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Book review: Sisterland, By Curtis Sittenfeld


For identical twins, Kate and Violet, life could not be more different – mother of two Kate lives a “suburban and conventional” life; Violet is single and hippyish – but they share a psychic gift.

When Violet predicts a violent earthquake and becomes an unlikely star, Kate begins to ponder her own powers of intuition.

Sisterland is a very different prospect from Sittenfeld’s strictly realist previous work. The supernatural elements in this one are unconvincing, and there is an awkward lurch into melodrama towards the end. But Sittenfeld’s descriptions of Kate’s family life – the children’s mischief; the snatched intimacies of the exhausted parents – are touching in their directness and simplicity.