Sisters Born, Sisters Found: A Diversity of Voices on Sisterhood
edited by Laura McHale Holland

Wordforest, 2015. ISBN 978-0-982-93655-9.
Reviewed by Pat Bean
Posted on 03/16/2015
Review of the Month, April 2015


If you're looking for a book about sisters that's all gushy and sweet, you probably won't like Sisters Born, Sisters Found: A Diversity of Voices on Sisterhood. While some stories in this anthology of prose and poetry will make you shed happy tears with their perfect endings, other stories with Cinderella/stepsister twists will pluck your heartstrings in an off-tune howl.

Edited by Laura McHale Holland, the book offers a global view of sisterhood in its many forms and through many voices. It is dedicated "To all women throughout the world whose birth families gave them siblings, to those who became sisters through other kinds of bonds, and all the sisters and brothers who love them."

Each story or poem in the book comes with its own voice and its own complexities of joy or heartbreak. The concept of sisterhood explored by the many writers ranges from fleeting moments of knowing someone as your sister soulmate to lifetimes of sharing experiences. Wherever a contributing author lives on the globe, her story is part of the whole. Particularly poignant is the tale about an Arab and an Israeli sisterhood with its background hints of Romeo and Juliet.

The stories are not simply happy or sad; most come with a mixture of true-to-life complexities. In Diana M. Madeo's story, "The Sister Pickers," for instance, two sisters are in harmony one moment and then fighting over who gets to buy an antique purse at a thrift shop. When an observer clears her throat in apparent disapproval, one sister responds, "Don't mind us... We have no life." "Quite the opposite," the observer says. "I had a friendship like yours once. It was sad when she moved away. What you two have is quite the life."

If you enjoy exploring the theme of sisterhood, you'll have a wonderful time reading Sisters Born, Sisters Found. Perhaps, as I did, you'll also feel that you've found a long-lost sister in a particular author through her words in this delightful anthology.

The book was edited by Laura McHale Holland, whose award-winning memoir, Reversible Skirt, was published in March 2011. She is founder of indie publishing company, Wordforest, a dreamer sister, caretaker for two goofy, pint-sized dogs, and an overall happy but always stressed woman who thinks way too much about what she weighs. Visit her website & her publishing company's website.

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