Customer Reviews for

The Orphan Sister

Average Rating 3.5
( 20 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Best Book Ever- highly recommend!

I just finished this brilliant novel - so intoxicating! I spent the weekend reading it and finished in the early hours of Sunday (this) morning - when my house was quiet and the kiddos asleep and I could truly focus on the story and being swept away in it. I loved this ...
I just finished this brilliant novel - so intoxicating! I spent the weekend reading it and finished in the early hours of Sunday (this) morning - when my house was quiet and the kiddos asleep and I could truly focus on the story and being swept away in it. I loved this novel - it has everything I enjoy in a book: sisterhood, family drama, a bit of a mystery, complex relationships, amazing and delicious characters (primary and secondary), brilliant, magical and lyrical writing (I immediately went on a hunt for everything the author has written), a strong and interesting point of view. Gwendolen Gross has so much confidence as a storyteller, the dialogue is truly some of the best I've read. Beautiful story - I highly, truly, deeply recommend.

posted by WriterCrys on July 3, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

Anonyomous

It started out okay but then it got so boring. I read the reviews everyone loved it. I was so disappointed. Dont waste your money.

posted by 5046219 on February 5, 2012

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  • Posted December 1, 2011

    Very interesting book...

    I really enjoyed reading it.. Lots of thoughtful points.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Orphan Sister

    Finding the path to one's own identity is a story in and of itself, but to be one of three brings about a number of additional complexities. Gwendolen Gross writes a multifaceted story of Clementine Lords' journey in finding her own path. Clementine is a singleton who was born a triplet with identical twin sister's Odette and Olivia. She is one with them and yet she is different and not the same as them. She is the odd sister out.

    When Clementine's father goes missing she is pressed to deal with her long standing family issues. A father she loved, hated, wanted his approval, rebelled against, didn't trust and longed to trust. A mother she felt who hide herself away in her husband's shadow not fully living up to the strong, smart, independent woman Clementine believed she could be. Her identical twin sisters, who she longed to be one with and at the same time wanted to be different than. While dealing with these numerous family emotions, she is also dealing with finding peace and moving on after losing her 'other half'.

    As Clementine moves forward in finding out where her father went, she has flashbacks of her childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. These flashbacks allow the reader to gain a deeper and greater understanding to the complexity of Clementine. She has a deep need for acceptance and wants to know she is just as much a part of the family as the rest of the 'flock'. Clementine learns you become your own woman when you no longer look for acceptance from others, but from yourself and to not let other peoples' lives dominate ours.

    Truthfully, the only thing in regard to The Orphan Sister I didn't like was I didn't have someone to talk to about it! Gwendolen Gross is an amazingly smart writer! She writes beautifully! The book is in a constant state of movement diving into the complexities of family. Even though I'm very different than Clementine I could really relate to her desire to feel safe and accepted. Her relationship with her father (though different) made me reflect on my own relationship with mine. I'd love to go on and on discussing the end of the book, but I do not want to spoil the story for any of you.

    I absolutely recommend The Orphan Sister and if you are in a book club this is a must read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 27, 2011

    Super Summer Read

    Wow. I wanted to cry when this book ended. I was so completely engaged in the story, the vivid descriptions of life situations with which I can relate, and Gross' elegant, sensual prose---I was completely unprepared for the story to end. My idea of a great book is when you continue to hear the voices and storyline in your mind long after you have put the book down. This book is such a page-turner, I read it in 2 days (unusual for me). This is a powerful story that looks at the love underneath ALL relationships, especially family relationships. But it isn't that tired old dysfunctional family story. This book shows the redemptive power in both familial and romantic love, no matter what the tragedies of life's circumstances. This is a writer with depth, storytelling talent, and gorgeous, sophisticated prose.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Best Book Ever- highly recommend!

    I just finished this brilliant novel - so intoxicating! I spent the weekend reading it and finished in the early hours of Sunday (this) morning - when my house was quiet and the kiddos asleep and I could truly focus on the story and being swept away in it. I loved this novel - it has everything I enjoy in a book: sisterhood, family drama, a bit of a mystery, complex relationships, amazing and delicious characters (primary and secondary), brilliant, magical and lyrical writing (I immediately went on a hunt for everything the author has written), a strong and interesting point of view. Gwendolen Gross has so much confidence as a storyteller, the dialogue is truly some of the best I've read. Beautiful story - I highly, truly, deeply recommend.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2012

    Anonyomous

    It started out okay but then it got so boring. I read the reviews everyone loved it. I was so disappointed. Dont waste your money.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2011

    A Must Read!

    This story opens to a family in crisis, and through this prism, we come to know triplet sisters and their parents, spouses and lovers. The triplets are two identical twins and a singleton, and in the telling of this story, we come to understand that all are "orphan sisters" in their own ways. Even the identical twins, who live parallel lives, with matching professions (ob/gyn and pediatrician), minimansions, and even pregnancies, are revealed to be solitary creatures, battling feelings of isolation and loneliness. And as the story unfolds, the singleton sister, who both fears and welcomes her uniqueness, comes to understand that she is an integral part of the larger whole, cherished and adored. As this protagonist concludes, "we are sisters together, but not alone."

    The language is beautiful throughout, evoking images of a leafy, lush childhood and privileged adulthood, set in Princeton, Oberlin and San Francisco. Gross welcomes us into this place, populated by intriguing characters, whose foibles and flaws make the
    endearing and believable. And the changes that are foisted upon them may not be welcome, but ultimately shape them in ways that strengthen their ties to each other. So even though the father throws the family off balance by "pressing his thumb on a perfectly balanced scale," each character learns that she can regain her equilibrium, even apart from the others. Gross provides us with an insightful, witty, and tender portrait of individuals who come to realize that they may not know each other as well as they thought they did, but ultimately, who choose to come together as family.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    A Little Self-Indulgent

    _The_Orphan_Sister_ jumps from past to present in a way that is quite jarring. I really wanted to care about Clementine and her family, but the writing was incredibly self-indulgent and overblown. It's certainly not the worst thing I've ever read, but I wouldn't buy another piece by Gwendolyn Gross. I would, however, borrow it to give it a try.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2013

    Sapphirekit

    Could you adopt me as your own kit? I also need you to spend time with me at least once a day. I am almost three moons old.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    It sound good

    It sounds good cant wait to read

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2011

    HIGHLY recommend The Orphan Sister!

    Let me just say that I loved it so much that I already purchased one of her other books (via e-books), The Other Mother! This book pulls you right in with a family drama right on page 1! From there on, I just had to keep reading and turning pages. In the beginning of the book, I was a little miffed at Clementine and her mother. It seemed they either didn't want to deal with "issues" or were naive or something. Boy was I wrong....you obtain an understanding while the story unfolds (especially Clementine) and of course, it all comes together.

    Gwendolen Gross has an amazing talent to tell a story with characters you can't forget and want to know more about them and their lives. She writes is so beautifully. I really enjoyed that a good part of the story took place at Oberlin....loved the Ohio references.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted February 27, 2012

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    Posted November 19, 2011

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