The Sisters

  • by Nancy Jensen
  • Narrated by Cassandra Campbell
  • 13 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In the tradition of Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping and Elizabeth Strout’s Olive Kitteridge comes a dazzling debut novel about the family bonds that remain even when they seem irretrievably torn apart.
Growing up in hardscrabble Kentucky in the 1920s, with their mother dead and their stepfather an everpresent threat, Bertie Fischer and her older sister, Mabel, have no one but each other—with perhaps a sweetheart for Bertie waiting in the wings. But on the day that Bertie receives her eighthgrade diploma, good intentions go terribly wrong, setting off a chain of misunderstandings that will send the sisters on separate paths and reverberate through their daughters’ and granddaughters’ lives.
What happens when nothing turns out as you planned?  From the Depression through World War II and Vietnam, and smaller events both tragic and joyful, Bertie and Mabel forge unexpected identities and raise daughters—and sisters—of their own, learning that love and betrayal are even more complicated than they seem. Gorgeously written, with extraordinary insight and emotional truth, Nancy Jensen’s debut novel illuminates the farreaching power of family and family secrets.


What the Critics Say

“Nancy Jensen has the natural storyteller’s ability to command attention but with sophisticated psychological understanding and beautifully crafted writing. The Sisters is a needed novel that will become a very popular classic.” (Sena Jeter Naslund, New York Times best-selling author)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

One of the worst of all time!

I only bought this book because of the narrator, and the theme of "sisters", as I can pretty much tolerate the bad with the good when Cassandra Campbell is reading. I like her even, unaccented, non-dramatic readings, the way she ignores gender and does not try to deepen her voice and do manspeak, which never works and sounds ridiculous. She's able to make even the most mediocre story worth a listen, even if it's just background noise.

However, this novel is a most unfortunate study in inertia. It starts nowhere and meanders further into nowhere, with no centralizing story line, except the possible reconciliation of the sisters. And I have absolutely no interest in stories that start "back in the day", any time but now. A book has to be contemporary, with current technology and current issues in the forefront in order to keep my interest.

Back in the 30's, 40's, 60's and onward, lives were simpler, people were less preoccupied, with less of an inner life, and so their stories are less interesting, less appealing to me, anyway. And these women were not fleshed out in any detail. They all sound drab and dull and products of their time.

I wish there was a useful antidote or balancing statement to the "Publisher's Summary" which accompanies every book listing on I find these blurbs to be very often misleading, and this section was no exception in misdescribing "The Sisters"; it was not as advertised, and no "sample" listen could indicate what is truly a story without relatable, interesting, complex characters and without dramatic appeal.

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- Pamela Harvey "glam"

Big letdown

I thought this book was a huge letdown and it became very tedious after realizing that.
I kept thinking it was a Forrest Gump wanna be in that so much time elapsed and the references to those years.
I may not be appreciating what the author was trying to get across but she could have given the reader more than she did with some reconciliation.
I would have given it a 4 if she had done that--but she just kept stringing me along in my opinion and at times I completely lost interest.
I finished the book simply because I had so much time already in it.
It could have been so much better.
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- Karen "I've just gotten hooked on audio book this last year & I love them. Now I can "read" a book & do other things like walk or hobbies."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-08-2011
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.