Pieces of My Sister's Life by Elizabeth Joy Arnold
Published by Bantam
Publication Date: July 31, 2007
Genres: Women's Fiction
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Two sisters who shared everything. One unforgivable moment.
Once, Kerry and Eve Barnard did everything together: sailing the Block Island harbor with their father, listening to their neighbor Justin’s magical fairy tales, and all the while longing for their absent mother. They were twin girls arm in arm, secrets entwined between two hearts. Until the summer of their seventeenth birthday, when their extraordinary bond was shattered. And thirteen years later, it will take all the courage they can summon to put the pieces back together; at a time when it matters most.
Jumping back and forth from what is “present” in the book, March 2007, back to the past starting in 1993 is one of the things that made this book an emotional rollercoaster for me. The book is written in first person from Kerry’s point of view. You get from the beginning that something awful happened but Kerry is being asked by her childhood friend and her twin’s husband to return to the island that she grew up on. In the end it’s Kerry’s decision to return and try to work out the huge rift that was created 13 years earlier. Right when you get to a part where you think the author is going to finally give you some information it switches time periods.
Right away you’re given bits and pieces of the past and Eve and Kerry’s growing up. They were like two peas in a pod, but Kerry never got the feeling that Eve liked that fact, even though she loved her sister dearly. Kerry on the other hand loved her sister and loved being a twin…except when it came to their neighbor Justin. Kerry loved Justin and wanted to be with him forever. Unfortunately Eve had the same idea. But that’s not the only thing that caused these twins to separate for so long.
I can’t really tell you much about the book without giving most of the good parts away. The author keeps you hanging on so that you’re completely anticipating what is to come…which was wonderful and frustrating all at once. The first half of this book was so incredibly emotional for me my chest was hurting – literally. But I couldn’t put it down. The second half of the book was just as emotional for me, but in a completely different way. The emotions in the characters weren’t so sweet and bittersweet as they were at first, they were more filled with hate, accusations and betrayal.
It’s an extremely hard book for me to rate. I loved it, yet I didn’t. It was hard for me to see sisters having so many problems with each other but I had to take into consideration that they were only 16/17 at the time. Life is so extreme when you’re that age. In this book they’d never had the guidance from their father that they’d needed to deal.
I’m going to rate this 4 out of 5 but with a general warning that:
A) This is not a romance although there is a romance involved in it
B) It is an extremely emotional book and you need to be prepared for that before you read it.