Seances and sisterhood in Sittenfeld’s latest
Curtis Sittenfeld has had our hearts since her 2005 grosgrain-ribboned classic, Prep, a book that felt so real, it was hard to believe we weren’t also at a New England boarding school, making popcorn in the dorm kitchen with girls named Aspeth.
This time around, Sittenfeld dips her toe into fantasy for the first time with her latest, Sisterland, which introduces us to identical twin sisters with psychic powers.
Self-proclaimed weirdo Vi embraces her gift, making her living doing readings and holding séances. But Kate, married with two young children, has done everything she can to suppress her supernatural ability, wanting to lead a normal life. Now, though, there’s something she can’t ignore: Vi has predicted a major earthquake, and the world seems to be paying attention. Kate is tempted to roll her eyes...but she can’t quite shake the feeling that Vi might be onto something.
We admit we were skeptical about our favorite realist delving into the great beyond. But Sittenfeld’s touch is subtle and fun, and her prose is every bit as warm and resonant as it is in her earlier books. If anyone could make us believe in magic, it’s her.