'The Orphan Sister'
Author: Gwendolen Gross
Published: Gallery Books; July 2011
Synopsis: Clementine Lord is not an orphan. She just feels like one sometimes. One of triplets, a quirk of nature left her the odd one out. Odette and Olivia are identical; Clementine is a singleton. Biologically speaking, she came from her own egg. Practically speaking, she never quite left it. Then Clementine’s father—a pediatric neurologist who is an expert on children’s brains, but clueless when it comes to his own daughters—disappears, and his choices, both past and present, force the family dynamics to change at last. As the three sisters struggle to make sense of it, their mother must emerge from the greenhouse and leave the flowers that have long been the focus of her warmth and nurturing.
For Clementine, the next step means retracing the winding route that led her to this very moment: to understand her father’s betrayal, the tragedy of her first lost love, her family’s divisions, and her best friend Eli’s sudden romantic interest. Most of all, she may finally have found the voice with which to share the inside story of being the odd sister out. . . .
My Take: While I don't have any sisters, I love novels that center around that relationship. Perhaps its so I can understand that which I am missing out on. Gwendolen Gross' novel, The Orphan Sister, definitely gives a fascinating look at the sister relationship.
The Orphan Sister is Clementine Lord. However, her sisters are still alive. She is one part of a set of triplets, but the other two are identical twins and Clementine is not. So she always feels left out of Odette and Olivia's life. Everyone can automatically see that they are twins, but nobody guesses Clementine is a part of it, even though their mother calls them her three wishes.
This novel centers around a mystery. When it opens, the girls are all adults but their father has gone missing. He is older and at first they suspect perhaps he just forgot where he was supposed to be or got in a really bad car accident. But it soon comes out that there is more to the story. There father is in fact fine. He has just disappeared on purpose.
The odd thing is, there mother doesn't seem upset and one of the sisters knows more about their father's story than the others and won't give up the details. Slowly, however the details do emerge but what was kind of odd was what took so long and everyone was so upset about, just kind of neatly was wrapped up at the end. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed the story and I was really interested in all of the sister's lives but the mystery around the father, which was what the story spun on, seemed a little odd for me and I wanted some more resolution between the mother and father than I got at the end. At some point, I stopped caring what his daughters thought about his actions, and I wanted to know what his wife did. She was the one who chose him as a partner in her life.
So yeah, this book made me think and got a lot of reaction out of me so for that reason alone I think it would be a good one for a book club to read and I am interested to see what comes next from Gwendolen Gross.
Cover Lust: I love this cover! I think it is perfect to have a single girl sitting there alone, although I do think perhaps their should be one more pair of shoes to symbolize all three girls.