Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"It's ten to two in the afternoon and I've been waiting for my little sister, Vivi, since one-thirty."

Poppy Adams' The Sister is a strange but satisfying book. The original British title, The Behaviour of Moths, is a much more pertinent title but I guess it's too stuffy for American readers so we get the vague title instead. Ginny is a seventy year old woman who is still in the house she grew up in, the house where she and her father worked together as lepidopterists -- moth specialists. Her younger sister Vivi is returning to the house after 50 years and Ginny is not sure how she feels about it. Over the course of a five day narration, Ginny tells us not only about her current feelings but all about their family history and the things she has experienced in her life.

The book has many twists as Ginny reveals things about past and present that we would not have guessed from her narration. We learn fairly early that Ginny is not a "normal" person -- detached, unemotional and a bit odd. It is this that makes you wonder if you can take her storytelling at face value or if we are hearing everything through a skewed perspective. This is a very interesting read from a non-standard point of view.

Thinking about sisters,

Buy The Sister on Amazon or find it at your local library.


  1. Good review. I'll have to check this out.

  2. I picked this one up at the library but haven't started it yet. I didn't even realize that it was the same book as The Behaviour of Moths, which has been on my list for a while. Couldn't they at least have added that as a subtitle?

  3. Hi Mrs. G, I think you will like this book.

    Teresa, I went looking for a book yesterday and found two that I thought I would like and luckily someone somewhere mentioned that one was just the UK version. I'm not sure why they can't trust the readers to be okay with the same title and synopsis.

  4. Interesting...we both viewed her as very unreliable!