Be omnivorous, don't just read one kind of book, read everything. - Richard Wagamese

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: The Language of Sisters by Amy Hatvany

Publisher: Washington Square Press
Pages: 320
Released: 2012
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5/5


Nicole Hunter has been distancing herself from her family for the past ten years, living in San Francisco with a man she is not sure she would marry. Nicole is a registered therapist, but when she decides her own life is too complicated to start offering others advice, she chooses to become a baker. Nicole is forced to confront her past, when she hears that her severely disabled sister Jenny, was raped while institutionalized and is now pregnant. Nichole and her sister have always been close, but Nicole’s guilt has kept her away from her sister for far too long. Nichole returns home, and demands that she take care of her sister until she gives birth. Returning home leaves Nichole seeking answers from her mother.


The Language of Sisters is another beautifully written story by Amy Hatvany. She consistently writes stories that tear at your heart and leave readers rooting for the characters. Hatvany writes about topics that are difficult but real, and forces readers to think about people in those situations.

Nicole is a very interesting character. She doesn’t feel settled in her life, but she’s reluctant to go home. After so much time has passed, it gets easier to stay away and harder to return. She loves her sister, but her relationship with her mother causes her to remain distant. Nicole’s childhood revolved around her sister, her mother and her were the primary caretakers. Jenny’s unknown disability left her helpless and mute, their mother spent so much time trying to cure Jenny and get answers that Nicole felt left behind. Their father was abusive towards Jenny, resorting to physical violence when he became overwhelmed. He demanded that she be institutionalized. When Nichole’s mother agrees to have Jenny placed, it’s becomes a critical reason why their relationship becomes even more strained. How can a mother choose an abusive husband over their helpless child?

There is a lot that can be discussed with this novel and it would make a great book club read. All of Amy Hatvany’s books have remained with me long after I closed the books. She creates stories that cause readers to rethink a difficult situation, and be able to put themselves in those shoes. Her stories give readers a sense of the everyday lives and relationships of the characters, strong secondary characters are well developed and cement the story. I highly recommend all of Amy Hatvany’s books. A great writer is even better when they can continually awe readers.


  1. Oh wow. This one does seem like it would be very emotionally loaded and thought-provoking, and I bet that I would love it. I am so glad that you gave this one a thumbs-up and that it was such a good read for you. I am off to see if I can find it on audio.

  2. This sounds really good. The startling reality is that abused wive's choose their abusive spouse time and time again over their own children. Sadly these woman have mental health issues of their own. Adding this one to my list for those moments when I am in the mood for a good cry.

  3. I have never read anything by this author, I am going to have to read on of her books soon!

  4. This sounds fantastic and loaded with family drama and tension! I'm adding it to my wish list.

  5. I feel like this author keeps cranking them out! I haven't ready any but they all sound intriguing. This one sounds especially like something I'd be interested in. I need to add this one to my list.

  6. Sounds like some really heavy stuff. I can't imagine being Nicole and having all that resentment and anger bottled up.

  7. I haven't read anything by the author before! Being one of three girls, I love, love, love stories about sisters!

  8. I've never heard of this author, so thanks for bringing this book to my attention! I'll definitely keep it in mind.

  9. Wow, sounds like this author is talented if she can create real characters that stay with you long after you turned the last page. I have yet to try this author's books although I've seen them around. Wonderful review.

  10. The Language of Sisters sounds like an interesting story!