By Linda Olsson
DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy for free from Penguin First to Read in exchange for a fair and honest review.
A Sister in My House on the surface is the story of three sisters. But layer after layer it is actually a study of women’s emotions toward each other and those they encounter. One lost by death, the other two making their way through life in the wake of this event. Separated in age and experiences, the remaining two sisters have grown further apart in their adult years. Surprisingly, Maria invited Emma to come and stay for a visit while the two of them were together for their mother’s funeral.
Two years later Emma calls to take Maria up on the invitation that both of them know was not sincere or necessarily well intended. The resulting week of togetherness forces the sisters to acknowledge their past and think more clearly about their future. Maria has wrapped herself so tightly in her grief and losses that she cannot allow herself to enjoy life. Emma’s husband and children are no longer available for her as they once were. Resigning herself to the fact that those she loves will leave her, just as her beloved sister did early in her life, Emma risks falling into depression as she has done before.
A week is not a long time. Will it be long enough to make headway on the road to discovery for both of them?
Olsson’s literary fiction is powerful in words but not actions. It is the type of book you read, and then think about for a long time after. Small steps in the sister’s lives become giant leaps in their growth. One of my favorite quotes is: “Life intrudes from different directions. And I am no longer resisting I think.” To me, this shows the growth of the characters and the fact that they still have more healing to complete. Like real life, things cannot be resolved quickly, but any progress is a step in the right direction.
This is the first book I have read by Linda Olsson. This prolific, award-winning author should be on your watch list for literary fiction.
Copyright © 2018 Laura Hartman