The best books about sisters that make you want to call your sister

Eileen Goudge Author Of Such Devoted Sisters
By Eileen Goudge

Who am I?

I’ve led a storied life. One of six children, I married and divorced before the age of 20 and moved from Santa Cruz, California to New York City in my early 30s. I carved out my career as a writer while scraping by on government assistance as a single mom. They say write what you know, and I did just that. My first novel, Garden of Lies, became a New York Times bestseller, skyrocketing me from poverty to financial security. I’ve since gone on to publish 20 novels about family relationships, romantic love, and reversals of fortune. With more to come!  

I wrote...

Such Devoted Sisters

By Eileen Goudge,

Book cover of Such Devoted Sisters

What is my book about?

Growing up, my four sisters and I squabbled but were inseparable, playmates and roommates who often whispered to each other long after lights-out. We shared clothing and confidences. I used to ride to the public library in my small town on the back of my sister Laura’s bike. She is partly the reason I became a reader and a writer. Such Devoted Sisters draws from those experiences. It's the story of sisters Annie and Laurel, who flee from LA to New York City to escape their brutal stepfather. Annie protects her younger sister while carving out a life of her own. When they both fall for the same man, it sorely tests their sister bond. Will the bond break? Read it to find out!  

The books I picked & why

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The Dog Thief

By Marta Acosta,

Book cover of The Dog Thief

Why this book?

Give me a mystery with a fast-paced narrative and an interesting hero or heroine, and I’m hooked. This mystery, the first in a series, ticks all the boxes. When Maddie, an autistic dog handler and rumored animal psychic, discovers a dead body, she tells one reporter, "The crows told me where to look.” With that line, the book takes off down a path with many twists and turns. I fell in love with Maddie, the quirky and courageous heroine, but what resonated with me most, as one of five sisters, is the relationship between Maddie and her big sister Kenzie. The two are tight. Kenzie sees it as her role to nurture and corral Maddie in equal measures, forever trying and often failing to get her to act “normal.” Maddie chafes under her guidance but adores her. The strong and often complicated bond between sisters is vividly depicted here. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

The Vanishing Half

By Brit Bennett,

Book cover of The Vanishing Half

Why this book?

This is one of the most unusual and memorable books about sisters I’ve ever read. It’s the story of Black twins, Desiree and Stella, who are separated in early adulthood in the 1950s, one returning to her hometown in the South after escaping an abusive marriage, the other passing as White in the White world she’s chosen to inhabit. The choices Desiree and Stella make that cause their paths to diverge haunt the sisters, each in her own way. But what never changes is the deep bond that exists between them even in absentia. I loved this book. Read it, then call your sister. 

The Nightingale

By Kristin Hannah,

Book cover of The Nightingale

Why this book?

This is the best war-time romantic novel I’ve read since Gone With the Wind. Set in France during WWII, it’s the story of two sisters, one fighting for her and her daughter’s survival on the home front, the other joining the French Resistance. I couldn’t put it down and couldn’t stop thinking about it long after I turned the last page. The scenes, which take place in German-occupied France, make for a heart-stopping narrative, but it’s the relationship between the sisters that struck a chord with me.  It shows how two very different people can be alike and how the love they share can supersede those differences. If you haven’t already read it, you’re in for a treat.

Lock and Key

By Sarah Dessen,

Book cover of Lock and Key

Why this book?

You know a book is really good when you reread it. I read this one twice. When 16-year-old Ruby is sent to live with her married older sister Cora after their mother vanishes, she doesn’t know what to expect. She’s neither seen nor heard from Cora since Cora went away to college years earlier. As they fumble their way toward becoming reacquainted, the two sisters discover they’re more alike than they realized. While Ruby is falling for the boy next door, she’s learning to love and depend on the sister she didn’t know. This is a book you’ll want to recommend to your sister or sisters if you have one or more. I did, and my sister Karen loved it too.    

The Key to Happily Ever After

By Tif Marcelo,

Book cover of The Key to Happily Ever After

Why this book?

During the worst of the COVID pandemic, I found myself, like many people around the globe, in need of comfort reads. This delightful rom-com delivers. It explores the push-pull and power of sisterhood. It’s about three sisters who are in the wedding-planning business together. While they deal with wedding fiascos and Bridezillas, the de la Rosa sisters must each define her role in the family business and the family itself. They squabble and butt heads, but when disaster strikes, they have each other’s backs. Growing up, my sisters and I were forever teasing and tormenting each other, but we always turned to one another when in need. The Key to Happily Ever After was both a reminder of my bonds with my sisters and a cure for my pandemic blues.

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