Two Sisters is a powerful and poignant debut novel about two sisters—opposites in every way—as well as their mother and the secrets and lies that define them all.” – Two Sisters
Two Sisters is not a happy go lucky type of novel by any means. It is a sad story with characters that pull at your heart. It is written well, and keeps the attention of the reader to continue reading. The mother is narcissistic, the father isn’t really there, and the three siblings have a really messed up relationship with one another. The youngest child, Muriel, wasn’t wanted, and feels unwanted in the family, but continues to yearn for more and has a longing to be wanted by all of them, keeping their deepest darkest secrets.
The secrets that were kept in this highly dysfunctional family were big (and no, I won’t tell them here – read the book for that!). However, I would have liked to see how it played out with the family more than it did.
Overall, I enjoyed the story. It was at times a bit lengthy in areas where it didn’t need to be, but I can overlook that. The novel is also more about the family as a whole, and not just the “two sisters” as the title would suggest. I don’t mind that at all though, because to see how their relationship was, you had to see how they were in the family as a whole.
* Thank you to the publisher of Two Sisters, William Morrow, for providing me with a copy of this book for review. All opinions expressed are my own.