Sunday, July 17, 2011

(110) The Orphan Sister by Gwendolen Gross

The Orphan Sister

Publication Date : July 5, 2011
304 Pages

The Orphan Sister is a wonderfully written novel about three sisters. Triplets, actually. One set of identical twins and their extra sister, Clementine. For their whole lives Clementine has been the outsider in their sisterhood relationship. She loves her sisters, but she knows Olivia and Odette are closer. While Clementine went to Oberlin, the O's went to Harvard. While Clementine is still unsure of what she wants to do with her life at the age of 29, the other girls are doctors, married, and both expecting their first child.

Clementine is about to sit down and take an online test when one of her sister's calls to tell her that their father did not show up for rounds at the hospital. Their missing father sets Clementine on a course of truth. Discovery of the truth about her father's past. And dealing with the truth of her own romantic past and the feelings that she has now for her best friend, Eli. Will Clementine be able to come to grips with her father's shocking secret or will it tear their family apart?

The Orphan Sister is a fantastic novel about family dynamics. A family is gripped in the middle of a family crisis and we get to see it all unfold. I really liked Clementine and I hated to see how hurt she was by her father. Triplets are unique enough that the book could have only dealt with their relationship and it would have been a good book to read. Throw in the unusual circumstances their father has thrown them into and you have the makings of a fantastic novel.


Eesti said...

THE ORPHAN SISTER, has everything I love about Gwendolen Gross's writing--gorgeous language, original characters whose vulnerability is exposed on every page, and a compelling story that reveals our longings and our frailties.
Clementine, the narrator, is the fraternal triplet in a set of polyzygotic triplets (two identical and one fraternal), and so the one apart--connected yet separate, which describes a sense many of us may experience even though we're single births. It is from Clementine's observant and candid narrative we are taken deeper and deeper into the lives of the Lord family--the father who's gone missing; the mother who seems aloof from it all; the apparent success of Odette and Olivia, both Harvard-educated doctors like their father; the revelation of a long-held family secret and, most intimately, Clementine's choices that set her apart.

Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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