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Sister    by A. Manette Ansay order for
by A. Manette Ansay
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 1997 (1996)
Softcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Michael Graves

This is Abigail's story, told within the confines of a rural Wisconsin family. Main characters include a mother who is ferociously religious, a mentally abusive father and a younger brother who disappears when Abigail is nineteen.

The story is retrospective and - although told when Abigail is a thirty-year-old expectant mother - mostly focuses on the period when she is age ten to nineteen. The author has a talent for introspection and much of the reader's enjoyment in the book is of sinking into the mind of the protagonist.

The people and events in the story have an intensity that keeps one wholly engaged throughout the book. Add an overlay of suspense around what really happened to Abigail's brother Sam and the reader is hooked. Religion plays an important role in the characters' lives. Abigail and her family took much solace from the comfort and simple ritual of the Catholic Church. But when Abigail abandons the church, her family abandons her.

Faith as something different from religion is a gift from Abigail's mother and was the 'only thing that her father could not control'. This was 'the ability to see beyond the place where you are'. This was strikingly apparent in the author's art of transporting the reader to the life and memories of the sister.

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