Friday, June 20, 2014

The Sister

In the absence of our leader, Sharon, Maureen is attempting to write a synopsis of our discussion.  I won't try to attribute comments to a particular person but will try to summarize the group as a whole.  We used many of the questions in the Reader's guide to stimulate discussion.

Everyone seemed to like the book, which we commented was unusual.  And as the discussion progressed it was evident that the author did a good job of making this a mystery.  No one seemed to know who the killer was until the end, guessing instead Emilio's wife, Dr. Nichols and Professor Rosen.  We also thought that Mr. Wright was real and were a little disappointed that he was not.  We thought that the structure of the book, an interview with Mr. Wright and a letter to the sister, Tess, was an effective although unusual way of telling the story and we compared it to the Guernsey and Bernadette books that we read this year, with letters and emails as conveyances. We were not all sure that Bea was rescued at the end but thought that Kasia would have been Bea's only hope.  Some of us wanted a sequel.

We thought that the sisters' relationship and that of their mother were deeply affected by the death of their brother and the absence of their father.  We thought the mother seemed to soften at the end after also losing Tess.  Some of us thought that the sisters seemed to be more mature than their ages of 21 and 26 indicated, one an artist and the other in an established career in New York.

We were confused as to how Tess had time to do several violent paintings in the week between the death of her baby and her own death.  And we pieced together that William was giving her drugs which created hallucinations.  We figured out that the babies of Tess and Kasia did not have cystic fibrosis but were given the other gene therapy which caused breathing problems.  We think that Bea will help Kasia's baby in the sequel.

All in all we had fun being detectives with this book.