My favorite books that celebrate sisterhood through time

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve made a study of being the “big sister” since I was three. I remember standing up in the back seat (pre-seatbelt days), pelting my father with questions as he drove me to my Aunt Florence’s house. The memory is cloudy (maybe faulty, although I can smell that old car and feel the rattle of my dad’s nerves). My little sisters shaped me more than my parents (why did they demand I always be the teacher, no matter my protests of fairness?). Sisterhood was everywhere, from my mom and her twin sister to my dad’s two younger sisters. And so, my fiction often explores the sister bond.


I wrote...

The Fairy Tale Bride

By Kelly McClymer,

Book cover of The Fairy Tale Bride

What is my book about?

Miranda Fenster believes in happily ever after for everyone, but especially for her twin brother and her five little sisters. Unfortunately, her new husband, the Duke of Kerstone, is determined to show her the folly of believing in fairytales.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Little Women

Kelly McClymer Why did I love this book?

As one of four sisters, I fell in love with the March sisters instantly. However, even though I was the eldest of my own sisters, I identified most with Jo—the rebel writer. A sister herself, Louisa May Alcott understands that sisters are complex. We may fight, disagree, get endlessly frustrated by our differences…but we are sisters and we stand together when it counts.

As a budding writer, I definitely felt misunderstood by my own family. I knew they always had my back, even if I would rather read a book than swim, play tennis, or throw a softball. The March sisters' struggles, triumphs, and tears taught me that life’s challenges are much better with sisters at your side…no matter how annoying those sisters may happen to be.

In retrospect, it seems inevitable that the first series I published was a Victorian historical romance about an elder sister trying desperately to make sure her orphaned siblings had their own happily ever afters. The very different March sisters—domestic Meg, dreamy Beth, writer Jo, and wild child Amy were always there on my shoulder as I wrote, reminding me that sisters can be very different and still love each other very much.

By Louisa May Alcott,

Why should I read it?

17 authors picked Little Women as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it. This book is for kids age 5, 6, 7, and 8.

What is this book about?

Louisa May Alcott shares the innocence of girlhood in this classic coming of age story about four sisters-Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy.

In picturesque nineteenth-century New England, tomboyish Jo, beautiful Meg, fragile Beth, and romantic Amy are responsible for keeping a home while their father is off to war. At the same time, they must come to terms with their individual personalities-and make the transition from girlhood to womanhood. It can all be quite a challenge. But the March sisters, however different, are nurtured by their wise and beloved Marmee, bound by their love for each other and the feminine…


Book cover of In Her Shoes

Kelly McClymer Why did I love this book?

Rose and Maggie Feller are so different I immediately related. And yet, beneath it all these two flawed and magnificent sisters are shaped and bonded by the childhood tragedy they experienced. This book is a reminder that a strong shared sense of humor mixed with a genuine desire that the other succeed can help mend any sisterly rift caused by rivalry, betrayal, or a good old-fashioned calling out. Humor is one way my sisters and I always bridged the gap of our differences and learned to walk in each other's shoes, even if only briefly before they pinched.

By Jennifer Weiner,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked In Her Shoes as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Rose Feller is thirty years old, a high-powered attorney, with a secret passion for romance novels, an exercise regime she's going to start next week, and dreams of a man who will slide off her glasses, gaze into her eyes, and tell her that she's beautiful.

Meet Rose's sister Maggie. Twenty-eight years old, drop-dead gorgeous and only occasionally employed, Maggie is a backing singer in a band called. She dreams of fame and fortune -- and of getting her dowdy big sister to stick to a skin-care regime.

These two women with nothing in common but a childhood tragedy, shared…


Book cover of My Sister, the Serial Killer

Kelly McClymer Why did I love this book?

The title and all the glowing reviews made me pick this book up, but the sisters Korene and Ayoola kept me reading. This book actually made me wonder exactly how far I’d go for one of my sisters. It also made me think about how much many women give up to be the caretakers (as Korene the nurse is), especially of the men in our lives. Korene not only figuratively has to clean up after her little sister, she has to literally don plastic gloves and grab the bleach. Is it horrible to think a little Ayoola-style “self-defense” would make the world a better place? Yes. Yes, it is. But I’m so glad this book took me there, right to the darkest edge of that thought…fictionally.

By Oyinkan Braithwaite,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked My Sister, the Serial Killer as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sunday Times bestseller and The Times #1 bestseller

Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2019
Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2019
Winner of the 2019 LA Times Award for Best Crime Thriller
Capital Crime Debut Author of the Year 2019
__________

'A literary sensation'
Guardian

'A bombshell of a book... Sharp, explosive, hilarious'
New York Times

'Glittering and funny... A stiletto slipped between the ribs and through the left ventricle of the heart' Financial Times
__________

When Korede's dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what's expected of her: bleach, rubber…


Book cover of The Henna Artist

Kelly McClymer Why did I love this book?

I didn’t know a thing about this book before I read it, but the lyrical narrative held me fast. Lakshmi escaped her husband and her small village in India. She made a successful life for herself in Jaipur, as a sought-after henna artist who dispenses peace and wisdom along with her art. When her husband arrives at her door, trailing her 13-year-old sister Radha, dubbed “Bad Luck Girl” by the village, she cannot turn her away. Sulky Radha turns Lakshmi’s life upside down, jeopardizing all she has built. With strength and love, Lakshmi transforms scandal and tragedy into new lives for them both. I love to read—and write—about sisters who won’t accept the status quo, and push the boundaries, even if there are occasional disastrous consequences.

By Alka Joshi,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Henna Artist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

For fans of Balli Kaur Jaswal's Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows and Thrity Umrigar's The Space Between Us, Alka Josh's The Henna Artist by is lushly-rendered, emotional book club fiction set in post-Raj 1950s Jaipur about a young woman struggling to shape her own destiny in a world pivoting between the traditional and the modern.

After fleeing an arranged marriage as a fifteen year old to an abusive older man, Lakshmi Shastri steals away alone from her rural village to Jaipur. Here, against odds, she carves out a living for herself as a henna artist, and friend and confidante to…


Book cover of My Sister's Keeper

Kelly McClymer Why did I love this book?

“It’s not fair!!!” That phrase was a staple of my vocabulary (and my sisters’) during our childhood. Which is why I was fascinated by a novel ripped from the headlines about parents who had deliberately conceived a sister for their ill daughter, in order to provide bone marrow and blood donations to keep the older sister alive. Put my childhood protests about fairness to shame. Picoult doesn’t shy away from the confusions and conflicts of growing up, not the normal sibling frustrations, or those of a family coping with an all-consuming illness. My favorite books take real stories and ask the questions we’re too polite to ask in real life.

By Jodi Picoult,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked My Sister's Keeper as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Sara and Brian Fitzgerald's life with their young son and their two-year-old daughter, Kate, is forever altered when they learn that Kate has leukemia. The parents' only hope is to conceive another child, specifically intended to save Kate's life. For some, such genetic engineering would raise both moral and ethical questions; for the Fitzgeralds, Sara in particular, there is no choice but to do whatever it takes to keep Kate alive. And what it takes is Anna. Kate (Sofia Vassilieva) and Anna (Abigail Breslin) share a bond closer than most sisters: though Kate is older, she relies on her little…


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Let Evening Come

By Yvonne Osborne,

Book cover of Let Evening Come

Yvonne Osborne Author Of Let Evening Come

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up on a family farm surrounded by larger vegetable and dairy operations that used migrant labor. From an early age, my siblings and I were acquainted with the children of these workers, children whom we shared a school desk with one day and were gone the next. On summer vacations, our parents hauled us around in a station wagon with a popup camper, which they parked in out-of-the-way hayfields and on mountainous plateaus, shunning, much to our chagrin, normal campgrounds, and swimming pools. Thus, I grew up exposed to different cultures and environments. My writing reflects my parents’ curiosity, love of books and travel, and devotion to the natural world. 

Yvonne's book list on immersive coming-of-age fiction with characters struggling to find themselves amidst the isolation and bigotry in Indigenous, rural, and minority communities

What is my book about?

After her mother is killed in a rare Northern Michigan tornado, Sadie Wixom is left with only her father and grandfather to guide her through young adulthood. Miles away in western Saskatchewan, Stefan Montegrand and his Indigenous family are displaced from their land by multinational energy companies. They are taken in temporarily by Sadie’s aunt, a human rights activist who heads a cultural exchange program.

Stefan promptly runs afoul of local authority, but Sadie, intrigued by him and captivated by his story, has grown sympathetic to his cause and complicit in his pushback against prejudiced accusations. Their mutual attraction is stymied when Stefan’s older brother, Joachim, who stayed behind, becomes embroiled in the resistance, and Stefan is compelled to return to Canada. Sadie, concerned for his safety, impulsively follows on a trajectory doomed by cultural misunderstanding and oncoming winter.

Let Evening Come

By Yvonne Osborne,

What is this book about?

After her mother is killed in a rare Northern Michigan tornado, Sadie Wixom is left with only her father and grandfather to guide her through the pitfalls of young adulthood.
Hundreds of miles away in western Saskatchewan, Stefan Montegrand and his Indigenous family are forced off their land by multinational energy companies and flawed treaties. They are taken in temporarily by Sadie's aunt, a human rights activist who heads a cultural exchange program.
Stefan, whose own father died in prison while on a hunger strike, promptly runs afoul of local authority, but Sadie, intrigued by him and captivated by his…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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