Friday, May 17, 2013

Ten top books about siblings

Gwyneth Rees is half Welsh and half English and grew up in Scotland. She is a child and adolescent psychiatrist but has now stopped practicing so that she can write full-time. She is the author of many bestselling books, including the Fairies series, the Cosmo series and the Marietta’s Magic Dress Shop series, as well as several books for older readers. Rees’s new books, My Super Sister and My Super Sister and the Birthday Party mark the start of an exciting new series about two sisters, Emma and Saffie, who have superpowers.

For the Guardian, Rees named her ten favorite books about siblings. One title on the list:
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy

I think this has to be one of the most famous books ever written about sisters. Set at the time of the American Civil War the book is about the March sisters' home life with their mother while their father is away fighting. The family's life is depicted so clearly that you feel that you are there in the house with them. Yes, there is love and loyalty and friendship between these sisters, but this is no idealised account of sisterhood. The strikingly different personalities and aspirations of the sisters causes plenty of friction and it all feels very meaty and real as well as uplifting.
Read about the other books on the list.

Little Women also appears among Maya Angelou's 6 favorite books, Tim Lewis's ten best Christmas lunches in literature, and on the Observer's list of the ten best fictional mothers, Eleanor Birne's top ten list of books on motherhood, Erin Blakemore's list of five gutsy heroines to channel on an off day, Kate Saunders' critic's chart of mothers and daughters in literature, and Zoë Heller's list of five memorable portraits of sisters. It is a book that disappointed Geraldine Brooks on re-reading.

--Marshal Zeringue