Sister Salty, Sister Sweet: A Memoir of Sibling Rivalry

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At four, Shannon Kring spends her days stuffing anything she can get her hands on into her red leather suitcase, playing 60 Minutes with her Barbie dolls, and basking in the limelight cast on her by her over-attentive mother. Then her sister Natalie is born. Everyone loves the well-behaved baby-grocery store clerks, bank tellers, and to Shannon’s horror, her parents. Realizing she isn’t the novelty she once was, Shannon reclaims her parents’ attention by playing with matches, chewing her father’s tobacco, and ...

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Overview

At four, Shannon Kring spends her days stuffing anything she can get her hands on into her red leather suitcase, playing 60 Minutes with her Barbie dolls, and basking in the limelight cast on her by her over-attentive mother. Then her sister Natalie is born. Everyone loves the well-behaved baby-grocery store clerks, bank tellers, and to Shannon’s horror, her parents. Realizing she isn’t the novelty she once was, Shannon reclaims her parents’ attention by playing with matches, chewing her father’s tobacco, and calling her cat a "cocksucky.” Once placed in the background, Natalie is kept there though Shannon’s playroom domination and dramatic schemes. Convinced her sister is the favored child-which she demonstrates through drawing a gift graph to document the injustice as evidenced through uneven gift counts-Natalie takes to her room, where she regularly holds pity parties: staring in the mirror in awe at the sad-clown contortions of her face, her nose growing pink and puffy, her upper lip morphing into a hideous frown. When Shannon is confronted by dramas not of her own making-a sexual assault and her consequent anorexia-she is for the first time envious of her sister’s anonymity. Natalie, who was sheltered from the truth of her sister’s situation, sees only the attention and now craves it more than ever. Sister Salty, Sister Sweet is a coming-of-age story with dark humor, straight-up characterizations, and bald honesty. It is supported by characters such as Grandpa Orv, who scratches or burns his name into all his possessions, and their grandmother Gabby, who dreams of evil nuns, keeps a Gerber jar of holy water on her microwave, and who the girls’ father simply refers to as Nutcase. From puberty and neighborhood pranks to first loves and leaving home, the sisters jockey for standing within their family, struggle to establish common ground, and ultimately find their places in the world and with each other.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762429226
  • Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/26/2007
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Shannon Kring Biró is president of her own international restaurant and marketing firm. She is the creator and co-star of the PBS cooking show, The Kitchens of Biró. She and her husband, celebrity chef Marcel Biró own two restaurants with two more slated to open in Miami and Los Angeles. Biró home base is Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

Natalie Kring is a poet and former independent bookstore manager. Kring lives in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 11, 2009

    Boring, boring, boring

    After suffering through this horrid book I checked out the author from Wisconsin...she has made some outrageous claims about herself...very phony. Check her out on Wisconsin Court Access public records..she and her then husband owe a bit of money to a large number of people they did 'business' with...All their businesses folded and they are now divorced.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    I enjoyed reading the story of these two sisters however, at times, I almost felt like a voyeur reading about some of their very personal problems. I would love for them to write a follow-up and talk about how they get along today.

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

    Posted August 14, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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