Sisters (Jensen)

Book Reviews 
Like so many painful family stories, this one begins with a miscommunication.... Engrossing though all this is, Jensen’s strenuous manipulations, all done to keep the estranged sisters apart, can be maddening.... Nonetheless, Jensen’s portraits of these women are richly alive.... As the sisters continue to orbit away from each other, a new generation of remarkable women “raised up on secrets” takes center stage.... Here The Sisters tells a bigger story. The women change in accordance with the times, captured in vivid details.
Caroline Leavitt - New York Times

This first novel from Nancy Jensen is an extremely ambitious effort to recount American history during the 20th century...through the experiences and perceptions of women. It’s an interesting idea, but Jensen sketches her characters primarily by what they do, rather than what they think or feel. And these women, in general, don’t do very much.... Jensen can’t seem to get the car jump-started. These characters never come to life. The author writes in a foreward that her story is based on a mysterious 50-year estrangement between her grandma and a long-dead sister. But in this narrative, events seem not just mysterious but intractably implausible.
Carolyn See - Washington Post 

As the years pass, each [sister] nourishes a hidden sadness that reverberates through time as their daughters and granddaughters, "raised up on secrets," struggle with the deep-rooted consequences.... Jensen's likable story argues for openness and forgiveness between sisters, for their own sake and for the health of their families.
Anne Leslie - People

Fans of The Help will be beguiled by Jensen's debut novel. Set in rural Kentucky in the midst of the Depression, and inspired by Jensen's own family history, it centers on an incident that created a lifelong breach between two sisters, one that reverberates throughout three generations. It's a sweet but never saccharine tribute to the pull of family.
Whole Living

First-time novelist Jensen—tracing the lives of two sisters separated in their youth by a tragic misunderstanding—[has] an observant eye, adept characterization, and a keen grasp of social issues.
Publishers Weekly

All families have secrets, and those kept by the Fischer family are particularly shameful and life changing. In 1927, sisters Mabel and Bertie are separated for life when their stepfather commits suicide and Mabel runs off with Bertie's boyfriend.... Verdict: Set against the dramatic backdrop of American history from the Great Depression into the 21st century, this beautiful but disturbing debut novel, inspired partly by the author's own family history, will engage readers of well-written, thought-provoking women's fiction. —Andrea Kempf, formerly with Johnson Cty. Community Coll. Lib., Overland Park, KS
Library Journal

(A Best Book of 2011.) A single tragic event shapes four generations of American women in this accomplished and poignant debut.... Encompassing the lives of women in the 20th century, this sprawling saga is tender and satisfying, with a heartbreaking end.
Kirkus Reviews

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