My Sister's Voice

My Sister's Voice

by Mary Carter
3.6 107


View All Available Formats & Editions
Eligible for FREE SHIPPING
  • Get it by Monday, April 30 ,  Order by 12:00 PM Eastern and choose Expedited Delivery during checkout.
    Same Day delivery in Manhattan. 


My Sister's Voice by Mary Carter

Every love leaves an echo. . .

What do you do when you discover your whole life was a lie? In Mary Carter's unforgettable new novel, one woman is about to find out. . .

At twenty-eight, Lacey Gears is exactly where she wants to be. An up-and-coming, proudly Deaf artist in Philadelphia, she's in a relationship with a wonderful man and rarely thinks about her difficult childhood in a home for disabled orphans. That is, until Lacey receives a letter that begins, "You have a sister. A twin to be exact. . ."

Learning that her identical, hearing twin, Monica, experienced the normal childhood she was denied resurrects all of Lacey's grief, and she angrily sets out to find Monica and her biological parents. But the truth about Monica's life, their brief shared past, and the reason for the twins' separation is far from simple. And for every one of Lacey's questions that's answered, others are raised, more baffling and profound.

Complex, moving, and beautifully told, My Sister's Voice is a novel about sisterhood, love of every shape, and the stories we cling to until real life comes crashing in. . .

"At once a story about love and loss, family and friends, the world of the hearing and that of the deaf, My Sister's Voice satisfies on many levels." —Holly Chamberlin, author of The Family Beach House

"Gripping, entertaining and honest. This is a unique, sincere story about the invisible, unbreakable bonds of sisterhood that sustain us no matter how far they're buried." —Cathy Lamb, author of Henry's Sisters

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780758285508
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 06/01/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 327
Sales rank: 1,169,975
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Mary Carter is a freelance writer and novelist. Her books include London From My Windows, Meet Me in Barcelona, Three Months in Florence, The Things I Do for You, The Pub Across the Pond, My Sister's Voice, Sunnyside Blues, She'll Take It, and Accidentally Engaged. Readers are welcome to visit her at, find her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter @marycarterbooks.

Read an Excerpt

My Sister's Voice

By Mary Carter


Copyright © 2010 Mary Carter
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-7582-2920-5

Chapter One

It was here, in the City of Brotherly Love, at twenty-eight years of age, that Lacey Gears first discovered she had a sister. An identical twin. Of course it wasn't true. A joke, a hoax, a prank. As if. It was completely ridiculous, and although she of all people appreciated a good Gotcha! she didn't have time for games today. She had to buy an anniversary gift for her boyfriend, Alan, then race off to paint a chubby Chihuahua and its anorexic owner. An identical twin. Funny, ha-ha.

The hoax came by way of her red mailbox. She wasn't going to open the mail; she usually waited until the end of the day to sift through it, preferably with a glass of wine, for a single bill could depress her all day long. But as she jogged down her front steps, she caught sight of the mailman wheeling his pregnant bag down the sidewalk. He had just passed her house when he caught her eye. He made a dramatic stop, and waved his arms at her as if she were an airbus coming in for a landing instead of a 5'6" slip of a girl. He jabbed his finger at her mailbox, then patted his large stomach, and then once again jabbed his finger at her mailbox with an exaggerated wag of his head and a silly smile. Lacey had to laugh. She gave him a slight shrug, held her hands out like Can-I-help-it-if-I'm-so-popular?

He winked, blew her a kiss, and then pointed at her mailbox again. She caught his kiss, pretended to swoon, and blew him a kiss of his own. By now they had an unappreciative audience. The woman who lived next door was standing in the middle of her walkway, hands on hips, glaring at the mailman. She was a large white woman in a small red bathrobe. He gave Lacey one last wave, one last jab at the mailbox. Oh, why not. If it would make him happy, she could spare a few seconds to open it. Lacey waved good-bye to him and hello to the woman in the red bathrobe. Only one wave was returned. She turned her attention to the mailbox.

He wasn't kidding. It was stuffed. She had to use both hands to get a grip on it, and exert considerable effort. She managed to yank out the entire pile, but she moved too fast, causing the precarious mound to shift and slide through her hands. As the mail swan-dived to the steps, she bent at the knees and lowered herself, as if she'd rather let it take her down than give up. She finally got a rein on the loose bits and, nervous she was wasting time, she began to flip through the day's offerings.

Bills: AT&T, Time Warner. Catalogues: Macy's, Target, Gallaudet University. Advertisements: Chow Chow's Chinese Restaurant, 20 percent off carpet cleaning, Jiffy Lube. Waste of time. Lacey stuffed the mail back in the box, and was about to close the lid when she spotted a white envelope sticking out of one of the catalogues. She'd almost missed it. She pulled it out and stared at it.

No address, no stamp, no postmark. Just her name typed across the front, looking as if it had been pecked out on a typewriter from the Jurassic period. An anonymous letter with its mouth taped shut, a ransom note. For a split second she was worried someone had kidnapped her dog. She glanced up at her bedroom window, and to her relief spotted her puggle, Rookie. His nose was smashed up against the windowpane she'd spent hours cleaning, drool running down and forming Spittle Lake, brown eyes pleading: How can you leave me? She air-kissed her dog an obscene number of times, then once again turned her attention back to the envelope.

Lacey Gears

Mysterious letter in hand, she jogged down the steps to the curb where her Harley Sportster 883 was parked, slung her leg over her motorcycle, and perched comfortably in the custom-made leather seat. She soothed herself in her fun-house reflection elongated in the bike's polished chrome, detailed in Red Hot Sunglo and Smokey Gold. A feeling of peace settled over her. When she was on her bike she felt sexy and confident, something every woman deserved to feel. Some days she wished she could figure out how to stay on it 24/7.

She'd bought the bike after selling her first piece of abstract art, a kaleidoscope of hands coming together in slow motion, bought by PSD, the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, where as a little girl Lacey had longed to go. At least a piece of her was there now, hanging on the walls as a reminder to Deaf children that they could be anything, achieve anything, do everything but hear. It sold for a decent amount of money, leaving her feeling giddy and slightly guilty as if she had gotten away with something. She bought the Harley as quick as she could, in case they turned around and asked for the money back. Alan said it was proof she could stop painting pet-and-owner portraits and focus solely on what she wanted to paint. But despite her luck with the one sale, the only paintings she was doing besides the portraits were ones she didn't want to share with the world. Not just yet. And for the most part, she liked her job. She had to admit, she usually liked the pets a little more than the people, but even most of them weren't so bad. She turned her attention back to the envelope, peeled the edge up, and slid her finger across the inside top. The envelope sliced into her finger, cutting a thin line across her delicate skin. A drop of blood sprouted and seeped onto the envelope. She jerked her hand back as a slip of white paper slid out of the envelope like an escaped prisoner and fluttered to the ground.

Lacey hopped off the bike and chased the paper down the sidewalk. It stayed just enough ahead of her to make her look like an idiot chasing it. A slight breeze picked it up and lifted it into the air. It hovered midstream, like a mini magic carpet. Make a wish, Lacey thought. She reached out and caught it before it sank to the ground. After all this fuss, it had better be good.

You have a twin sister. Her name is Monica. Go to Benjamin Books. Look at the poster in the window.

Lacey looked up the street, convinced the mailman was standing by with another wink and a laugh. He wasn't. He was way up the street, his cart parked in the middle of the sidewalk, his bag now slung over his shoulder, thwapping into the side of his leg with each long stride he made. Bathrobe woman was nowhere in sight either. For all Lacey knew, she only came out once a day to wither away civil servicemen with a single look.

You have a twin sister....

Robert, it had to be her best friend, Robert, the terminal jokester. Or maybe it was Alan. He probably knew she was off to buy him an anniversary gift and he was offering a not-so-subtle hint that he wanted a book. Benjamin Books was in Old City, where she happened to mention she was going shopping. But Alan knew she usually brought in the mail in the evenings, making it too late to get his "hint." No, it had to be Robert. He was the actor, the comedian. She should text him. Evil twin, ha, ha, ha! She'd do it later, she had to get going. She shoved the letter in her jacket and secured her helmet. Her first client would kill her if she was late again, giving her less than two hours to find Alan's gift.

When would she learn not to put things off until the last minute? She'd tried to get up early to shop, really she'd tried, but Alan had pulled her back into bed, wrapped his body around her like a cocoon, and said: "You're my gift." They'd made love, and before she knew it, it was early afternoon, and she still had to get him a gift. Six years was worth celebrating, and she knew he would definitely have a gift for her; he'd probably bought his ages ago. At the least, judging from the strange letter, if nothing else, she'd be able to give Alan quite a story.

When Lacey finally reached Old City, she parked her motorcycle in the shadiest spot she could find. It was going to be a scorcher. It was only June, and early yet, but the temperature was rising with each passing second. The brick buildings in Old City were holding their heat like hot water bottles, soothing to those who liked to touch. Lacey liked to touch. She stopped and pressed her cheek against the nearest wall, behind which Benjamin Franklin had once burned the midnight oil. The bricks were slightly scratchy, but the warmth was a reassuring friend. Lacey had an urge to strip naked and plaster herself against the wall like a slug on a stick. Instead, she kept walking.

She loved the city. She loved the Italian market where she spent numerous Saturday mornings lifting her face to the sun and wandering the streets in search of spices and sales. She loved cheese steaks loaded with slippery, fried onions, she loved painting in the dog park next to the world's oldest Methodist church, she loved the Liberty Bell (some crowded day she was going to ring it, make Alan yell "Dinner!" and run away); she loved Elfreth's Alley populated with original town houses, where each time she visited she picked a different one she pretended to own, and imagined coming home to it every day.

She loved Reading Terminal Market and Boathouse Row; she loved Third Street, where artists such as herself peddled their wares and drank wine on Tuesdays; and although the city's violence was not something to overlook, like the oil paint that often caked underneath her fingernails, she wouldn't want to scrub the city of all its grit; she loved its imperfect, almost Bohemian feel. This was her city: big enough to lose yourself in, but small enough to eventually be found. Today was the exception. Today, everything felt slightly off, as if she were a train chugging off track.

It was too hot, she was too hurried, she had no idea what to buy Alan, and the last person she wanted to stare at for four hours was Sheila Sherman and her Chihuahua, Frank. The poor thing was chubby, yes, and it was disconcerting, like seeing a chubby Asian person, but that didn't excuse Sheila's reaction. She had the poor thing on a vegan diet. As usual, Lacey had a little Baggie of bacon with her, which was the secret behind Frank's sitting still for four hours. The meat went straight to Frank's belly, and to Sheila's befuddlement, the dog would often curl up and stare dreamily at Lacey the entire time she painted. She wished she could say the same thing for Sheila. Oh, she just wasn't in the mood for her today. And she certainly didn't have time to play into a prank, but Alan loved books, so it wasn't a bad idea for a gift, and she couldn't let go of a good joke, she just couldn't, which is the only reason why she was headed in the direction of Benjamin Books.

Up ahead, Lacey stopped to admire the posies and chrysanthemums that were being planted in a sidewalk plot next to a pair of newborn trees. Two women knelt in the dirt, wielding small spades, stabbing at the ground in unison. It looked cathartic; Lacey wanted to ask if she could have a stab too, but thought better of it. They tossed their spades aside, then picked up the next flower grouping from their trays, and efficiently lowered the square pods of dirt into the ground. They were positioning the flowers in a circle around the baby trees, as if the petals were about to join hands and play ring-around-the-rosy. Lacey thought the women themselves looked like flowers: their blond and brunette ponytails the petals, their colorful head wraps the ovaries, the curve of their backs the stems. Kneeling across from each other, they looked like mirror images, they looked like twins-

Lacey moved on. Her pace grew faster, her breath became slightly labored, her heart picked up the pace. She felt like going for a run, or racing her Sportster down the highway. She needed something physical to release all this energy. A twin. She was never going to give Robert the pleasure of knowing he'd made her think twice. A twin. What had given him that idea? Was he doing a new play about twins? That was probably it. He was using her as a guinea pig, studying how she would react, most likely in revenge for the time she made him stand for a portrait when she was doing that series on Deaf artists. He said she painted his nose too big, his eyes too far apart. They'd been friends since the first Deaf Professional Happy Hour that Lacey had attended, six years ago. He was the evil twin. Lacey laughed and shook her head. Okay, he got her. She still wasn't going to text him right away; she would draw it out, let him think she had really fallen for it.

She'd certainly pranked him enough over the years. Once she introduced him to a Deaf friend of hers he'd never met, Greg. Only before bringing them together, she'd told Robert that her friend was hearing, and didn't know any sign. She told Greg the same thing. She immediately left them alone and ran around the corner to watch them. It was hilarious! Two Deaf men speaking, and gesturing, trying to read each other's lips. Finally they gave up and spent the next ten minutes writing notes back and forth to each other. Brilliant! She'd never laughed so hard in her life. They eventually saw the humor in it too. And that was just one of many pranks she'd played on Robert over the years, so yes, she'd let Robert have this one.

The antique stores on Pine Street had their doors thrown wide open, propped with various items designed to keep them ajar. Lacey took in the objects with an artist's eye. A tan rock the size of a child's head, a rusty iron with flaking green paint along the sides, and under the last open door, a section of the Philadelphia Inquirer, rolled up and stuffed underneath.

The people passing by were just as interesting to Lacey. Despite the heat, Philadelphians and tourists were out and about. Mothers pushed baby carriages, lovers strolled hand in hand, senior citizens grouped on benches, and young girls who bared their limbs in summer dresses that left little to the imagination were trailed by boys in long baggy shorts. Summer was here. It wasn't even noon and the ice cream soda shop on the corner already had a line out the door.

And just beyond that was Benjamin Books. Lacey glanced at her watch. In less than forty minutes she was due at Sheila Sherman's. She would have to stare at that woman's I've-just-sucked-on-a-lemon face for four hours straight. Sheila had been making that face ever since Lacey came out and asked her why in the world she named her Chihuahua Frank. It always baffled her why people were so thrown by direct questions. She meant no harm in asking, she truly wanted to know (and still wanted to know) why she named the pooch Frank. Maybe that's why the poor thing overate; she was gender-confused. Because the dog was a female that Sheila loved to dress up (drown) in pink bows and rhinestones.

Lacey stood at the entrance of Benjamin Books and was about to pull the door open and step inside when she caught sight of a large poster taped to the window. Every single thought in Lacey's head evaporated. She felt nothing but a slight buzzing in her ears. She took a step forward. The poster was an advertisement for a book reading. She frowned and read the title.

THE ARCHITECT OF YOUR SOUL. Alan was an architect. Sort of. He was actually working as a general contractor, but he majored in architecture in college. Of course Lacey knew the book probably wasn't about architects. Hearing people liked to play with words just like Deaf people played with signs. Not a book she would ever think to pick up. Lacey wasn't a big reader to begin with. When she did read, she liked to devour autobiographies. Admittedly, she loved reading firsthand other people's dirty secrets; they made her own a little more palatable. Gossip made the world go round. This book sounded like self-help mumbo jumbo. But none of that mattered. What mattered, what was rooting Lacey to the spot, was the woman on the poster, the author of the book. She had Lacey's face.

There were slight differences. The hair on the poster was cut in choppy waves, framing the face, and the impostor was wearing glasses. Green and trendy, with diamonds flashing on the stem. Her smile mocked Lacey with slightly straighter, whiter teeth, and from what Lacey could see of her blouse and jewelry, she wasn't a thrift store shopper like Lacey. But there was no doubt about it; it was her face. Somebody had stolen her face.

Lacey pressed her hands against the glass and peered in to read the name on the book. Monica Bowman. The name meant nothing to her. Lacey tried to remember if she had ever cut her hair like that, owned glasses like that. No. Did someone (Robert?!) steal Lacey's picture off her Web site, Photoshop her face? Or was Monica Bowman so ugly she couldn't put her own mug on the cover of her book?

She was going to get to the bottom of it, that was for sure. And once she caught the little cranial thief, there might even be a modest amount of green in it for her. Not that she was greedy, but if this Monica Bowman wanted to flaunt her face, it was going to cost her. She wasn't going to be a jerk about it, though, and who wouldn't be slightly flattered?

Lacey was often told she was beautiful. She was as thin as she was in her teens, and in addition to her thick black hair, her mysterious gene pool had blessed her with blue eyes so pale she'd earned the nickname Ice. Deaf people used name signs to identify themselves, and Lacey's name sign was the letter L making the motion of the wind. That name sign was given to her by Margaret Harris, her house mother at Hillcrest Children's Center.


Excerpted from My Sister's Voice by Mary Carter Copyright © 2010 by Mary Carter. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

My Sister's Voice 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 107 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Deaf culture was well done but as a whole I look back at this book as hours I can never get back. The plot was if-y at best and the dialouge was confusing.
ReneeSuz More than 1 year ago
I loved this story especially with the unexpected outcomes. Just wish the few 'sex' scenes had been left out; they were just unnecessary
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having a hard time enjoying this. While the deaf culture stuff is interesting, the protagonist is just not very likeable. 
perfect_sorrow More than 1 year ago
This is some of the poorest writing that I've read in a while!  The author seemed more concerned with talking about Deaf culture than telling a story.  The premise behind the story is a young Deaf woman named Lacey who had been raised in a children's home discovers that she has a twin sister who was raised by their biological parents.  The plot sounded good enough to get me to purchase this book, but it failed to live up to expectations.  The characters were poorly developed and seemed immature.  The story was so outrageous it wasn't even remotely believable.  I kept expecting for the story to get better, but the more I read, the more ridiculous it got. I was upset that I wasted my money on this, and even more upset that I wasted my time on it!
GodBlessAmerica30 More than 1 year ago
Deaf and not hearing impaired. I learned so much from this incredible book. I wondered at the start whether it was a book I would enjoy, I am so glad I kept reading, I won't ruin the book for you by giving you the story line other than to say it is about twins. One of them is deaf and the other has issues of her own. So read it, you won't be sorry. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As a Deaf person, I loved this book. I think this book would be enjoyed by anybody, even those who do not know a lot about the Deaf culture. I was pleased to see a lot of accurate informationa regarding the Deaf culture and what it is like being Deaf. The story is exciting! I did not want to put the book down as I was reading it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Some good writing, interesting slant with deafness, ok character development ... but the themes and dialogue were all over the place. Absurdly unrealistic. A one-time read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'd love to a read a sequel to this book.
Jael_Notsri More than 1 year ago
This was a great unconventional story of sisterhood. Both girls learned so much about themselves and each other. It This was a great easy weekend read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hate monica but the book is amazing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the insight into the deaf culture portrayed in this book. My limited experience working with a deaf women years ago and the struggles of children in my Preschool classroom with special needs, some deaf support the authors view of the culture. An easy, entertaining and informing book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An easy read but more importantly, a good read for teenager/young adult also to make everyone in our world more aware of treating persons fairly and without prejudice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am particularly picky about the books I read, but I found this book interesting.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book looks very good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. At first I didn't care for Lacey because I thought she was kind of selfish and self-centered. However once Monica appeared the story really took off and got interesting. Once the truth started coming out the book was extremely interesting. The ending could have had one more chapter or epilogue but otherwise a very good read.
DTootsie More than 1 year ago
Very difficult to put down. A good book to read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
dblakeney More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the book. I kept my book close at hand so I could read bits and pieces when I could. The plot was good and the characters were interesting. The storyline was predictable with an added surprise. Some parts of the book (middle) did not add to the overall importance of the storyline and in my opinion could have been left out. I also would have liked more time put into the ending as it seemed rushed after all of the detail given throughout the book. I would suggest this book to my reading crowd and plan on looking for other titles by this author.
Merrylee More than 1 year ago
This was entertaining, but not very believable.
kitkatKE More than 1 year ago
I really.enjoyed ths story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago