Review: The Good Sister by Jamie Kain

 

Title: The Good Sister

Author: Jamie Kain

Release Date: October 7, 2014

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

 

 

From: Goodreads

 

The Kinsey sisters live in an unconventional world. Their parents are former flower-children who still don’t believe in rules. Their small, Northern California town is filled with free spirits and damaged souls seeking refuge from the real world. Without the anchor of authority, the three girls are adrift and have only each other to rely on.

Rachel is wild. Asha is lost. Sarah, the good sister, is the glue that holds them together. But the forces of a mysterious fate have taken Sarah’s life in a sudden and puzzling accident, sending her already fractured family into a tailspin of grief and confusion. Asha has questions. Rachel has secrets. And Sarah, waking up in the afterlife, must piece together how she got there

 

Set in three different points of views, The Good Sister is certainly an interesting read. This is the story of a family torn apart by several factors over the course of three young girls lives. There are so many things that have gone wrong in these girl’s lives that it’s impossible for me to pinpoint just one, but it feels like the author wants us to think that the shift happened when Sarah was diagnosed with cancer.

What I liked:Normally I am not one for narrators changing within the story, but Kain does an exceptional job with this. Each of the girls had such a different voice that I was able to tell without having to look at the name who was narrating each chapter. I also liked that there was a little bit of unreliability. We get to discover that some of the girls are holding back dangerous secrets. It’s interesting to see this unfold and have them revealed.

What I Didn’t Like:There was a lot of stuff happening in this book and yet somehow it was so slow. It took me about a month to finish this book because the pacing was so slow. The opening was really nice and the ending was really nice, but the middle chunk of the book just lagged behind and was very boring. There were a lot of secrets that were revealed at the end of the book and I feel like those mysteries could have been expanded. If there was a mystery element to this book before the last few chapters I think it could have been a lot better.
There was a lot of stuff. There were just a lot of things happening and I totally understand that this was because there were three different narrations, but…sometimes it didn’t work for me. There were a lot of things that got the girls to where they were, living on and leaving the commune, Sarah’s cancer, parents’ divorce, and there was the bit about the aunt. The biggest cause that Kain seems to stick with in deciding how the family got to the way it was is Sarah’s cancer. Asha became the match for Sarah and so Rachel was pushed out of the way and the stress was too much for the parents and so they split. I just don’t find this enough of a reason and the sad thing is that sometimes families just fall apart for no reason at all, but I feel like there was a lot of time spent on blaming it on Sarah and the cancer.
Sarah and Brandon…together. I do not understand her obsession with being with him. Almost from the start she wonders what it would have been like if they were together. I don’t understand this at all. Besides making me rethink what I know about Sarah, as told to me by Asha and Rachel and even Sarah herself, this doesn’t really fit very well into the story.
Krishna. Where did he go? I mentioned that she has a large cast of characters and for the most part it’s okay…but this was one of the occasions where I feel like she forgot what was happening with her own characters.

Comments

  1. Valerie says:

    Wow a whole month! I was partially interested in this because it reminded me of the Sister’s Keeper (which I haven’t even read, so I guess it just reminded me of the title), and also it seems like a good sad story (because cancer). I’m not sure I would be too entertained with the middle part of this, so I think I’ll pass up on this one. Thanks for the awesome review Hannah!