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Sisters
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Grove Atlantic 2017
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National Book Award-Winning Author: A second wife is haunted by the first in a novel that "expertly deploys revelations like land mines" (The Minneapolis Star Tribune).
From the acclaimed author of I Married You for Happiness, Sisters is a "masterpiece" (The Boston Globe) that gives a very different portrait of marital life, exposing the intricacies of a new marriage sprung from betrayal.
Lily Tuck's unnamed narrator lives with her new husband, his two teenagers, and the unbanishable presence of his first wife—known only as she. Obsessed with her, our narrator moves through her days presided over by the all-too-real ghost of the first marriage, fantasizing about how the first wife lives her life. Will the narrator ever equal she intellectually, or ever forget the betrayal that lies between them? And what of the secrets between her husband and she, from which the narrator is excluded? The daring and precise build up to an eerily wonderful denouement is a triumph of subtlety and surprise, in a riveting psychological portrait of marriage, infidelity, and obsession.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/05/2017
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780802189202
ASIN:
B074N9HVSF

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Citations

APA Citation (style guide)

Lily Tuck. (2017). Sisters. Grove Atlantic.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Lily Tuck. 2017. Sisters. Grove Atlantic.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Lily Tuck, Sisters. Grove Atlantic, 2017.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Lily Tuck. Sisters. Grove Atlantic, 2017.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 17:54:48
Date Updated:
Jul 01, 2023 09:40:51
Last Metadata Check:
Jul 07, 2024 09:28:53
Last Metadata Change:
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fullDescription
National Book Award-Winning Author: A second wife is haunted by the first in a novel that "expertly deploys revelations like land mines" (The Minneapolis Star Tribune).
From the acclaimed author of I Married You for Happiness, Sisters is a "masterpiece" (The Boston Globe) that gives a very different portrait of marital life, exposing the intricacies of a new marriage sprung from betrayal.
Lily Tuck's unnamed narrator lives with her new husband, his two teenagers, and the unbanishable presence of his first wife—known only as she. Obsessed with her, our narrator moves through her days presided over by the all-too-real ghost of the first marriage, fantasizing about how the first wife lives her life. Will the narrator ever equal she intellectually, or ever forget the betrayal that lies between them? And what of the secrets between her husband and she, from which the narrator is excluded? The daring and precise build up to an eerily wonderful denouement is a triumph of subtlety and surprise, in a riveting psychological portrait of marriage, infidelity, and obsession.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from July 10, 2017
        With her signature clipped and measured prose, National Book Award winner Tuck’s new novel is elegant, raw, and powerful. As does I Married You for Happiness, this novel also largely takes place inside the mind and memory of a narrator. Fixated on her husband’s first wife, referred to as “she” throughout, the narrator spends most of the book imagining what the first wife was like in her youth or what she’s like now as a refined, middle-aged pianist. Though the two women have rarely met, the narrator focuses on the specific intimacy of their sharing, albeit in succession, the same man. Though at first she benignly estimates the number of times the husband and first wife would have made love, over time, her perseveration becomes more consuming, teetering on the verge of obsession. Both women live in upper Manhattan, and the narrator sometimes goes across town, to the large grocery store she imagines, correctly, to be where the ex-wife does her food shopping, and waits in the aisles. The husband himself is largely out of the picture, traveling for work, yet his absence grows more noticeable as this succinct book builds in emotional intensity to a shocking ending. Though compact enough to be read in one sitting, it’s also magnificent enough to be reread and savored. Agent: Georges Borchardt, Georges Borchardt Inc.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        July 1, 2017
        In her signature crisp, exacting prose, Tuck's (The Double Life of Liliane, 2015, etc.) seventh novel haunts the territory of marital jealously with delicacy and finesse.The unnamed narrator of this slim book is a second wife, inheritor of two teenage stepchildren and all the well-thumbed habits of a previous marriage which consumed her husband's youth and most of his passion. What the reader knows about the narrator's husband is a series of small preferences--he is an avid tennis player; he "had good taste and dressed well--he wore bespoke shirts made in England"--from which we are led to infer both his basically callow nature and the narrator's ambivalence toward her marriage. The narrator herself is far more interesting. She possesses a mimetic memory for incidental detail (she can recall outfits, menus, vintages of wine from events years in the past) coupled with a yearning for the kind of sophistication she imagines as wholly natural to the ex-wife our narrator refers to only as she. She is an almost entirely hypothetical creation whose habits, partialities, cultured languor, and equally cultured passion (before her marriage she was a gifted concert pianist) the narrator covets with a tricky blend of curiosity, jealousy, and desire. Indeed, so heady is the narrator's longing for news of the ex-wife's life, so convulsive the way she inserts herself into the shape the ex-wife has left behind, it is hard not to anticipate the story tending toward a climactic confrontation between the two wives after the fashion of a Hollywood psychodrama. Tuck is far too consummate and unusual a stylist to allow for any such bathos; however, the novel's quiet rooms, fragmented form, sensual descriptions of food, wine, and fabric, and, above all, its dreamy pace combine to lull the reader into a reverie from which the actual plot's sudden climax comes as a rude awakening. Masterfully detailed and elegant in all its parts but ultimately a novel that prioritizes the virtuoso skill of its narration at the cost of a hastily staged conclusion.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        August 1, 2017
        Tuck is widely admired for her economy of phrase in tandem with a richness of expression, as demonstrated in such previous works as the National Book Awardwinning novel The News from Paraguay (2004) and a biography of Italian novelist Else Morante, Woman of Rome (2008). Her latest book, a contemporary novel, is a stunningly compact series of images of a woman's obsession with her husband's former wife, rendered in chapters only a paragraph or at most a page in length. In other words, these are not fully developed depictions of such marital and familial issues as meals cooked and shared, disagreements about owning a dog, the frequency with which her husband's daughter speaks to her mother, or the woman's dicey relationship with her husband's son, but, rather, snapshots that together, like a photo album, blossom in their unity into a beautiful, heartfelt, and intelligent understanding of the shadows cast on our lives by our pasts and the pasts of those we love.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2017, American Library Association.)

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        November 27, 2017
        This novella-length story largely takes place inside the mind and memory of a unnamed, insecure narrator who constantly compares herself to her husband’s ex-wife. No characters are named—it’s just “my husband,” “his son,” “his daughter,” and “she” for the ex-wife—and the narrator never directly expresses her feelings. She simply describes various events and her own actions and reactions and musings. Actor Zackman perfectly conveys the emotional distance of the character in her reading: her voice is cool and neutral, like a witness on the stand stating the facts. Her narration is a perfect match for the character but the story itself doesn’t play well in the audio format. An Atlantic Monthly hardcover.

popularity
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National Book Award-Winning Author: A second wife is haunted by the first in a novel that "expertly deploys revelations like land mines" (The Minneapolis Star Tribune).
From the acclaimed author of I Married You for Happiness, Sisters is a "masterpiece" (The Boston Globe) that gives a very different portrait of marital life, exposing the intricacies of a new marriage sprung from betrayal.
Lily Tuck's unnamed narrator lives with her new husband, his two teenagers, and the unbanishable presence of his first wife—known only as she. Obsessed with her, our narrator moves through her days presided over by the all-too-real ghost of the first marriage, fantasizing about how the first wife lives her life. Will the narrator ever equal she intellectually, or ever forget the betrayal that lies between them? And what of the secrets between her husband and she, from which the narrator is excluded? The daring and precise build up to...
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