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Sisterland

by Curtis Sittenfeld |

REVIEWED BY HELEN ROGAN

NOVEL

In her new novel, the accomplished Sittenfeld (Prep and American Wife) is as skillful as ever at developing an intriguing premise and likable characters. The idea: Identical twin sisters born with ESP learn to deal with it in different ways. Vi, who is gay, becomes a “psychic medium”; she’s judgmental and savagely funny. Anxious Daisy has come to loathe their shared trait. With a new name (Kate), an adoring husband and two children, she tries to ignore her premonitions, keep her distance from Vi and devote herself to domesticity. But then Vi appears on a local TV show, predicting a major earthquake for St. Louis, where the sisters live. “Be careful,” she warns. “Mother Earth is very restless right now.” Not surprisingly, chaos ensues, and as it does, the plot gets a little baggy. But you’ll keep reading because the writing is deft, the people are well-drawn and Sittenfeld’s affectionate take on sibling rivalry is spot-on.

The Last Summer of the Camperdowns

by Elizabeth Kelly |

REVIEWED BY ROBIN MICHELI

NOVEL

Set on Cape Cod in 1972, Kelly’s second novel is a witty, suspenseful tale of murder, marital conflict and agonizing secrets. Though 12-year-old Riddle, the only child of an acerbic movie star and a firebrand politician, is very intelligent, her arch and exhaustively detailed observations sometimes seem overwrought and beyond her years. But the exuberant story is transporting and delicious, a worthy summer read.

COMMENTS? WRITE TO KIM HUBBARD: bookseditor@peoplemag.com