Cover Image: Sisters

Sisters

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Member Reviews

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this I loved it.  Well written, great characters and a really different story for me.  I don't usually read these types of books but my mind has now been changed.
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One of my favourite reads of 2020, I loved the eerie setting and the beautiful prose. This reminded me a little of The Virgin Suicides. I have included a very detailed IGTV review of this on my Bookstagram account, @athomeinbooks.
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I thought I had this one worked out from the beginning but the twist ended up being slightly different than I expected. It’s pretty clear from the get go that things aren’t as they seem which makes it an odd reading experience as it’s almost too obvious that something is amiss. I was pleased that I was slightly off with my guess in the end as but even so I was a bit like eh? It felt like it was building up to something and then just sort of ended shortly after a few confusing sections.
The characters aren’t very likeable either, September is horrible and their Mum hasn’t got the capacity to deal with them. I did feel for July as she seemed to have it rough from all angles but I wanted her to stand up to her sister,  (which is one of the reasons why I I disliked the ending.)

All in all it is a good read and I was hooked in terms of wanting to find out what had happened, but for me it was a bit anti-climatic. We’d spent all that time wondering what happened at the tennis courts for that to be the outcome. It seemed to be over so fast and I was expecting something more sinister.  It’s only a short book though so if you’re looking for a short, unsettling read on a rainy day pick it up.
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To say that sisters July and September are close is an understatement. They eat the same things, sleep the same way, think the same way and share the same birthday even though they were born ten months apart. They don’t have friends of their own as they only need each other. When a bullying incident occurs Sheela, the girls mother, decides that they need to leave Oxford for a fresh start in Whitby where the sisters’ aunt has an empty house for them to live in. When they arrive Sheela gives in to her depression and withdraws to her bedroom leaving the girls to amuse themselves which they do in abundance. The different environment encourages July to take a good look at the relationship she has with September which in turn leads to a terrible conclusion. 

This is such a hard book to review. I loved the writing style, the context of the story and whilst I didn’t particularly care for the characters, I loved the way that they developed throughout the story. Now, the negative. I found this book to be disjointed, jerky and, at times, appearing to be without direction. Sisters is definitely a ‘Marmite’ book, you’ll either love it or hate it. Me? I’m more of a lover than a hater. 


Many thanks to Vintage and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest review.
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Spooky and compelling! Sisters is an enticing read. 
It's an evocative account of two sisters sharing an eerie bond and their haunting love that sure to give cold creeps. I raced with the last part in a haste to know how things will turn. Even though I could foresee what was coming up, I couldn’t put it down. I devoured this in two days.
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Born just 10 months apart, July and September are inseparable, never needing anyone else but each other. After an incident at school, they are hastily moved away to The Settle House and become even more isolated and more tangled up in each other.

This book oozes unease and dread. I've never felt so on edge whilst reading a book- Johnson certainly has a talent for making the reader feel this way. It's easy to get lost in her writing and to feel the pull of the sisters and their manipulation.

The plot is gripping and multifaceted but that's all I want to say, it's best to go in completely blind. Daisy Johnson is one of my favourite writers and I am desperate for more.
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September and July are sisters born 10 months apart and so do everything together.  Along with their mother they retreat to a house called Settle to escape an unspecified event.  The house is another character in this book and its history and current state is referred to throughout the novel.  Mostly told through the first person narrative of July you get a sense of the disturbingly close relationship of the sisters.   From sharing the same cot as babies to having just one phone as teenagers it is apparent it is deeply unhealthy.  The unease grows throughout this book as you understand July is a deeply unreliable narrator.  Occasionally you follow the mother Sheela, someone who is depressed and struggling to supervise the girls as even leaving her bedroom is a mammoth task for her.  As the novel unfolds the catastrophic event that led them to seek refuge in the house is revealed.  

This feels like a modern gothic horror and I was truly impressed with the writing and sense of dread and unease that kept a good pace throughout.
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I have to say I wasn't too sure where this story was going to go. I found it a very moving exploration into sibling love and really enjoyed the ending. It felt very atmospheric and a great twist which really made the book a success for me.
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Daisy Johnson’s critically acclaimed debut novel, Everything Under, was shortlisted for the 2018 Booker Prize, with its swirling combination of nature, myth and modern-day England. In this second novel, Sisters, she offers up an equally distinct mixture of dark thriller and literary dissection of the nature of female relationships.
	July and September are as close as sisters can be. Born ten months apart, they are thick as thieves, with the elder September both looking out for, and keeping watch, on her younger sibling. It is an intense relationship with the potential to explode – and when it does, their mother moves Sheela moves them from their Oxford home to an old family home in the north of England. This is a house with secrets of its own: in this strange atmosphere, July tries to make sense of what caused them to flee, and what they need to do to start their lives all over again … 
	Taut, tight, and with a soupcon of Stephen King, Sisters is a short, seductive sucker-punch of a novel.

(Living Magazines, August 2020)
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In this dark and disturbing story we learn that there is no love greater, darker, or more dangerous than that between sisters...
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July and September are two sisters born just 10 months apart and with an incredibly strong bond. After an incident back home in Oxford they leave and head to a rural cottage up north to escape with their troubled mother. 

The bond the sisters have is so absolute and unyielding but it’s also dark, eerie and even feels dangerous especially with the level of power that one sister has over the other. 

The writing of this is short and sharp, almost like poetic verse. Most sentences are only 5 or 6 words long so the pace with which the story is told is very quick and builds incredible momentum. Overall this works well although I am left a bit confused over some sections as I wanted a more thorough description of events. 

The uncomfortable tone of the book is very dark and sinister and I am discovering that books written in the way definitely appeal to me and stay with me longer. I’ve certainly been thinking about this book a lot since I finished it yesterday, it’s only short but it’s got under my skin.
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I found this book extremely enjoyable and beautifully written. I am quite a fan of Daisy Johnson, and although it is a short read I found myself deliberately reading this book at a slowly pace.

I found the relationship between the sister rather haunting and disturbing however there was nothing overly graphic contained with its pages .


I would recommend this book, with its lyrical writing style and chilling atmosphere that will keep you on the edge of your seat.


Thank you to the publishers for sending me this proof copy
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I recommend this book - slightly dark and unnerving, you never know where it is going or what's waiting for you around the corner.
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A deeply disturbing, atmospheric and strange novel about the relationship between two sisters. It's beautifully written and explores the cruelty amongst teenage girls perfectly. I found this a really compelling read. Perfect for fans of Shirley Jackson.
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Two sisters, September and July, just 10 months apart in age but sticking together like twins, even more, just as if they were only one person. In Oxford, where they first lived with their mother, an author of children’s books featuring two girls just like her own daughters, they were always in trouble and didn’t make friends with the other kids. By moving to the old family house, their mother hopes things will get easier. However, the spooky surroundings with walls who could tell decades of dark stories, triggers something between the girls which makes their unhealthy bond even more dangerous for the younger and weaker of the two sisters.

Daisy Johnson portrays a sisterly connection which goes far beyond what is known to link siblings. The fact that the girls are born within only a couple of months makes them grow up and experience everything together. They are like one person separated incidentally, also their character seems to have split in the two: September the wild and furious one, July, in contrast, obedient and more thoughtful. Since she is younger, she easily gives in to her sister’s will and thus follows without ever challenging her. 

The atmosphere is gloomy in every line. Right from the start, you sense that some catastrophe is looming and just waiting to present itself. Even though at times, the sisterly bond also seems to be protective, the negative impact is obvious. Their mother is detached, she suffers from a depression which makes it impossible for her to see what is coming, she senses that the relationship her daughters have formed in detrimental, even harmful for July, but she is unable to do something about it.

An intense and vivid narrative with quite some eerie notes.
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Another book from Daisy Jones with phenomenal writing. It has great character, a lot of emotion and an interesting story of sisters. 
Definitely recommended to literary fiction lovers. 
Thanks a lot to NG and the publisher for this copy.
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One word review – Claustrophobic, two word review Menacingly Claustrophobic.

Having previously read and loved Everything Under by Daisy Johnson I was delighted and slightly scared to be returning to the world of her imagination. While I didn’t fall in love with this the way I did Everything Under this is still a strong novel.

First of let’s talk about that cover it is brilliant and really captures the fractured and overlapping lives of the “Sisters”. It gives you the sense of disorientation and confusion that is so much a part of this story.

Secondly the story – the writing is beautiful, eerily poetic and it manages to maintain an underlying hint of menace even when things seem to straightforward. The relationship the sisters share with each other and their mother is brilliantly captured. It is easy to see how naïve July is held almost completely under September’s spell. Instead of the usual sibling rivalry this relationship is about the intensity when it is just you and the closest person to you against the world, a powerful but also isolating feeling.

Who would like this? I would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Everything Under and anyone looking for a unsettling read which gets inside your head without having to describe anything in overtly graphic details.
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Really enjoyed SISTERS. Daisy's writing is lyrical and gorgeous, and there was an eerieness to the book I found addictive. Also adore the cover, and appreciated the fact it wasn't a massively long read.
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Following an incident at school, sisters July and September travel with their Mother from their home in Oxford, to The Settle House in Yorkshire.

The story builds, sometimes slowly, sometimes frantically, towards its climax, and what brought the sisters to where they are. The atmosphere is chilling, the house where they're staying taking on a life on its own, and the relationship between the sisters becoming more and more disturbing. 

This is a perfect book for this time of year, haunting but not horror. It's a short read but I didn't want to race through it because Daisy Johnson just writes so well. I read her first novel Everything Under last year and it was beautifully written but I didn't like the story. This has both. An edge of your seat story as well as the brilliant writing. Totally recommend!
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July and September are sisters named after the month in which they were born, less than a year apart. September, the older of the two, seems to be the protector – the more dominant one. Something has happened at their school and their mother, Sheela, has packed them into a car and decamped to an old family house, miles away. We’re not yet sure what actually happened but it seems to have cast a shadow over everything. The relationship between the sisters is odd and the atmosphere is persistently dark and threatening. Sheela seems withdrawn and preoccupied and leaves the girls to their own devices. They explore and play strange games. 

I’m not really a fan of psychological thrillers but I would say that this one is particularly well written and Daisy Johnson does a very good job of maintaining a sense of forward motion without giving away too many clues as to the twist we know must be coming. Eventually I did manage to guess part of what was going on, but not all of it. If you’re a fan of this kind of tale and you don’t mind being spooked out a bit then you’re probably in for a treat with this one. It’s relatively short, impactful and managed to leave me with the sense that it’s not beyond belief that the whole thing could actually play out in real life.
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