The Accidental Bond; How Sibling Connections Influence Adult Relationships

The Accidental Bond; How Sibling Connections Influence Adult Relationships

by Susan Scarf Merrell
     
 

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"A fascinating and informative read."

*The Boston Globe

"A RICH SOURCE OF FASCINATING MATERIAL about the complex realities of siblinghood and a valuable commentary on the impact that these little-studied relationships have upon our lives."

*The New Republic

"Many books have attempted to tackle the complex theme of sibling connection

Overview

"A fascinating and informative read."

*The Boston Globe

"A RICH SOURCE OF FASCINATING MATERIAL about the complex realities of siblinghood and a valuable commentary on the impact that these little-studied relationships have upon our lives."

*The New Republic

"Many books have attempted to tackle the complex theme of sibling connection. But rather than look at the minutae of these relationships, journalist Susan Scarf Merrell examines the big issues that all siblings wrestle with in their own unique ways *in particular the Three Cs: Competition, Cooperation, and Comparison. What she discovered was that no matter what kind of relationship we now have with our siblings *close or distant, loving or hostile *our histories with them exert a profound effect on our current relationship with lovers, friends, coworkers, and our own children. Drawing on the most current research; the work of psychologists, psychiatrists, and family experts; and stories from brothers and sisters themselves, Merrell illustrates that through siblings, we come to know both the worst and the very best that lurks within each of us.

"Susan Merrell brilliantly illuminates how the peculiar mix of biology, history, and intimacy makes our attachments to siblings so essential to knowing ourselves."

*Mary Kay Blakely

Author of American Mom

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Although both of these books are about sibling relationships, the similarity ends there. Foster, who teaches nonfiction writing at the University of Iowa, has pulled together 20 diverse essays from some of today's best-known female writers. Contributors to this volume include bell hooks, Robin Behn, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, and Joy Williams. The essays, while all centering on the themes of sisterly relationships, run the literary gamut. Fanciful fiction pieces are included, as are straightforward autobiographical anecdotes and a couple of critical essays. Any library with a demand for contemporary women's literature should have this collection. Merrell's book, on the other hand, is a journalist's psychoanalytic look at the dynamics of all sibling relationships. Based on in-depth interviews, this work tries to explain the hidden forces that bring siblings together and push them apart. The case studies showcase a variety of familial situations, including relationships between twins and half-siblings and the special bond between a special-needs brother and his caretaker sister. The book suffers from too many diversions; Merrell's long asides interrupt her narrative flow. Despite this organizational flaw, her book is a worthwhile addition to most public and undergraduate libraries because of the author's extensive and enlightening research.Pamela A. Matthews, Missouri Western State Coll., St. Joseph

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780449911198
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
01/14/1997
Pages:
303
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.75(d)

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