A richly moving new novel of intricate family relations by award-winning Australian author John Clanchy.
Three sisters revisit the coastal house where they’d spent their childhood summers.
Neither Grace nor Rose, now both in their sixties, know why they are there for the first time in decades. But neither has been able to resist the summons of their imperious older sister, Sarah.
As the days of summer unfold, the intimate narratives of the sisters’ lives unfold. Each sister remembers the tragic fragments of a common past, but whenever they try to fit those fragments together, they find they never quite do.
Exactly why has Sarah summoned them to this last summer together, and why now? And why does she let day after day go by without telling them? Is she ill? Has it something to do with the estate, the house, the gardens, the orchards? What is Sarah’s secret? And why do the thoughts of all three sisters return time and again to their brother Billy?
Read John Clanchy’s deeply humane novel Sisters now and discover the mystery of emotions embedded in each sister’s secreted past.
John wrote the first draft of Sisters at our writers retreat in France.
Praise for John’s novels:
The Hard Word
Flawless and heartbreaking. . .
The Weekend Australian
. . . a small gem.
Australian Book Review
A sensitive exploration of memory, love and family . . . an ambitious, compelling novel across contemporary themes.
Judges’ citation, Winner of Australian Capital Territory Book of the Year, 2003
It is rare to find a male writer who is able to get under the skin of women’s understandings, but in The Hard Word John Clanchy does this with a wonderful empathy that finds the core of relationship and carefully brings it to light . . . How does he know such things?
Lessons from the Heart
John Clanchy’s sequel to The Hard Word . . . dazzles with his sure-footed conveyance of a young woman’s consciousness . . . Readers who value lightness of touch and have a sense of irony will warm to this book. As a book about self-reflection, it is outstanding.
The realisation of plot and character are wholly satisfying. This is a novel of heartbeats. We hear our own among the tumult of teenage indecision and danger . . . J. D. Salinger’s Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye and Billy Casper in Barry Hines’s A Kestrel for a Knave come readily to mind.
The Sunday Age
Clanchy prefers to suggest rather than to describe, and the impact is as devastating as the discoveries made by Leo Colston in L. P. Hartley’s The Go-Between.
The Canberra Times
The story is like a road movie into the centre of what it means to be Australian . . . a rite of passage experience.