About the author:
Dubbed the reigning queen of women's adventure fiction by Joanna Smith Rakoff in Book Magazine, Gwendolen Gross grew up in Newton, Massachusetts. She graduated from Oberlin College, where she studied science writing and voice performance. She spent a semester in Australia with a field studies program, studying spectacled fruit bats in the rainforest remnants of Northern Queensland.
After college she moved to San Francisco, then San Diego, and worked in publishing, as well as performing with the San Diego Opera Chorus. Through the San Diego Writing Center, she was selected for the PEN West Emerging Writers Program.
Gwendolen received an M.F.A. in fiction and poetry from Sarah Lawrence College. Her poems have been published in dozens of literary magazines, including Salt Hill Journal, Global City Review, The Laurel Review, and Hubbub, where her poem was selected for the 1999 Adrienne Lee Award.
Find Gwendolen online at her website, www.gwendolengross.com.
About the book:
An original, timely, and touching novel about a set of triplets—two identical and one fraternal—who find their alliances suddenly shifting when a dark family secret comes to light which forces them to redefine their roles and their identities.
As the fraternal triplet to her identical sisters, Olivia and Odette, Clementine Lord has always struggled to forge her own way alongside a matched pair, always feeling like the unmatched shoe. When their father, a prominent neurosurgeon, disappears for a week and returns with a shocking family secret, the crack in the three women’s tight relationship threatens to unhinge them all. As Clem attempts to sort out her family history and come to terms with her future, she reflects on the tangled relationship she’s had with her father, her mother’s stubborn loyalty, the tragic death of her college boyfriend, and her complicated feelings for her best friend, Eli. Ultimately she discovers that love—both familial and romantic—is more resilient and adaptable than she ever thought possible.
Remiscent of Sarah Pekkanen’s The Opposite of Me, the issues of sibling rivalry, identity, and moral responsibility combine in this poignant and compulsively readable novel of three sisters caught in the crosshairs of adulthood and family intrigue.
Author: Gwendolen Gross
Paperback: 283 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 2011
Purchase at IndieBound, Amazon, The Book Depository
Source: Pocket Books
Gwendolen Gross' The Orphan Sister tells the story of one of a triplet set who's not like the other two, and how that affects their relationship and interactions--with each other, with their family, friends, with strangers. It is also the story of a family that falls apart when the father disappears--telling only one child where he went--and of secrets that can tear your life apart if you let it. It is a story of grief and yearning and loss when a loved one dies young. And last but not least, it is a sweet romance between two best friends who (finally) take that step that has been waiting for them for so very long...
The emotions are tangled and complicated, the characters are easy to like, and the story is compelling. The mystery surrounding her father's disappearance throws Clementine for a loop, especially when her mother's reaction isn't quite what she expects, and one of her sisters' is openly hostile. He is not a person you would care for, and yet I almost felt bad for the consequences of his past--I guess that's the mark of a good author! I enjoyed Clementine tremendously--she's been a third wheel all her life, and yet she's the strong one for her family in its time of need. She's loyal and true, she's steadfast even when confused, and she's the one who tries to hold the family together.
drey's rating: Excellent! Pick this one up for your summer reading.
Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of The Orphan Sister for you! US residents only, please (no PO Boxes). To enter, fill out the form below before 6pm CST July 20th. Good luck!