The best books about sisters

25 authors have picked their favorite books about sisters and why they recommend each book.

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Three Ways to Disappear

By Katy Yocom,

Book cover of Three Ways to Disappear

Katy Yocom’s Three Ways to Disappear won the Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature and was named a Barnes & Noble Top Indie Favorite—well-deserved recognition for this gorgeous debut novel. Three Ways to Disappear reveals the plight of the endangered Bengal tigers through the stories of two sisters who come together years after a family tragedy changes their lives—journalist Sarah, in India to help preserve the tigers, and Quinn, in Kentucky, dealing with family issues. The novel shows the complicated balance of tiger conservation among humans who themselves are struggling, and portrays the complexities of family bonds as well as the immense challenges facing the natural world. Both the human and tiger characters are beautifully rendered, empathetic, and unforgettable.

Who am I?

When I first visited Antarctica, I not only fell in love with penguins but saw firsthand how high the stakes are regarding climate change—not only for humans but especially for animals, who are suffering horribly due to our actions. Being in Antarctica, the most rapidly warming place on earth, highlighted how important it is to tackle climate change, which includes protecting animals. When we lose one species, the entire ecosystem changes. I’ve embraced protecting domestic animals as well, from companion animals to farmed animals, having learned just how much human and non-human animals have in common—so much more than you’d think! And I love reading and writing about the ways in which we’re all connected.

I wrote...

My Last Continent

By Midge Raymond,

Book cover of My Last Continent

What is my book about?

It is only at the end of the world—among the glacial mountains and icy waters of Antarctica—where Deb Gardner and Keller Sullivan feel at home. For the few weeks they spend each year studying penguins, Deb and Keller escape their separate lives and find solace in their work and in each other. As a new travel and research season begins, Deb prepares to play tour guide on the small expedition ship that ferries her to her research destinations—but Keller fails to appear on board. Then Deb’s ship receives an emergency signal from a ship that has hit desperate trouble in the ice-choked waters of the Southern Ocean—and among the crew of that sinking ship is Keller.

My Last Continent is a harrowing novel of love and loss in one of the most remote places on earth, a land of harsh beauty where even the smallest missteps have tragic consequences.

Little Women

By Louisa May Alcott,

Book cover of Little Women

What I loved most about Little Women was that it focuses on living the values of honor, family, being a good person, and finding the path that is right for you—these are some of the most important lessons of a life well spent. A semi-autobiographical novel Little Women follows the lives of March sisters Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy during the time of the Civil War as they grow up and each of them dreams of their own destiny. Something that was particularly inspiring to me was Jo’s burning desire to become a writer and the difficulties she encounters until she ultimately succeeds through a combination of hard work and sheer will. Alcott weaves her own meaningful experiences into the book which helps to create a strong emotional connection with readers.

Who am I?

Books have the power to change your life, that is, if you can find a story that inspires you. As a multiple-time CEO and board director I noticed the lack of fiction books with smart, strong, and positive female leaders- that’s why I started writing the Ceiling Smasher series. My first novel, The Closer, is about the first female CEO of a sports company and the secret society of professional women, called the Ceiling Smashers, who help her succeed. The books on this list are based on true stories about extraordinary women who demonstrated courage, brainpower, and grit to achieve great things and blaze new trails- who wouldn’t be inspired by that?

I wrote...

The Closer

By Shaz Kahng,

Book cover of The Closer

What is my book about?

The Closer is a riveting tale about a strong woman endeavoring to succeed with smarts, scruples, and style.

There’s a secret society of professional women, called the Ceiling Smashers, who help each other succeed. And the founder of the Ceiling Smashers, Vivien Lee, is about to go after her dream of running a business. A lifelong athlete, Vivien arrives at the Smart Sports campus in Portland, Oregon and is introduced as the first female president. It’s one of the highest-profile jobs in an industry inhospitable to women. A tight-knit group of male sports executives is determined to show that an industry outsider cannot prevail. The challenge is all too clear: will Vivien triumph against impossible odds?

A Dance of Silver and Shadow

By Melanie Cellier,

Book cover of A Dance of Silver and Shadow: A Retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses

This is the Twelve Dancing Princesses meets the Hunger Games! It’s a great start to a new series of fairytale retellings that manages to take some well-known stories and make them feel new. All while maintaining that familiar comfort of what we expect from a classic tale. It’s a great weaving of old and new that has you rooting for these princesses and wondering whose story you’ll get to read next.

Who am I?

I’ve always loved fairytales. What little girl with a growing romantic heart doesn’t? By the time I was eight, I told people I was Cinderella because of all the work I did at home. An exaggeration, even for the oldest child, but still. My first prom dress, during a year I won’t mention, was reminiscent of Cinderella’s blue ballgown. As I became a writer myself, I noticed my stories held themes I learned from fairytales. Love, loyalty, courage, and a dose of magic. I simply add space or aliens to the mix.

I wrote...

Fade Into Me

By Charity Bradford,

Book cover of Fade Into Me

What is my book about?

A modern-day fairytale with a science fiction twist. Aliens live among us. Their purpose: to protect and nurture their greatest mistake—mankind.

Abhithian. Caedan doesn’t believe humans will evolve to see the magic, much less control it. Even so, he has two months to marry one or face the wrath of the High Council. Bitter about a responsibility he thinks prevents him from marrying for love, he figures any human girl will do. Then his soul mate stumbles into—and right out of—his arms.

Human. Ryanne might be Caedan’s one shot at happiness while still fulfilling his duty. Unfortunately, she’s determined to push Caedan away to protect him from her past and a dark secret.

The Night Sister

By Jennifer McMahon,

Book cover of The Night Sister

My first experience reading a book with dual storylines, this novel held me spellbound cover to cover. McMahon has since become an auto-buy author for me, thanks to this fantastical story that puts a magnifying glass on the life of two sisters, a childhood friend, and an unexplained disappearance. The story moves between past and present and revolves around the Tower Motel in Vermont, now a ruined shell that refuses to yield its secrets. Secrets the girls discovered while playing games there as children. 

An unexpected splash of the paranormal and the use of letters from one sister to Mr. Hitchcock (yes, that Hitchcock) add the perfect touch to this disturbing gem.

Who am I?

I’ve loved mysteries since childhood. That passion started with silly attractions like Scooby-Doo, Dark Shadows, and Nancy Drew. As I grew older, my love of mystery expanded to include the “what if” elements of folklore and urban legends. I’ve written two, 3-book series employing dual timelines, each wrapped in multiple layers of folklore. Crafting separate plotlines then weaving them into a tidy ending takes patience. I enjoy reading books that are well-executed and if they include a touch of the supernatural, all the better. My passion for urban legends has led me to give presentations to local community groups and also to engage in travel when needed for on-site research.

I wrote...

Cusp of Night

By Mae Clair,

Book cover of Cusp of Night

What is my book about?

Recently settled in Hode’s Hill, Maya Sinclair is enthralled by the town’s folklore, especially the legend about a centuries-old monster responsible for several horrific murders. The Fiend has evolved into the stuff of urban myth, along with one of the creature’s first victims—a nineteenth-century spiritualist. Lucida Glass was known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill due to a genetic condition.

When several new attacks occur, rumors abound the Fiend has returned. It isn’t long before Maya becomes caught up in piecing together a puzzle where past and present collide in a world of twisted secrets, insanity, and an evil that refuses to die—all tied to the mysterious Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill.

Wildwood Dancing

By Juliet Marillier,

Book cover of Wildwood Dancing

Wildwood Dancing is a fairytale set in the mysterious forests of Transylvania. We explore the world of Faerie through the eyes of Jena, the second eldest of five sisters who live at the castle Piscul Draculi, a name that already evokes a mystical ambiance. The cover of the book is perfectly suited to the Faerie realm and the adventure Jena embarks on as she discovers this unknown world and herself. Although I also love a concrete magic system with spells and formulaic magic, the mystery of the magic in the Other Kingdom brings the story to life as we venture with the characters into the unknown on a beautiful and vivid journey.

Who am I?

As a fantasy reader and writer, I love to explore magic systems and see how a story can seamlessly be brought to life. The natural, mysterious magic we often see in fantasy creates a sense of whimsy and wonder that takes readers to new worlds. I have two degrees in theoretical physics and a minor in philosophy, something that would seem to naturally lead to science fiction, but it’s also true that understanding magic is related to science. Indeed, the physicist Albert Einstein once said: “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.” I hope you find some new books on this list that will sweep you to another world!

I wrote...

Night Of The Immortals

By Mary-Jean Harris,

Book cover of Night Of The Immortals

What is my book about?

In nineteenth-century Bristol, Zacharias discovers a young man from another world named Wyndor, and learns that he comes from a world of starlit beings called Velans. He is searching for a Velan object that can return him to his world, a pearl that a group of spiritual adepts called the Lung Hsieh are also searching for to return to their order in China. Throughout his adventures with Wyndor, Zacharias learns more about the powers inherent in other worlds and dreams, and he comes to make a decision that will change his life forever.

Magic in the Wind (Drake Sisters, Book 1)

By Christine Feehan,

Book cover of Magic in the Wind (Drake Sisters, Book 1)

I’ve always loved books about families, but imagine seven sisters living together. Family relationships are the heart of many books and often I’m enthralled by the intricacies of these stories. Since I grew up with just my brother, I can’t imagine what it’s like to live in a family so large. Sarah Drake has been away and has come home. The town is abuzz with gossip because when Sarah comes home, something big always happens. Also newly arrived in Sea Haven is Damon Wilder, and he arrives with his own secrets and possibly danger is following. A wonderful book that introduces the first of the Drake sisters. I love a good series, and this book is the beginning of one of the best.

Who am I?

Who wouldn’t want to be a witch? Look at Sabrina. She can fly, cast spells, and she has a talking cat. We’d like that. Seriously, we believe in magic and rock ‘n roll. We always wanted to write together, but it was when we turned to the dark side that we began to publish. Readers were hooked on vampires and feasting on True Blood, but we were more interested in witches and shifters. As big fans of The Dead Files, we visited Cassadaga, Florida, home to mediums and spiritualists. The Witches of New Mourne series allows us to create characters with these same interests—and they’re witches!  

I wrote...

Awakening Magic

By Neely Powell,

Book cover of Awakening Magic

What is my book about?

An enchanted town. A vengeful spirit. A powerful coven under siege. For generations, the Connelly witches made a great sacrifice to protect their town. In exchange, New Mourne remained a refuge for humans and supernatural beings to live in peace. Now Brenna Burns, or another female of this generation, is next in line to die—unless Brenna can find a way to end the curse of the malevolent Woman in White. With coven protections breached, Sheriff Jake Tyler joins the battle. The time for sacrifice draws near. The powers of the Connelly witches may not be enough to defeat the dark magic. As the demonic influence drains the small town of its peace, the coven struggles to break its deadly bargain with the Woman in White.

Secret Scribbled Notebooks

By Joanne Horniman,

Book cover of Secret Scribbled Notebooks

I’m a sucker for endpapers so, with inside covers that appear browned with age, this book instantly grabbed me. I was even more drawn in by the edges of all pages looking aged, with the book’s title repeatedly running along the bottom of each one like a handwritten footer. Once I was reading, the flavour of classics like those by the Bronte sisters and Jane Austin meant I couldn’t put it down.

Set in the later part of the 20th century, Kate’s story explores self-worth and finding purpose. First-person narrative uses language cleverly. It is easy to read, the voice unpretentious. I felt like I knew Kate. We have so much in common, including the ability to write in the dark and a penchant for taking laneways rather than main roads.

Who am I?

Working in schools, I was surrounded by young people facing challenges and finding their place in the world. Their lives were affected by various relationships, family, and their own personalities. I thrived on their energy and was privileged when they shared their stories, hopes, fears, and uncertainties. I witnessed hearts captured by young love that wasn’t always returned and marvelled at how those without good family support still managed to stay true to themselves no matter what life threw at them. Thank goodness for human resilience. I’m no poet but enjoy language and using poetic devices. I became a writer when teen characters insisted that I give voice to their stories.

I wrote...

Out of This Place

By Emma Cameron,

Book cover of Out of This Place

What is my book about?

Finding your way in life can be hard, especially without the right people around you. Out of This Place presents teens Luke, Casey, and Bongo at a major life crossroad. They’re looking for change and want to escape. Where they end up is determined not only by circumstances but also by their choices. Their overlapping stories are delivered in free verse.

I didn’t make a conscious choice to write it this way. It was simply how Luke spoke to me. His voice crept into my head as a monologue. I enjoy writing in this style as it causes readers to pause in particular places so as to immerse them in the mood and situation more readily than the words otherwise would. Though not considered poetry, this form lends itself to performance.


By Kwon Yeo-Sun, Janet Hong (translator),

Book cover of Lemon

This novel is a murder mystery, of sorts, that also has a lot to say about socio-economic divides in contemporary Korea. This was particularly interesting to me because when I lived there in the 1970s, everyone was poor. No one owned a motorbike, much less a car, and they were all barely scraping by. Now, though, great wealth and privilege have emerged alongside persistent poverty, and that class divide looks too familiar to Americans. The rich are privileged and have access to things the poor do not, including justice.

Who am I?

Fresh from college, I arrived in South Korea in 1976 to teach English as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and despite my naivete, or maybe because of it, I fell in love with the country—the people, the food, the culture, the history. I have since lived and worked in many other countries, but Korea will always be my first love and I have returned many times for both work and pleasure. When I became a fiction writer, I was keen to read the work of Korean novelists who, naturally, had an even better understanding of their culture than I did, and I love staying connected to the country in this way.

I wrote...

The Shaman of Turtle Valley

By Clifford Garstang,

Book cover of The Shaman of Turtle Valley

What is my book about?

When Gulf War veteran, Aiken Alexander, brings his young and pregnant South Korean bride home to Virginia, he hopes they can both find acceptance. However, Soon-hee, can’t—or won’t—adjust to life in America. When Soon-hee disappears with their son, Aiken’s life and dreams fall apart—he loses his job and falls prey to his worst impulses. It is at this low point that Aiken’s story becomes interwoven with the Alexander family history going back generations, one that pitted brother against brother and now cousin against cousin, in a perfect storm of violence and dysfunction. Drawing on Korean beliefs in spirits and shamanism, how Aiken solves these problems—both corporeal and spiritual—is at the center of this dynamic and beautifully written debut novel.

Roses and Rot

By Kat Howard,

Book cover of Roses and Rot

This book is such a heartfelt tale surroundings two sisters raised by a woman who cared little of their emotional states and only of perfection in the arts. While revolving around the real world, readers are taken to a mystical realm with the protagonists as they discover magic and the fae exist. It’s the struggles we all face in life that this book touches on. As an artist I can understand the need for perfection in my art, like the characters.

Who am I?

I’ve always been in love with books and writing, but in high school I realized I wanted to touch people’s lives on an emotional level. A friend told me my writing had changed their perspective about an incident where their brother almost died. It made me think that if I could positively impact one person with a play, what else could I do (even for complete strangers). We all struggle with emotions, and it’s okay! We should be allowed to feel our emotions—regardless of our age or gender identity. Everyone should know that they’re not alone; emotions are universal. They are part of what connects us to each other. 

I wrote...

Birdwhistle Estate

By Jennifer J. Lacelle,

Book cover of Birdwhistle Estate

What is my book about?

Birdwhistle Estate is a young adult urban fantasy, tragedy, drama, and adventure set in Thunder Bay, Ontario. While the city exists in real life, it’s a whole new world as fiction and reality collide. The story also follows themes of loss, forgiveness, grief, and consequences—something everyone can relate to on some level. It’s a slow-burn kind of story with a rush at the end and perhaps even an ending you didn’t expect given the main character’s personality. 


By Julie Cantrell,

Book cover of Perennials

What a wonderful, moral-rich, non-preachy, feel-good, tapped several of the big societal issues (adultery, death, divorce, pride, bullying, regret, work vs. family; you get the point), without ever once making me squirm with too many religious overtones, or want to run off to confess my improprieties. As a flower child at heart, I loved the continual nuances of people and growth compared to good soil and water, seasons, and blooms. This book was beautifully done.

When the matriarch of a loving family is diagnosed with cancer and determined to live out her days without treatment, there are twists and turns of reality that make this book a must-read. I too, nearly chose the path of non-treatment and this book resonates.

Well done, Julie Cantrell!

Who am I?

Being diagnosed with an incurable cancer and told I may only live 5-years forced me to become an expert in the misconceptions of how to behave and what to say to cancer patients. It’s all bunk! What I know: (1) Don’t tell me “Call if you need anything.” I’m the one who’s sick, you need to call me. (2) Please don’t patronize me; I live in reality, not the land of rainbows, unicorns, and miracles. (3) It’s okay not to know what to say; I’m as blown away as you are. What patients need is honesty, present and available support, and laughter – a lot of it.

I wrote...

Voices of Cancer: What We Really Want, What We Really Need

By Lynda Wolters,

Book cover of Voices of Cancer: What We Really Want, What We Really Need

What is my book about?

Exploring the unsayable thoughts, needs, and desires of people diagnosed with cancer, this book features real-life experiences and what people with cancer endure every day. The Voices of Cancer is a rich and enlightening, deeply moving book that is fraught with information on cancer.

The Voices of Cancer captures the inner worlds of people afflicted by the disease and provides insights that will inspire the right attitude of mind in both cancer patients and those close to them. A fantastic resource for both patients and non-patients, The Voices of Cancer is a book for anyone who wants to know what it is like to live with cancer and how to endure, in spite of the odds.

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