The relationship between sisters is something that has baffled many minds throughout the years. Some sisters get along seamlessly while others bicker and fight at all times. Vanessa and Her Sister is such a great book because it really questions and challenges the strength of the sister bond in a time that relationships meant everything. Priya Parmar really captures the ups and downs of life with a difficult sister.
As an older sister myself, I really connected to Vanessa's character. Responsibility plays a major role in your life as you get older, and Vanessa is a great example of somebody who has accepted it without hesitation. Sometimes you forget yourself because you are trying so hard to make your siblings life as normal and exceptional as possible. Throughout the book, Vanessa has hurdles to overcome and I found myself rooting for her and telling my advice out loud as if she could hear me.
The youngest sister, Virginia, really challenged my patience in most circumstances. Parmar did a great job of creating a dramatic and difficult character that the older sister, Vanessa, made excuses for. This is very realistic to me. Many times you will find the oldest sister making excuses for the younger sister because they either don't want to deal with it or really believe in them. Virginia's character represented a character that does not know what it is like to have responsibility like Vanessa does.
Ultimately, I was extremely impressed with the character choices and way that the author chose to portray the day to day activities. The entire book is written like a diary from Vanessa's point-of-view, and Parmar gives you just enough from the days events for you to fill in the empty spaces. Especially as things begin to heat up between Vanessa, Virginia, and Clive, you find yourself being sucked into the book and character's world. I would recommend this to anybody who enjoys reading historical themed fiction with modern day problems. Vanessa and Her Sister is the soap opera version of a brilliant Jane Austen novel. I give it an 8 out of 10.
Reviewed by Tiffany Hammel
Hardcover: 368 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books (December 30, 2014)