Share 7 Riveting Stories About Sisterhood That Perfectly Capture Its Complexity

7 Riveting Stories About Sisterhood That Perfectly Capture Its Complexity

Sisterhood is a unique bond. I’ve found that sisters—both in life and literature—despite sharing a parent often grow into drastically different women. It could it be a reaction to the ever-present comparison of one sister to the other, or maybe there is an innate desire to distinguish oneself from another’s mistakes and successes. Whatever the case may be, it is not always an easy relationship to maneuver throughout life. Yet despite the hair-pulling, clothes-stealing, and one-upping, there is no greater bond than the connection two sisters share. Sisters can transform from mortal enemies to soul mates in the blink of an eye. Because no two sisterhoods are exactly alike, there exists a myriad of stories about this sort of relationship. From conniving enmity to touching friendships, here are seven diverse stories about sisterhoods to add to your shelf.  


The Sisters of Summit Avenue
by Lynn Cullen

THE SISTERS OF SUMMIT AVENUE is captivating and emotional story about two estranged sisters. Ruth, who is single-handedly raising her four daughters and running the family farm, longs to live the life of her older sister, June. June, blond, beautiful, and married to a wealthy doctor, is the envy of everyone she meets, but deep down she holds her own crippling sorrows: the only man she ever truly loved belongs to her sister, Ruth. After years of estrangement, the two sisters are forced by their mother to reconcile. Just when it seems as though the pent-up bitterness and anger between the sisters is too much to handle, their mother drops her own secret into the mix. This is an emotional journey between mothers, daughters, and sisters that I highly recommend sharing with the women in your life.  

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The Sisters of Summit Avenue
Lynn Cullen

From the bestselling author of Mrs. Poe and Twain’s End comes a “poignant, beautifully rendered story of two sisters who find the courage to reclaim their bond after years of misunderstandings and heartbreak” (Melanie Benjamin, New York Times bestselling author) during the Great Depression.

1934. Ruth has been single-handedly raising four young daughters and running her family’s Indiana farm for eight long years, ever since her husband, John, was infected by the infamous “sleeping sickness” devastating families across the country. If only she could trade places with her older sister, June: blonde and beautiful, married to a wealthy doctor, living in a mansion in St. Paul. And June has a coveted job, too, as one of “the Bettys,” the perky recipe developers who populate the famous Betty Crocker test kitchen. But these gilded trappings hide sorrows: she has borne no children. And the man she loves more than anything belongs to Ruth.

When the two sisters reluctantly reunite after a long estrangement, June’s bitterness about her sister’s betrayal sets into motion a confrontation that’s been years in the making. And their mother, Dorothy, who’s brought the two of them together, has her own dark secrets, which might blow up the fragile peace she hopes to restore between her daughters.

An emotional journey of redemption, inner strength, and the ties that bind families together, for better or worse, The Sisters of Summit Avenue is a moving and heartfelt tribute to mothers, daughters, and sisters everywhere.

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The Tumbling Turner Sisters
by Juliette Fay

Set in 1919, this historical fiction novel takes place during the height of vaudeville. After their father loses his job, leaving his family desperate for money, the Turner sisters and their mother turn to vaudeville as their means of income. Sisters Gert and Winnie find a newfound freedom in the company of diverse performers. Traveling day after day across the country to perform their tumbling act, the sisters are bound by inexplicable love and heartbreak as they face the dangers and unexpected fates of vaudeville life.  

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The Tumbling Turner Sisters
Juliette Fay

For fans of Orphan Train and Water for Elephants, a compelling historical novel from “one of the best authors of women’s fiction” (Library Journal). Set against the turbulent backdrop of American Vaudeville, four sisters embark on an unexpected adventure—and a last-ditch effort to save their family.

It’s 1919, and the Turners are barely scraping by. When their father loses his job, their irrepressible mother decides that vaudeville is their best chance to make the rent—and create a more exciting life for herself in the process.

Traveling by train from town to town, teenagers Gert, Winnie, and Kit, and recent widow Nell soon find a new kind of freedom in the company of performers who are as diverse as their acts. There is a seamier side to the business, however, and the young women face dangers and turns of fate they never could have anticipated. Heartwarming and surprising, The Tumbling Turner Sisters is ultimately a story of awakening—to unexpected possibilities, to love and heartbreak, and to the dawn of a new American era.

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MENTIONED IN:

7 Riveting Stories About Sisterhood That Perfectly Capture Its Complexity

By Holly Claytor | October 1, 2020

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The Favorite Sister
by Jessica Knoll

Brett and Kelly perfectly exemplify the fine line drawn between sisterssupporting and loving companions or bitter rivals. Brett has always lived in the shadow of her sisterthe brilliant and beautiful Kelly. But now that they have reached adulthood, all of that has changed. Brett has garnered immense success through the reality television show, Goal Diggers, while Kelly struggles to scrape by as a single mother. When Kelly swindles her way into Brett’s show, Brett is immediately wary. Only Kelly knows her deepest secret, and if it is reveled to this flashy new world, it may ruin her. When the secret explodes, both sisters were prepared for a disastrous outcome. But murder? That was the last thing on their minds 

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The Favorite Sister
Jessica Knoll

* * * NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * * *

“Engrossing…Deliciously savage and wildly entertaining.”—People Magazine (Book of the Week)

NO ONE EVER SUSPECTS THE GOOD ONE.

Brett and Kelly have always toed the line between supportive sisters and bitter rivals. Growing up, Brett was the problem child, in the shadow of the brilliant and beautiful Kelly. In adulthood, all that has changed. Kelly is a struggling single mother and Brett has skyrocketed to such meteoric success, which has been chronicled on a reality TV show called Goal Diggers.

When Kelly manipulates herself onto the show and into Brett’s world, Brett is right to be threatened. Kelly, and only Kelly, knows her younger sister's appalling secret, and it could ruin her.

Still, when the truth comes out in the explosive final weekend of filming, neither of them ever expected that the season would end in murder.

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MENTIONED IN:

7 Riveting Stories About Sisterhood That Perfectly Capture Its Complexity

By Holly Claytor | October 1, 2020

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Tell the Wolves I'm Home
by Carol Rifka Brunt

TELL THE WOLVES I’M HOME touches on the believable and relatable relationship between sisters June and Greta. The sisters have lost their childhood closeness as June is beginning to feel inferior to Greta’s over-achieving nature. Because of the new distance between them and her lack of school friendships, Junfinds a great companion in her artist uncle Finn. When Finn dies from a mysterious illness, June’s world is completely wrecked. But through Finn’s death, June is also connected to Toby, a stranger who seems to have had an even greater bond with Finn. As this tender coming-of-age story unfolds, readers will fall in love with June as she finds herself, confronts hard truths, and pieces together her sisterly bond.  

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Tell the Wolves I'm Home
Carol Rifka Brunt

In this tender coming-of-age story, June Elbus is fourteen years old and grieving the loss of her uncle Finn, a renowned painter with whom she shared a special bond. Though her mother refuses to speak about the mysterious illness that Finn suffered from, his death brings a new friend into June’s life: one whom she must keep secret, but will ultimately help her heal.

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The Lager Queen of Minnesota
by J. Ryan Stradal

Their father leaves his entire inheritance to the youngest daughter, Helen, but older sister Edith can’t imagine why she wouldn’t have received even a portion of the family farm money. Using the proceeds from the farm, Helen build a successful and prosperous brewery, but her heart and disposition are far from charming. Edith, on the other hand, remains big-hearted and kind despite struggling to make ends meet with her pie-baking business. When Edith’s granddaughter grows, she realizes that a big heart is not always the best way to survive in this world. With that in mind, she sets herself on learning the IPA business. Perhaps this change in direction could reunite their splintered family.  

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The Lager Queen of Minnesota
J. Ryan Stradal

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MENTIONED IN:

7 Riveting Stories About Sisterhood That Perfectly Capture Its Complexity

By Holly Claytor | October 1, 2020

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My Sister, the Serial Killer
by Oyinkan Braithwaite

If someone called you needing help cleaning up a murder, would you answer? Korede's sister has made this call to her three too many times. Korede feels a sense of responsibility for her beautiful but sociopathic sister, so she has remedied Ayoola's murders. Three ex-boyfriends have fallen victim to her “self-defense” stabbings. Korede is willing to do anything for her younger sibling—until Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede has long been in love with him and isn't prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back. But does she love him enough to risk revealing her sister’s secret? 

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My Sister, the Serial Killer
Oyinkan Braithwaite

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The Seven Sisters
by Lucinda Riley

Sisters not related by blood are still capable of holding that unbreakable sisterly bond. This is shown in Lucinda Riley’s THE SEVEN SISTERS. Maia D’Aplse and her five sisters gather at their childhood home, on the shores of Lake Geneva, after having been told their adoptive father has died. Each sister is handed a clue to her birth heritage. In a series of sweeping epic tales, the sisters travel on daring adventures to discover their roots. For Maia, her clue leads her across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story. 

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The Seven Sisters
Lucinda Riley

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Photo Credit: fizkes/iStock

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