The Sister Knot: Why We Fight, Why We're Jealous, and Why We'll Love Each Other No Matter Whatby Terri Apter
This “substantial contribution to the literature on sibling relationships” (Library Journal) explores the intricacy, friction, and love in bonds between sisters. Relationships between women are often freighted with a rocky
“The best book on sisters, very important and beautifully written.”Carol Gilligan, author of In a Different Voice
This “substantial contribution to the literature on sibling relationships” (Library Journal) explores the intricacy, friction, and love in bonds between sisters. Relationships between women are often freighted with a rocky mix of emotionsdevotion and disregard, affection and loathing, admiration and envyleading to anguish and confusion on the playground, in the home, and in the boardroom. Negotiating her layered feelings toward a sister shapes a woman’s psychology as forcefully as do her relationships with her parents. Drawing on compelling interviews and new research, Terri Apter considers the many aspects of the sister relationship from birth through adulthood. The need to fight to differentiate oneself from a sister, as well the protectiveness one feels for that same person, is explained by reference to extensive psychological and biological evidence.
Girls will want to read this book whether they love their sisters, hate their sisters, wish they had a sister, or wish their sister would disappear. The author, a British research psychologist and mother of two daughters, talks about the complicated relationship of sisters and compares it with the relationship of girls with brothers and with oldest, middle and youngest sisters. Since good female friends often refer to their friendships as being like sisters, even readers who don’t have sisters will find something to relate to in this interesting analysis, especially in understanding why a woman’s success can often threaten other women, even those who love and support her until she succeeds. She also explains all children’s “sibling trauma” when a new baby comes into the home and how it is more difficult for a sister to adjust to another sister. Apter’s British writing style is sometimes a bit stuffy, but the many interviews of sisters in England and America reveal real stories that show the depth of emotion involved in the sister knot, as in the example of two sisters, one of whom had Down syndrome. While the “normal” girl was resentful of the other daughter, she would defend her sister from all others. The author says that is because sisters so closely identify with each other they feel the pain of the other sister, unless they are inflicting it. The book is followed by a chapter of frequently asked questions and extensive notes. Reviewer: Nola Theiss
March 2008 (Vol. 42, No.2)
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)
Meet the Author
Terri Apter is a writer, psychologist, and Fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge University. Her books include The Sister Knot and What Do You Want from Me? She lives in Cambridge, England.
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