Customer Reviews for

The Sister

Average Rating 3.5
( 154 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(25)

4 Star

(59)

3 Star

(48)

2 Star

(19)

1 Star

(3)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Sister

'The Sister' is an evocative and eerie novel that centers around the relationship between two adult sisters. When these two sisters (who have not seen each other for decades) undertake to reunite, things are not quite as one would expect. Ms. Adams captivated my atte...
'The Sister' is an evocative and eerie novel that centers around the relationship between two adult sisters. When these two sisters (who have not seen each other for decades) undertake to reunite, things are not quite as one would expect. Ms. Adams captivated my attention and drew me in to the dark and ominous world she created. It was difficult for me to put the book down and I often found myself reading ahead of what the book-club schedule dictated. The novel does heavily focus on moths and the science underlying the moth life-cycle and this was a reason some readers attributed to not enjoying the book. I confess that I did prefer other portions of the book but I did feel that the science added an important element to the story and assisted in character development. All in all, I think Ms. Adams presents a compelling novel and I think it's a perfect book for a rainy day (don't forget your cup of tea!).

posted by Anonymous on August 6, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Blech!

Poppy Adams does have a very nice style of writing which is probably the only reason I finished this book. There was way too much information about moths! After reading this book I feel like I am Ginny. There is nothing to figure out in this book because, just like Ginn...
Poppy Adams does have a very nice style of writing which is probably the only reason I finished this book. There was way too much information about moths! After reading this book I feel like I am Ginny. There is nothing to figure out in this book because, just like Ginny, you don't know enough to draw any solid conclusions about what happened. So this is what it's like to be mentally challenged about your surroundings? To top it off, I'm totally annoyed at flyjo9 who ruined the only surprise/twist in the book.

posted by Anonymous on September 29, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2008

    Sister

    'The Sister' by Poppy Adams gives out information in morsels just big enough to give your appetite a taste and hold you spellbound. I loved how it never really gave you answers to the questions on your mind but instead let you make your own conclusions about what happened.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2008

    Sister

    I give this book, 'The Sister,' 4 stars. If you like a book that is a little bit different, like I do, you will like this book. If you like to learn as a result of reading, you will like this book. If you like Hitchcock, you will really like this book! Although as you proceed through the book, you may think, 'What is she talking about?', just keep reading! I promise you that it will be worth your while to 'stick it out' to the end (if you should happen to be one of those people who likes constant excitement and find this story too dry).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2008

    Sister

    4 stars for Poppy Adams debut novel, The Sister. This novel will be one so different from any other you've ever read. Written from the viewpoint of Ginney, the daughter of a lepidopterist, you will see the world thru her eyes. Is her view accurate? Well that's up to you to decide. This novel is so rich on so many different levels. Ms. Adams offers you a story that is often times gloomy and sad, yet, also suspenseful and intriguing. It is smart and thought provoking. Quite a twist from your usual mystery. You will want to read past the extensive moth information, but don't. It is an intregral part of the story. A story that will have you examining Ginney's behavior, that of her father, mother and sister, Viv. And ultimately examining yourself and others. Great discussion book for book clubs.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2008

    Sister

    I found this first novel of author Poppy Adams to be a wonderful read. Some of the scientific details may prove a bit cumbersome for the reader to plow through, but there is literary reward for those who do. The book definitely requires a commitment from the reader, but what good book does not? I found myself often fending off a true sense of foreboding as I read - there are definitely many psychological elements in play with these characters. There is also a great deal of complexity here, both with the plot and the characters which would lend itself well to Book Club discussions. Reading The Sister caused me to call in to question some of my own judgements about family and relationships. I would recommend this novel without reservation.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2008

    Sister

    Miss Adams' debut novel is a wonderful character study intertwining a dysfunctional family's life with the life of Moths. Her skillful use of flash backs and science work well to enhance the story of a woman awaiting the arrival of her sister after an absence of 50 years. We see the emotions and observations of two sisters with very different memories as a weekend reunion passes toward its inevitable conclusion. This unique novel is spellbinding, mysterious and thought provoking. Curl up with cozy blanket, a cup of tea, and enjoy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2008

    Sister

    The Sister was a great and deeply haunting book! The character development was excellent, and the flashback was utilized exceptionally well to develop the characters. The action of the weekend involved in the novel was well explained through all of the flashbacks. The novel kept you guessing what was going to happen until the very end. I hope most sisterly relationships do not reflect the type that was in this novel! I was still thinking about the ideas brought up by The Sister well after the end of the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2008

    Sister

    The Sister, Poppy Adams¿ debut novel, is a dark, eerie story. The novel opens at Bulburrow Court, an old manor and family home, with 70ish Ginny waiting for the arrival of her younger sister Vivi, whom she has not seen for nearly 50 years. Why have they been separated? Why has Vivi come back? Is she looking for something? Which sister is THE sister of the title? We notice almost immediately that Ginny is a bit `off¿. She¿s hyper-focused on time, wearing two wristwatches and constantly checking them against her many other clocks. Her tea must be just so and she can¿t drink it if it¿s made by someone else. It takes her 55 minutes to make her bed and arrange her sheets meticulously. Her weird ways are doled out liberally throughout the story, giving the impression that all is not right with our narrator. Vivi, on the other hand, seems the more normal of the two, but there are still questions.. Adams weaves details of the past with the present in alternating chapters. But are things as they appear? What really happened at the bell tower and on the cellar steps? There is an eerie sense of foreboding, mystery and suspense coursing through the entire novel, mixed in with an extensive amount of scientific detail about moths. Moths? Why, yes.. Ginny is a World Famous Lepidopterist. At least, she is world famous in her own mind. Decades old family secrets begin to unravel and our narrator, so level headed and scientific (again, in her own mind) starts coming unglued. The disturbance in her routine brought on by Vivi¿s arrival is so unsettling that she finds herself spying on her, following her around, listening in doorways, and becoming increasingly obsessive in her behaviors. The tension builds continuously and by the last few chapters I was on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was going to happen. Each chapter has a short descriptive title and there is a table of contents, which I love. The Sister is very well written and I predict we will see more of Poppy Adams in the future. I look forward to that.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2008

    ...and the mother, and the father and the moths

    The book takes place over a three day period, and in those three days it covers a lifetime of deceit, pain and family secrets. Juxtaposed against the story are father and daughter lepodopterists. I skimmed the parts that were graphic about capturing caterpillars and moths, knowing full well the passages were germane to the story. The story is full of surprises and twists and the author has a keen sense of using metaphors. Bravo!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2008

    Sister

    Poppy Adams' debut novel, The Sister, is a story about two sisters reunited after a 50-year separation. It is a tragic narrative by one sister about a family who never really learns to deal with its many dysfunctions. A story riddled with secrets and ambiguity, this is not for the reader who likes all the loose ends tied up in a bow at the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2008

    Sister

    I liked a book a lot, but didn't enjoy all the technical details about the moths. Though I think some of it was necessary. Because Poppy Adams didn't give us all the answers I think this would be a club book. This is a book when I finished I wanted to discuss with my book club. There are so many great questions about people's interpretations of some of the events. I think there are many book clubs that would enjoy this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2008

    Sister

    A little slow at starting but The Sister picks up speed. This novel, told in four days, gives plenty of clues as to why the Stone family and its house have deteriorated. An interesting read, even a psychological thriller of sorts, The Sister moves back and forth from the present to the past to unfold the story of why Vivien returns to the family home to live with her sister, Ginny, after a fifty year absence. Interesting character development. Good book for a bookclub discussion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2008

    Sister

    I enjoyed reading the Sister. The novel draws you in from the beginning. I would not have predicted the ending. The author includes a great deal of information about moths which was interesting and central to the story but did slow the plot. I have recommended this to my book club.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2008

    Sister

    I really enjoyed The Sister, it was definately a book to make you think. I did think that it had a bit too much information about moths, and that bogged down the flow for me, but some of it was necessary for the story. All in all I would recommend this book, especially if you like to learn as you read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2008

    Sister

    I gave The Sister 4 stars which surprised me. Having been able to read an advanced copy, made this an exciting first time experience in itself. However, the first few chapters did not grab me and in that I normally won't waste my time on this earth on a book that I am not interested in, for the sake of the ARC I continued when normally I would have put it aside. I was glad that I did keep at it. Right about when I was ready to quit, the book grabbed my attention and I kept calling me back to read more and more in every spare moment. Although I found, as did many, the long descriptions about the moths to be tedious and do confess at times to skimming some of that part, I also found parts of it related to the story and the characters symbolically. The two sisters are interestingly opposites but alas, I felt sorry for Ginny. I do think she was OCD rather than autistic as many reviewers have said but it added to the depth of her character. I found myself wondering how much of what I had read could be taken at face value when I finished it and the surprise twist at the end made me rethink every part of the story. I think Ms. Adams did a good job with her first fiction novel and would recommend it to people who liked The Double Bind! Stick with it, it was worth it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2008

    Sister

    When I began reading The Sister, I thought I knew who the eponymous sister was¿Vivi, returning home after 46 years. By the time I finished the novel, I wasn¿t so sure which sister was *the* sister, Vivi or Ginny, the narrator. I love ending a book with that kind of question lingering. The Sister is told through the eyes of Ginny, an aging lepidopterist living alone in a crumbling country mansion. While she¿s shut up with her tea, clocks, and routines, she waits for her younger sister Vivi to arrive and tells the story of their childhood. Eccentric parents, beautiful countryside, moths¿the picture Ginny paints of the two sisters growing up is evocative and well-executed. Even the parts describing the minutiae of lepidoptery are interesting, though your mileage may vary. Eventually, Vivi arrives and the two women strain to revive a relationship after all these years despite conflict over their late parents. The more Ginny tells us, the more we question the truth of her story, and of Vivi¿s. The end left me wishing it was possible to get more of a grip on the reality behind all the memories. Unfortunately, at times it seemed Ms. Adams had written too many eccentricities and confusions into Ginny¿s character, and too many themes trailing throughout the novel. I¿m left wondering whether the focus should have been on alcoholism, aging, autism, family, loss, memory, science vs. emotion¿the list goes on. Tighter editing may have improved this area and made the end somewhat less contrived, but in all I found The Sister engrossing. Recommended to fans of Ian McEwan's Atonement.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2008

    Sister

    The Sister is a labyrinth through the mind of Ginny who after years of estrangement is reunited with her sister Vivien. The story tells of their dysfunctional childhood growing up amidst their father's obsession with the capture and study of moths. Poppy Adams weaves a thrilling page turner among the scientific field of lepidoptery. This book is a must read for all book clubs-one that's sure to stimulate lively discussions and spark much debate regarding the characters.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2008

    Sister

    would give this book a rating of 4 stars. It was very well written and had me guessing at many points. I do feel that the end was purposely left open for maybe a sequel? Hopefully, we will see more from Ms. Adams is the near future.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2008

    Sister

    The story centers around Ginny waiting by the window for an overdue visit from her younger sister. The story twists and turns much like the insects she studies. It does slow in some parts but hang in there, as the ending is worth the read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2008

    Sister

    If you do not have a female sibling, you might wonder why authors and filmmakers are so fascinated by the sister thing. If you do have a sister (or two or three or four) you don't have to wonder. You know. Especially if you are a woman. The bonds forged between sisters can be just as dramatic, just as passionate as any romantic affair a sister 'break up' can be even more devastating than a divorce. It's just this kind of strong, fiery relationship that sits at the heart of Poppy Adams' debut novel, The Sister. The story concerns 70-year-old Virginia 'Ginny' Stone, a retired lepidopterist (a person who studies moths and butterflies), who is living out her life in her family's crumbling mansion. It's a solitary life Ginny leads, one that is based on routine and strict adherence to the clock. She wears two wristwatches just so she always knows the exact time. Her careful routines are about to be disrupted, she knows, so she watches her driveway with apprehension. Soon, her sister Vivien will arrive. Vivi. The sister she hasn't seen for 50 years. Vibrant Vivi sweeps into the lonely old house like the proverbial breath of fresh air. But Ginny isn't wild about fresh air. She prefers the safety of her childhood home, where everything is quiet and predictable. Inside that monument to the past she can remember her life, her family the way she wants. Vivien's presence is an intrusion, a harsh reminder that the Stone Family kept its deep, dark secrets just like everyone else. With Vivien in the house again, Ginny is jolted into the past. Her memories roam back to her childhood, years she spent happily ensconced in the laboratory with her father. Shy and withdrawn, Ginny preferred the cloistered life, where she could focus solely on her specimens. Vivien, on the other hand, resembled their mother Maud, who loved the excitement of society. While Ginny and her father toiled their lives away, happy in their seclusion, Vivi and Maud slowly deteriorated. By the time Ginny emerged from the lab, she found her life inexplicably altered - her mother had become a violent drunk and her cherished sister escaped to the city. Without Vivi to brighten their lives, The Stones followed their obsessive paths until tragedy left Ginny alone in the enormous family home. She retreated further into herself, until Vivi waltzed in a century later to open old wounds. Despite Vivi's abandonment and further insults over the years, Ginny loves her sister. The bond between them is, in fact, the only bright spot in Ginny's life. As the sisters face the reality of their past, Ginny realizes a great many truths about her parents, about her sister, and about herself. Will the truth be too much for her fragile psyche? Will Vivi cave when Ginny brings her secrets to light? Will the link between the sisters survive? Or will the past crush everything they hold dear, even the strongest of sisterly bonds? As you can tell from the plot summary, The Sister is not a light read. It's a complex psychological thriller, but not of the 'can't put it down' variety. Instead, it builds slowly, chillingly, until it reaches its shocking conclusion. It's only after you've turned the last page that you realize you've been holding your breath. I know a lot of reviewers didn't like the book's ending, but I thought it made perfect sense (at least in a Ginny Stone kind of way). In fact, it was such a logical conclusion that I really wasn't that startled by it. My beefs with the book lay more in the fact that it was so dense, especially with references to lepidopterology, that I often wanted to close it. I also felt that the author left too many loose ends - I still don't quite understand why Vivi chose to come back after 50 years or what certain minor characters (like Dr. Moyse) had to do with the whole thing. Many of Adams' subplots hung in midair, never connecting to the main plot and never resolving themselves. So, while I felt that the story's ending was right (although I c

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2008

    Sister

    I give this book 4 Stars. I am hoping to recommend this book to my bookclub. I like the style of writing and enjoyed all the scientific facts about the moths. I really got into the whole story and kept wondering more about these two sisters. When I finished the book I felt that I needed more closure about every character involved. I think it is definite a great book for discussion to hear different points of view.

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