9780307388315

The Sister

Adams, Poppy

ISBN 10: 030738831X / 0-307-38831-X
ISBN 13: 9780307388315
Publisher: Anchor
Publication Date: 2009
Binding: Softcover
About this title:
Synopsis:
Born into a long line of distinguished lepidopterists, scientists who study moths and butterflies, Ginny and Vivien grew up in a sprawling Victorian home. Forty-seven years later, Ginny lives there alone, tending to her moths and obsessions amid the ghosts of her past.

But when her sister Vivien returns to the crumbling family mansion, dark, unspoken secrets rise, disrupting Ginny's ordered life and threatening the family's fragile peace. Told in Ginny's unforgettable voice, this debut novel tells a disquieting story of two sisters and the ties that bind-sometimes a little too tightly.

About the Author:
Poppy Adams has worked as a documentary filmmaker for the BBC and the Discovery Channel. She lives in London, where she is working on her next book.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
It’s ten to two in the afternoon and I’ve been waiting for my little sister, Vivi, since one-thirty. She’s finally coming home, at sixty-seven years old, after an absence of nearly fifty years.

I’m standing at a first-floor window, an arched stone one like you’d find in a church, my face close up to the diamond-shaped leaded panes, keeping lookout. For a moment I focus on the glass and catch the faint, honest reflection of my eye staring back at me, a lock of gray straggly hair in its way. I don’t often look at my reflection and to peer at this moment directly into my eye feels more disconcerting than it should, as if I can sense I’m about to be judged.

I pull my wool cardy—an old one of my father’s—more tightly around me, tucking the loose end under my arm. It’s dropped a degree today, the wind must have changed easterly during the night, and later we’ll get fog in the valley. I don’t need a barograph or a hygrometer these days, I can sense it—pressure changes, a shift in humidity—but, to tell the truth, I also think about the weather to help me take my mind off things. If I didn’t have it to ponder right now, I’d already be getting slightly anxious. She’s late.

My smoky breath turns to liquid as it hits the window and, if I rub the mist into heavy droplets, I can make it trickle down the glass. From here I can see half the length of the grassy drive as it winds through the tall skeletal limes on either side, until it disappears right, curving downhill towards East Lodge and the lane and the outside world. If I move my head a fraction to the left the drive elongates and the tops of the limes veer suddenly to the side, distorted by the imperfections of handmade glass. Moving it a little to the right splits the beech hedge in two on either side of a bubble. I know every vagary of every pane. I’ve lived here all my life and, before me, my mother lived here all her life and, before her, her father and grandfather.

Did I tell you that Vivien said in her letter she was returning for good? For some final peace, she said, because now, she said, we ought to be keeping each other company for the rest of our lives, rather than dying lonely and alone. Well, I’ll tell you now, I don’t feel lonely and I certainly don’t feel as if I’m dying, but even so I’m glad she’s coming home. Glad, and a little nervous—a surge of apprehension is swelling in my stomach. I can’t help wondering what we’ll talk about after all these years and, I suppose, if I’ll even recognize her.

I’m not, as a rule, an emotional person. I’m far too—how shall I put it?—levelheaded. I was always the sensible sister and Vivi was the adventurer, but my excitement at her impending arrival even sur- prises me.

She is late, however. I look at my wristwatch—the digital one on my left wrist. Her letter most specifically read one-thirty and, believe me, it’s not my timekeeping that’s gone awry. I keep a number of clocks just so I can be sure that, even if one or two let me down, I can always find the correct time. When you live by yourself in a house that you very rarely leave and is even more rarely visited, it’s essen- tial that you don’t lose track of the time. Every minute lost—if left uncorrected—would soon accumulate to an hour, and then hours, until—as you can imagine—you could easily end up living in a completely erroneous time frame.

Our mother, Maud, and I were always waiting for Vivi: in the hall before we went to church or shouting for her from the landing to hurry up for school. And it’s now, as I wait for her again, that I find snippets of our childhood jumping into my head, slices of conversation, things I’ve not thought about since they happened: our first pair of boots, which Vivi had chosen for us, long black ones that laced to the top; long afternoons in the summer holidays spent damming up the brook to create our own tributaries and islands; sneaking into the loggia at harvest time to drink cider before taking it to the men in the fields; giggling with Maud at Clive’s rare excitement when he created a Six-spot Burnet with five spots; our first trip to boarding school, holding each other’s clammy hands with shared anticipation, squeezed among the chemical bottles in the back of Clive’s car.

It was a childhood in perfect balance, so I’m wondering what it was that came along and changed everything. It wasn’t just one thing. There’s rarely a sole cause for the separation of lives. It’s a sequence of events, an inexorable chain reaction where each small link is fundamental, like a snake of upended dominoes. And I’ve been thinking that the very first one, the one you push to start it all off, must have been when Vivi slipped off our bell tower and nearly died, fifty-nine years ago.

From the Hardcover edition.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
 

The Sister: Search Results

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Adams, Poppy
ISBN 10: 030738831X
ISBN 13: 9780307388315
Bookseller: Book Deals (Lewiston, NY, U.S.A.)
Bookseller Rating: 4-star rating
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Book Description: Anchor, 2009. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "Ms. Adams has a lot to offer: a plain but compelling prose style, a wealth of incident and a deft psychological acuity." Martin Rubin,The Wall Street Journal "With it's stylish prose, taut plotting and dark psychology,The Sisteris reminiscent of the best books by Ruth Rendell's alter-ego, Barbara Vine.[Poppy Adams] writes sparkling prose and expertly weaves into the action what seems an inexhaustible knowledge of moths." Dennis Drabelle,The Washington Post Book World "Dark and sinister,The Sisterdraws you in like a moth to a flame.A wholly satisfying character study with heart throbbing twists that will leave you shuddering." Chris Stuckenschneider,The Missourian "Suspenseful.Adams creates an engrossing atmosphere of gothic mystery." The New Yorker "Captivating.The odd characters who make upThe Sisterare extraordinary, each one more unsettling than the next, and their fractured group portrait is deliciously chilling." Susan Miron,The Miami Herald "The Sisteris an ideal book for discussion groups, because it prompts analysis with a surprise ending that is both stunning and ambiguous." Mandy Twaddell,The Providence Journal "The Sisteris powered by the same sort of confidently rendered literary suspense that propelled Donna Tartt'sThe Secret Historyonto best-seller lists.Ms. Adams makes Ginny such an intriguingly unreliable narrator that the reader is continually kept off balance." Michiko Kakutani,The New York Times "Adams spins a suspenseful, provocative, deliberately ambiguous tale about decay and disrepairof people and the bonds between themand about the harm that comes from even well-intended secrecy and silence." Laura Collins-Hughes,New York Sun "The great beauty of this splendid first novel lies in Ginny's voice, perfectly clear, controlled and calm.A brilliant narrative performance." Barbara Fisher,The Boston Globe "Readers will be haunted by this chilling psychological drama." Sue Corbett,People Magazine "Deliciously creepy.[The Sister] reminds us of A.S. Byatt, Kate Atkinson and Stephen King having a house party." Colette Bancroft,The Detroit News "A genuinely eerie thriller.a chilling contemporary gothic." Margaret Flanagan,Booklist "A chilling and disturbing novel." Laurel Bliss,Library Journal,starred review "Chilling.an eerie and accomplished debut." Publishers Weekly "Engrossing." Kirkus Reviews "Whatever Happened to Baby Janecomes to Devon, in Adams's gothic tale of madness, sibling rivalry and lepidoptera. Adams is a skillful, entertaining storyteller.' The Guardian "This is a dark book, but an extremely funny one, recalling Mark Haddon and Barbara Trapido by turns. A brilliantly paced debut." Daily Mail "[A] striking debut novel.[The Sister]is also, in its quietly idiosyncratic way, a novel of ideas. When Ginny reflects on the 'analytic and scientific' cast of mind she inherited from her father, it's difficult not to think of Keats and the 'touch of cold philosopy' that 'unweaves' the poetry of natural phenomena. Adams took a risk in deciding to tell her story in the flat, abstracted voice of someone who has devoted her life to a 'little known insect.' But it is a convincing, true voice and it is to Adams's credit that she sustains it as she does." <i. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_030738831X

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Book Description: Anchor Books, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 196 x 130 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Born into a long line of distinguished lepidopterists, scientists who study moths and butterflies, Ginny and Vivien grew up in a sprawling Victorian home. Forty-seven years later, Ginny lives there alone, tending to her moths and obsessions amid the ghosts of her past.But when her sister Vivien returns to the crumbling family mansion, dark, unspoken secrets rise, disrupting Ginny s ordered life and threatening the family s fragile peace. Told in Ginny s unforgettable voice, this debut novel tells a disquieting story of two sisters and the ties that bind--sometimes a little too tightly. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780307388315

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Book Description: Anchor Books, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 196 x 130 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Born into a long line of distinguished lepidopterists, scientists who study moths and butterflies, Ginny and Vivien grew up in a sprawling Victorian home. Forty-seven years later, Ginny lives there alone, tending to her moths and obsessions amid the ghosts of her past.But when her sister Vivien returns to the crumbling family mansion, dark, unspoken secrets rise, disrupting Ginny s ordered life and threatening the family s fragile peace. Told in Ginny s unforgettable voice, this debut novel tells a disquieting story of two sisters and the ties that bind--sometimes a little too tightly. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780307388315

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Book Description: Paperback. Book Condition: New. 136mm x 23mm x 200mm. Paperback. Born into a long line of distinguished lepidopterists, scientists who study moths and butterflies, Ginny and Vivien grew up in a sprawling Victorian home. Forty-seven years later, Ginny li.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 304 pages. 0.327. Bookseller Inventory # 9780307388315

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Book Description: Anchor. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperback. 304 pages. Dimensions: 7.7in. x 5.1in. x 1.0in.Born into a long line of distinguished lepidopterists, scientists who study moths and butterflies, Ginny and Vivien grew up in a sprawling Victorian home. Forty-seven years later, Ginny lives there alone, tending to her moths and obsessions amid the ghosts of her past. But when her sister Vivien returns to the crumbling family mansion, dark, unspoken secrets rise, disrupting Ginnys ordered life and threatening the familys fragile peace. Told in Ginnys unforgettable voice, this debut novel tells a disquieting story of two sisters and the ties that bind-sometimes a little too tightly. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN, Momence,IL, Commerce,GA. Paperback. Bookseller Inventory # 9780307388315

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