Read The Orphan Sister by Gwendolen Gross Online


Clementine Lord is not an orphan. She just feels like one sometimes. One of triplets, a quirk of nature left her the odd one out. Odette and Olivia are identical; Clementine is a singleton. Biologically speaking, she came from her own egg. Practically speaking, she never quite left it. Then Clementine’s father—a pediatric neurologist who is an expert on children’s brains,Clementine Lord is not an orphan. She just feels like one sometimes. One of triplets, a quirk of nature left her the odd one out. Odette and Olivia are identical; Clementine is a singleton. Biologically speaking, she came from her own egg. Practically speaking, she never quite left it. Then Clementine’s father—a pediatric neurologist who is an expert on children’s brains, but clueless when it comes to his own daughters—disappears, and his choices, both past and present, force the family dynamics to change at last. As the three sisters struggle to make sense of it, their mother must emerge from the greenhouse and leave the flowers that have long been the focus of her warmth and nurturing. For Clementine, the next step means retracing the winding route that led her to this very moment: to understand her father’s betrayal, the tragedy of her first lost love, her family’s divisions, and her best friend Eli’s sudden romantic interest. Most of all, she may finally have found the voice with which to share the inside story of being the odd sister out. . . ....

Title : The Orphan Sister
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781451623680
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Orphan Sister Reviews

  • Barbara
    2019-02-14 06:57

    Am I the only one that thought that this book was boring? It was a real struggle to get through it. If there was a plot line, it was a flimsy one. This is one book that won't grab you after the first few pages. It didn't grab me after 280 pages. The odd triplet makes herself the victim and just seems to me to be self centered. She comes across as an angry woman for no reason whatsoever. If there was a half star rating I would have given that for this book. The author skips from the present to the past from one sentence to the other. Half the time I didn't know in which time period she was speaking about. Trust me, save yourself the aggravation and read another book from your list of must reads.

  • Nancy
    2019-02-18 05:57

    My take: The story is an interesting one because it is ultimately about the internal struggle of wanting to belong yet fighting for individuation. I wasn't as much interested in the family conflict as the family dynamics and the way Clementine goes about looking for her other half, as Odette and Olivia have one another. The story is based upon a set of triplets, now 29 years old. Olivia and Odette are identifical twins while Clementine's egg just happened to fall down the fallopian tube the same month. Clementine always feels like the odd man out, although she shares the uncanny ability to hear her sisters' thoughts and read their moods the same as being identical. They have their private jokes and party tricks and they are definitely related. However, Clementine's rhythm is just a little different. While the twins move into medical school and open adjoining practices, Clementine is still struggling with her own identity. The twins have a double wedding and find themselves pregnant and expecting at the same time. Clementine is still single and fighting sorrow over a loss and figuring out what she wants to be when she grows up.The family is in crisis. One triplet knows a secret. The other two want to know the secret. The mother is blissfully and purposely ignoring the truth and concentrating on anything else. This is the way she lives her life or at least used to. With Charles Lord no longer lording over the home as his house of cards comes tumbling down, new dynamics emerge due partly to the crisis but also to the new roles the women are entering; mother (the twins), favorite aunt (Clementine), broken man, stronger woman, lost love, found love.What I particularly enjoyed about the book is the way each character is looking for their "other half." Clementine chooses a college different from her sisters' choice in an effort to differentiate herself yet she yearns to be a part of something bigger. She is immediately taken by a boy named Cameron who, ironically, smells of oranges (Clementine - get it?).In retrospect, the orphan sister could be any of the characters, as each of them have moments of solitude and feeling cut off from the family. Conversely, each character finds a connection at one time or another.

  • Vivian
    2019-02-01 12:58

    I think that there are periods in our lives when we all may feel out of step with our siblings and/or family. We simply feel as if we don't fit in for some reason. This appears to be the underlying theme of The Orphan Sister by Gwendolen Gross. Clementine Lord feels out-of-step with her sisters, even though she is a triplet. It doesn't help that they are identical twins and she is simply the "sister." Or at least that how it feels to her at times. Clem's sisters are high achievers and have beautiful names, Odette and Olivia. Their mother's name is Octavia so of course Clem feel's left out with something as simple as just her name. The twins were accepted to Harvard and went to medical school, ultimately specializing in obstetrics and pediatrics. They got married at the same time and even had their children within days of one another. Clem fell in love first but her boyfriend died during college. As a result of his death, it took Clem three years to complete her final year of college. She's unsure of what she wants to do with her life but thinks she wants to become a vet...which is as close to medicine as she'll get. Clem loves her sisters, as well as her mother and father but she just feels that there's something that puts her out of sync with the rest. All three sisters desperately want the approval of their father, and seem to subconsciously compete for that approval. Just when Clem is starting to feel comfortable with her life and where its heading her father disappears. Then it is revealed that he had another wife. The drama quotient is upped tremendously by this news. Clem is at first worried about her father's absence and then just pissed that he would leave and remain incommunicado. Ms. Gross has provided characters that are recognizable and likable because of their faults and blemishes. The Orphan Sister is a delightful story about learning to like your family not just love them and about accepting our individual differences.

  • Tracy
    2019-01-25 06:44

    The Orphan Sister is supposed to be a book about a set of triplets, Clementine, Odette, and Olivia. Odette and Olivia are identical with Clementine being the lone sister out. Their father is a pediatric neurologist who one day goes missing. One of the triplets knows about her father's secrets but won't tell the other two, and Clementine makes it her mission to discover it.The characters were very one dimensional. There was absolutely no depth to the characters. The twist in plots were not very twisty or surprising. **Spoiler alert***So, the father was married when he was younger to the love of his life and his family forces him to leave his new wife. His family claimed to take care of the legal aspect of the marriage and have it annulled. He finds out later (After the birth of his triplets) that he is still married to his original wife and they share a daughter together. So, he spends his time bouncing between the two families to spend time with each of his children. That is where this book starts, when his original wife dies and he has to disappear to take care of those legal matters. The current wife and mother of the triplets apparently knows this secret, but it hasn't bothered her until the triplets discover it.****spoiler alert off****Really?! This story is so convoluted it had me scratching my head and saying WTF? It left more questions than answers. I ended up hating the triplets instead of where my hatred/disgust was supposed to go, to the father.

  • Emily Park
    2019-02-18 08:56 now and then, you read a book where nothing much really happens, but the book is still completely engrossing and enjoyable to read. This is one of those books. Clementine Lord is one daughter in a set of triplets. Through a strange quirk, her two sisters are identical, while Clementine is fraternal. Although she shares a strong bond with her sisters Olivia and Odette, Clementine has always felt like something of an outsider. The three daughters grew up with a famous pediatric neurosurgeon for a father, and a picture-perfect housewife for a mother. Olivia and Odette went on to Harvard and had successful medical careers, both marrying high-achieving husbands and becoming pregnant at the same time. Clementine barely finishes college and floats through her 20s with little direction. One day, Clementine's father fails to show up for work, triggering a family crisis where Olivia has discovered a terrible secret about their father, Odette just wants him to come home, and Clementine is caught between rage and pity. In order to cope with her father's disappearance and betrayal, her sisters' advanced pregnancies, her mother's vacancy, and her friend Eli's romantic interest, Clementine retraces the events of her life to understand the place where she is today.As a work of general fiction, this book is somewhat outside of my normal range of interests. I'm really glad I stepped outside of my comfort zone, though, because this turned out to be a really interesting read. Gwendolen Gross' writing style is such that Clementine's inner thoughts feel so real that you might think they're your own thoughts, and every now and then I found a passage that was so eloquently phrased I had to stop and think about it for a little while. Despite the fact that there aren't many big events in the book, the excellent writing propels the book forward.In terms of plot, it's a pretty slow moving book, with most of the focus being characterization and the complex ties between each individual. The eventual revelation of their father's secret turns out to be kind of a let-down (with all of the build up, I was expecting something more earth shattering), but since the book is about relationships and not about the betrayal itself, that's not a big issue.The entire book is told in two separate time periods: the present, where Clementine and her sisters are dealing with the fallout of their father's disappearance and his secrets, and the past, where Clementine relives parts of her childhood and her college years. Most of the events in the past were chosen because of personal significance to Clementine, like falling in love with a boy named Cameron in college and Cameron's sudden accidental death, meeting her friend Eli, moving to San Francisco in an effort to get her life back on track. Since we see everything in a first-person view from Clementine's perspective, it's very easy for the reader to feel like Clementine is a real person. Though she is no doubt a flawed person, she's a very sympathetic character to read about because Gross' writing allows the reader to feel everything Clementine feels, her love for Cameron and her all-consuming despair after his death, her rage at her father and her complicated relationships with her two sisters. Gross does a nice job of describing the ties between the sisters, and the story is wrapped up in a way that gives the reader some resolution, without having the ending feel overly cute and sentimental or overly depressing.The relationships Clementine has with Odette and Olivia are some of the most important parts of the book, and are more complicated than the title would lead you to believe; Clementine knows Odette and Olivia just as well as they know each other, and although the two Os are identical to each other, each turns to Clementine first for different things. The interesting thing about the title The Orphan Sister is that while it seems to apply only to Clementine, it could easily to apply the title to either Odette or Olivia at various points, or even to other characters. Recommended reading for lovers of general fiction, but not if you only like plot-driven books.

  • Alex
    2019-02-09 06:01

    At First Sight: Clementine Lord has always felt a little like the odd one out in her family. She's one of a set of triplets, only that her other two sisters are identical while she's only a fraternal twin; and though she has a strong connection to her sisters Odette and Olivia, that connection is not as strong as the one they have with each other. Odette and Olivia both followed in their father's footsteps and became doctors - and winners of the parental approval - while Clementine is just now trying to get into Veterinarian school.But one day, their father goes missing, which forces the family dynamics to change, as they uncover a big secret of their father's past.Second Glance: I wasn't sure what to expect from this book but it seemed like an interesting premise. And in some ways it was an interesting book. We get a glimpse at the comings and goings of the Lord family. Mom is distant and absent, Dad is a controlling freak; and the girls, while close, have their own problems. I liked the connection between the three sisters, over all. Some parts rang true to me and some didn't - I have a large, mostly female family, so I get sisterhood. But I'm sad to say that I found Clementine a bit boring. Not to mention that the there are a series of flashbacks through out the book, and at times it was confusing to follow who was talking and if it was the present or the past.And I didn't care at all for the Mom or the Dad, they were both kind of cartoonish.Bottom Line: Sadly, The Orphan Sister was not a book for me. I felt like Clementine thought a lot but did very little most of the time, and I had a hard time liking her.

  • Roxanne
    2019-02-16 11:07

    I had a difficult time with the beginning of this book. At page 60 I put the book down and didn't think I would bother to finish it. I decided to give it another shot, and by the middle of the book when I finally got to find out a little more about what daddy's issue was, I could pay more attention to the character development and storyline. I was disappointed with both by the end of the book.I didn't care for Clem or her sisters Odette and Olivia. As a matter of fact, I didn't care for their mother or father either. They all seemed whiny and unrealistic. Keeping that in mind, I really just didn't care what else happened in the story to any or them. The powerful and privileged have some problems. Too bad.I was often distracted by the emotional reactions of the sisters which seemed disjointed. The big secret was a big let-down only because the author created such a big build up to it.I would be more inclined to be engrossed in Clem's past and then be forced back to the present where I didn't want to be.This book was "OK" but I struggled to be interested in the story.

  • Charlotte
    2019-01-28 11:45

    The Orphan Sister is a fantastic novel about family dynamics. A family is gripped in the middle of a family crisis and we get to see it all unfold. I really liked Clementine and I hated to see how hurt she was by her father. Triplets are unique enough that the book could have only dealt with their relationship and it would have been a good book to read. Throw in the unusual circumstances their father has thrown them into and you have the makings of a fantastic novel.http://charlotteswebofbooks.blogspot....

  • Diana
    2019-01-30 10:03

    This is a long and tedious read about a set of triplets and their spoiled existence. I finished the book waiting for something to happen... Something exciting or dramatic but nothing happened. It's just their everyday lives and their whiny perspective of their parents. It's not horrible, but it is a little boring.

  • Margaret
    2019-02-17 06:52

    This book is really good!

  • Brenda Pace
    2019-02-17 11:53

    Quick read - enjoyed but not raving about.

  • Jill Wallace
    2019-01-23 10:09

    Good book, great read on my snow day!

  • Maribeth
    2019-01-31 08:58

    Kept my attention, enough curves in the plot that I did't predict the end until maybe 1/2 to 3/4 of the way through. Issues and emotions which the narrator grappled with felt realistic.

  • Lauren
    2019-02-17 08:56

    Clementine Lord is an individual in a set of triplets. Her two sisters, Odette and Olivia, are identical twins, and as a fraternal third, Clementine feels distanced, despite the triplet telepathy they all seem to possess. Her father, a narcissistic surgeon who spends more time traveling than with his own family, always seems to favor Olivia and Odette, who inherited his gift for medicine and went to Ivy League schools, becoming doctors in their own right. The twins find their future husbands at the same school, have a double wedding, get pregnant at the same time, and start their own practices together. Clem, meanwhile, goes to a small private college in the Midwest and spends several years drifting before ending up living at home with her parents again at 29 years old. When their father goes missing and their mother checks out of the situation, the sisters grapple with the emerging secrets that their father concealed from his family. This book reminded me of The Weird Sisters, and that’s not a good comparison. Things happened in the book, but it didn’t really feel like anything was happening while reading it; in short, it felt flat and lifeless. That could have partly been because of the pacing of the book, which really threw me off, as one chapter seemed to go forward and the next would be entirely retrospective, so I continually felt like I was taking one step forward and two steps back. The characters were not easy to relate to: in addition to being telepathic triplets, they were also very rich and a bit prejudiced. Even the protagonist, who criticizes her sisters for their shallowness and materialism, later bursts out in an angry racist rage, “You married a Jew?!” The book was very predictable, as well. Within the first few pages you can figure out where the story line will eventually lead, and Gwendolen Gross seemed to embrace every cliché she could find in this book. Clementine’s emotions were also flip-flopping all over the place, which I could understand, but they were nevertheless annoying to read. The ending also felt very unresolved; the story finished and then there was an epilogue, where a couple characters were briefly caught up with, but the book still felt only partially completed. I do have to say that I enjoyed Gross’ descriptive voice, though, especially when Clementine is reminiscing about her first love, Cameron. The writing was poetic, and as a reader, I felt like I was transported to the beautiful scenes Gwendolen Gross was describing. In terms of a story, though, this book was a big disappointment, which is such a shame, as I had had this on my to-read list for such a long time. If you loved The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown (which I, unfortunately, did not), this book would be right up your alley. And if you’re a person who enjoys books that seem to transport you without caring too much about the story line, this might be a rewarding read for you, as well. Personally, though, I felt it fell short of the mark.

  • Laura Kay Bolin
    2019-02-02 08:39

    Finding the path to one’s own identity is a story in and of itself, but to be one of three brings about a number of additional complexities. Gwendolen Gross writes a multifaceted story of Clementine Lords’ journey in finding her own path. Clementine is a singleton who was born a triplet with identical twin sister’s Odette and Olivia. She is one with them and yet she is different and not the same as them. She is the odd sister out.When Clementine’s father goes missing she is pressed to deal with her long standing family issues. A father she loved, hated, wanted his approval, rebelled against, didn’t trust and longed to trust. A mother she felt who hide herself away in her husband’s shadow not fully living up to the strong, smart, independent woman Clementine believed she could be. Her identical twin sisters, who she longed to be one with and at the same time wanted to be different than. While dealing with these numerous family emotions, she is also dealing with finding peace and moving on after losing her ‘other half’.As Clementine moves forward in finding out where her father went, she has flashbacks of her childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. These flashbacks allow the reader to gain a deeper and greater understanding to the complexity of Clementine. She has a deep need for acceptance and wants to know she is just as much a part of the family as the rest of the ‘flock’. Clementine learns you become your own woman when you no longer look for acceptance from others, but from yourself and to not let other peoples’ lives dominate ours.Truthfully, the only thing in regard to The Orphan Sister I didn’t like was I didn’t have someone to talk to about it!Gwendolen Gross is an amazingly smart writer! She writes beautifully! The book is in a constant state of movement diving into the complexities of family. Even though I’m very different than Clementine I could really relate to her desire to feel safe and accepted. Her relationship with her father (though different) made me reflect on my own relationship with mine. I’d love to go on and on discussing the end of the book, but I do not want to spoil the story for any of you.I absolutely recommend The Orphan Sister and if you are in a book club this is a must read!

  • Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
    2019-02-04 08:51

    Going into this, I didn't really have any expectations, but was hesitantly hopeful it might be interesting. I really didn't know anything about it, except that the triplet thing. I am happy to report that The Orphan Sister was about so much more than that. This story grabbed me from page one and I devoured it whole, the funny, the sweet, the romantic, the depressing and even the scenes about babies (which for me is saying something).Clem has such a real voice that you really feel like you're getting to know her. She is intelligent and angry, broken and hopeful. There are so many facets to who she is and her problems feel like real life problems. Her hangups about being left out while also being afraid of the current balance falling apart are so illogical and lifelike. Of course, who doesn't like a heroine who has a veritable menagerie of creatures: two dogs, a ferret and a snake (a five foot boa constrictor).The triplet/twin themes are used to explore concepts of individuality and identity. Are the twins stronger because they have each other or is Clem stronger because she's naturally more independent? The twin way of communicating was also completely fascinating. I wonder if people really do that, and suspect they might, which makes me wonder just what the human brain is capable of...The other main aspects of the story deal with romantic relationships, that of Clem's mother and father, as well as Clem's love life. The former's resolution I did not find entirely satisfying exactly, but it was unsatisfying in a true to life way; everything does not always have a really good ending. Clem's love life involves a lot of grief, since her first, powerful love died while they were both still in college (where they met). This incapacitated her for a long while, but, even after recovering, it's hard to get over someone you never had a chance to encounter real life with.This book was so beautiful and moving and was just perfect for what I wanted to read right now, even though I didn't realize that going in. Maybe I should be reading a bit more adult fiction; I've gotten so caught up in YA that I'd forgotten how great it can be.

  • Mary (BookHounds)
    2019-02-06 14:03

    Triplets Odette, Olivia and Clementine are at major crossroads in their lives when their father abandons them and their mother. Odette and Olivia are identical twins and Clementine seems to be just another sister except that she was born at the same time. Odette and Olivia, both doctors like their pediatric neurosurgeon father are also pregnant at the same time while Clementine is struggling to get in to veterinarian school when she moves back home while waiting for her acceptance letter. One day, her father doesn't show up for his hospital rounds and completely vanishes. Clementine imagines all sorts of nasty things happening to him but even Clementine can't imagine the truth or the reason for his disappearance until it comes to light when Olivia receives an telephone call from their father explaining everything.The story weaves back and forth between Clementine's youth, her father's rise to power and wealth and her current romantic life with a man who truly loves her, Eli. Clem is such an interesting character. She is not bombastic, tells things with a bit of snark, a little drama and dead pan delivery that is a bit world weary. The writing is just how I like it: quick, not overly descriptive and with smart dialogue. To read through Clem's history, her relationship with her mother and sisters is just a wonderful slice of life and very believable. I loved her mother's non-response to her husband's vanishing act. She simply moved on and encouraged her daughters to do the same. The real twist is when the full story comes out and Clem finds her own match in life beyond her twin sisters to whom she never really felt a part of. Sorry, I am being good, and you will just have to read the book to find out what happens with Clem and her family. The story reminded me a bit of Lisa Lutz and Jonathan Tropper in how the story unfolds and the little familial quirks that are displayed.

  • Mmtimes4
    2019-01-27 10:39

    Clementine Lord is not an orphan. She just feels like one sometimes. One of triplets, a quirk of nature left her the odd one out. Odette and Olivia are identical; Clementine is a singleton. Biologically speaking, she came from her own egg. Practically speaking, she never quite left it. Then Clementine’s father—a pediatric neurologist who is an expert on children’s brains, ...moreClementine Lord is not an orphan. She just feels like one sometimes. One of triplets, a quirk of nature left her the odd one out. Odette and Olivia are identical; Clementine is a singleton. Biologically speaking, she came from her own egg. Practically speaking, she never quite left it. Then Clementine’s father—a pediatric neurologist who is an expert on children’s brains, but clueless when it comes to his own daughters—disappears, and his choices, both past and present, force the family dynamics to change at last. As the three sisters struggle to make sense of it, their mother must emerge from the greenhouse and leave the flowers that have long been the focus of her warmth and nurturing. For Clementine, the next step means retracing the winding route that led her to this very moment: to understand her father’s betrayal, the tragedy of her first lost love, her family’s divisions, and her best friend Eli’s sudden romantic interest. Most of all, she may finally have found the voice with which to share the inside story of being the odd sister out. . . .I didn't love this book nor did I dislike it. It was just okay, had some interesting family dynamics and a bit of mystery as to what is going on with the dad.

  • Kristine
    2019-02-14 06:52

    The Orphan Sister by Gwendolen Cross, a Goodreads First Read free giveaway book won on June 28th, received on July 13th, and begun on July 20th. Odd one out sibling rivalry. Okie dokie. Somehow, the tone of the first-person narration seems alot how someone with OCD would speak - doublebacking, explaining, excusing, compartmentalized, and having a reason for every tic. And, being this character comes from an affluent family, I likened it to Howard Hughes, except a girl with her first and foremost role being a sister and a daughter. The first-person narration comes from Clementine, a triplet sister to Odette and Olivia who had both taken after their father and become doctors and also happened to be very pregnant at the start of this book. Clementine is noticing more and more frequently during the modern-day portions of this book that she's growing apart from her sisters by not being married, having an interest in being a veternarian rather than a physician, and not being as psychicly in-tune with them as she used to be. The narration then bops back and forth between (what I assume to be) situtations that had happened or are now happening in her late teens and her current early 20s where she remembers grieving over a college boyfriend and ponders her father's personal life after his unexplained disappearance from her mother, his rounds, and their family home.Overall, alot of very self-involved, questioning, and family-oriented neuroses that are wallowed in instead of confronted. Clem, for God's sake, take a step back, address your needs, and make your triplet voice heard. Outloud. To someone who'll listen.

  • Brenda
    2019-02-01 06:00

    Although I found Gwendolen Gross’ The Orphan Sister to be an easy read, I felt even more of an outsider than its central character, a triplet who is not identical to her sisters—and, therefore, feels less connected, despite her ability to communicate with the others telepathically. Perhaps, my background has not prepared me to appreciate the familial dissent caused by the protagonist’s decision to become a veterinarian instead of a pediatrician. So what if she chooses Oberlin over MIT, Harvard, or Princeton? These conflicts seemed rather silly to me. I was even more dissatisfied with the revelation of the novel’s “dark family secret,” mentioned on the jacket to arouse curiosity in the reader. Unfortunately, I can’t address the specifics of my frustration without divulging the nature of the secret around which Gross’ entire novel hinges. I will say that once the father character discovers that he has a legal problem, he could have taken steps to resolve it without resorting to unnecessary duplicity. His problem is not so irresolvable as Mr. Rochester’s in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. He is not keeping a mad wife in the attic. Nor is his difficulty so shameful (from his perspective) that he is forced into denying his identity as does the protagonist of Philip Roth’s The Human Stain. As another fictive doctor likes to proclaim: “People lie." And that is certainly the case here. However, even after Gross’ father character tries to explain his motivations, I remain bewildered by the pointless nature of his obfuscations.

  • Kate Puleo Unger
    2019-02-07 11:07

    Thankfully this was a quick, easy read because I almost gave up on it. This book was just so slow. It was all character development and backstory and not much plot. It seemed like every time things got going in the present, the chapter would end and the next chapter would jump back to the past. Ugh.I was drawn to the twin/triplet aspect of this book, but even that character element wasn't all that satisfying. Clementine isn't exactly the odd one out so much as she isolates herself from people. I didn't feel much connection with her, or the "twins" for that matter. They were too twin-y...double wedding, similar careers, pregnant at the same time (which admittedly my twin and I were, but we were at least off by 3 months), etc.The plot was fairly predictable. Their father disappears at the start of the book, and they're determined to find out where he's gone. At first they're worried, but then they know something strange is up. One of the twins knows the truth but won't tell. I just couldn't get into it, and even once it's revealed, it's kind of rushed and unresolved.The only redeeming aspect of this book was the love story. Eli was adorable! I am sucker for best friends turned lovers, so I was anxious any time Eli was in the story, waiting for the magic to happen. But that wasn't enough to make this more than a 2 star read for me.

  • drey
    2019-02-16 10:07

    Gwendolen Gross' The Orphan Sister tells the story of one of a triplet set who's not like the other two, and how that affects their relationship and interactions--with each other, with their family, friends, with strangers. It is also the story of a family that falls apart when the father disappears--telling only one child where he went--and of secrets that can tear your life apart if you let it. It is a story of grief and yearning and loss when a loved one dies young. And last but not least, it is a sweet romance between two best friends who (finally) take that step that has been waiting for them for so very long...The emotions are tangled and complicated, the characters are easy to like, and the story is compelling. The mystery surrounding her father's disappearance throws Clementine for a loop, especially when her mother's reaction isn't quite what she expects, and one of her sisters' is openly hostile. He is not a person you would care for, and yet I almost felt bad for the consequences of his past--I guess that's the mark of a good author! I enjoyed Clementine tremendously--she's been a third wheel all her life, and yet she's the strong one for her family in its time of need. She's loyal and true, she's steadfast even when confused, and she's the one who tries to hold the family together.

  • Laura
    2019-02-16 07:39

    I just couldn't get through this - 2/3 of the way through and all I can think of is the better books I have in my queue.Basically, the characters are terrible - one dimensional, tough to relate to, and not very interesting. The big family secret, when you find out what caused it, really isn't that crazy and you almost feel some sympathy for the father. Clem's romantic history isn't all that terrible, and I didn't feel the relationship with Eli was some kind of radical shift. And the whole triplet thing felt forced.This book seems written for book groups (there is a section of questions in the back of my edition, and that's why I read it), and that's not a good thing. There isn't enough action and way too much reflection. The reflection part would be OK if you cared about the characters, but that's really tough in this case.The book is set in NJ, and the author lives near me (she's actually taught at the local community school). It was kind of a cheap thrill to read about places nearby (like the Montvale Roller Rink, and Princeton Junction, etc) but that was really the only good part of the book for me - and that's not a good thing.This isn't the kind of book I'd generally read, so I may not be the most impartial reviewer. But I'd really urge anyone thinking about reading this to pick up something else. There are so many other, better books out there!

  • Cj
    2019-02-13 08:39

    Hmmm, my reaction to this book was 'a bit underwhelmed'. I will say that this was not a book for me. I found Clementine to be a twenty-something young woman still dealing with teen angst. She wanted attention, but she didn't want it; she wanted connection but she didn't want it. Her relationship, or rather how she felt about it, with her parents was all over the map. She was mad at, and blamed her father for his past, when he thought it had been resolved by His parents... The relationship she had in college affected her deeply, to the point that she almost couldn't move on from him. The book jumps between past and present, and sometimes it's hard to keep up with it. I got to the point (3/4 of the way through the book) that to me, Clementine was 'whining' far to much, and I had to skip over some of the descriptive bits. I would have preferred to have less of her introspection, and more of the situations fleshed out. That being said, it is possible that if I were in a different mind-set, Or a different time in my life, I may have appreciated the story more. Would I recommend it? I don't think so at this point. Would I re-read it? Perhaps, down the road, to see if I would look at it in a different light.

  • Cheryl
    2019-01-21 08:00

    Clementine and her two sisters, Odette and Olivia could not be more different. While the three of them are triplets, only Odette and Olivia really share the bond that twins or triplets share. Maybe this is why Clementine was not named with an “O” name. Clem is her own person. While, she likes it take way, you can tell that she also misses the fact that she is not as close as Odette and Olivia. Clem and her sisters are about to being closer, when their father leaves them. I thought this book sounded really good when I read the summary. I tried to like this book but found that I could not get into it. I gave up at chapter six. At this point I did not care to learn why Clem’s father left them. As it was pointed out in the book, the secret that Clem’s father has kept from her and her sisters is bad and it is a good thing that he left. So if Clem’s father was such a bad guy, why would I want to know or care what his secret was, so that I can forgive him? Another reason that I gave up on this book was that I found Clem getting on my nerves. It was like she wanted to be different but all I heard was Odette this and Olivia that. Enough already. The Orphan Sister was not my cup of tea.

  • Rose Ann
    2019-01-30 07:47

    Throughout the book I could feel Clementine's frustration...wanting that extra connection/closeness with her sisters, but also wanting to be individual.She had alot to let go of (love, heartbreak, betrayal), and also so much to hold on to also.The story would switch back and forth w/Clem's past....the transition to her past and present was a bit confusing at times....didn't flow well. There were things towards the end of the book that stood out to me, and I made note of.....may be spoilers from here......When Clementine's sister Odette had her child, and had some difficulties, Clementine realized that it wasn't easy, even for people like her sisters, who looked perfect on paper, one couldn't imagine any complications. But complications weren't always on the surface.I really loved how Odette and Olivia took care of Clem after Cameron's death. They would take her swimming everyday...all three jumping in together, holding hands... "I beloonged with them; I made them whole. They would never let me extinguish myself."And Odette's admission and realization to Clem about their father, after her son Adam was born...always worrying how he would react to things, what he thought of her and her choices.

  • Chamar
    2019-02-05 06:42

    This was an intricate story of a triplet's struggle to find her own way. Every sibling struggles to belong to yet be independent from their family, but Clementine Lord's feelings of being left out and alternately smothered by her status as the fraternal sister to the two identical sisters that makes up the triplet set. Throw in the tragic and surprising death of her college sweetheart - while they're still in college, and Clementine struggles greatly with her relationship with her sisters, parents and herself. The identical sisters are both married, pregnant, and are doctors in a private practice together at age 29. Clementine, the odd one out, is single, living at home, and preparing herself to get into veterinary school despite her doctor father's disapproval. Her best friend is her belated love's college roommate, though she's not always honest with herself about how she feels about him. When her often absent father's shocking betrayal is revealed, it pushes Clementine to come to terms with her thoughts and feelings of all the relationships in her life. I felt for Clementine throughout the book, and empathized with her struggle to find her place in the world. I recommend this read!

  • Amy's Book Reviews
    2019-02-06 07:07

    4 of 5 stars Clementine Lord is not an orphan. She is, however, the fraternal triplet to identicals Olivia and Odette. She alternately longs for and shuns the closeness of O&O, who followed their father to Harvard and became doctors like him, in Siamese twin offices as an OB and a pediatrician. And they're both pregnant. Clem lives in her parents' guest house, is finishing grad school and thinks about becoming a veterinarian. When their father goes missing, Clem wants answers.Narrator Clementine has a delightful voice tinged with a streak of subtle , sarcastic humor that's neither biting nor mean. The story alternates between the present--her missing father--and the past her development as the non identical triplet, to her first love. At times I wished for more interaction between the triplets and a greater distinction between between Odette and Olivia, because the triplet dynamic was what drew me to the story. I wished for more insight into their mother. THE ORPHAN SISTER is more character study than mystery, but Clem is such a complex, likable character I almost didn't mind the lack of real payoff to the mystery.

  • Trisha
    2019-02-14 13:43

    A few words to describe The Orphan Sister: deep, disjointed, real-seeming, tense, lovely.Gwendolen Gross uses a disjointed style to show the lives of Clementine and her sisters. The book jumps around in time. One paragraph could be about the present and their missing father. The next could be a flashback to Clem's days in the elementary school play. The next, about her relationship with Cameron in college. Although that disjointed style would normally make a book hard to read, it seemed to work for The Orphan Sister.It helps that the book is so deep. It's chockablock full of amusing anecdotes that make the characters seem real. It felt like a memoir, rather than a novel.While I seemed to understand what happened to the father well before the characters, it was the emotion from Clem and her sisters that made me want to keep reading. And, of course, Clem's relationship with her best friend, Eli. I loved the ending. I closed the book at the last page smiling, and I'd say that's a good indication of time well-spent.[I received this book from the GoodReads First Reads giveaway.]

  • Yo Bess
    2019-02-04 09:00

    I struggled to get thru this book and it was a total disappointment! The initial reviews led me to believe that it would be an interesting read. My Book Club members voted for this selection so this is the only reason I completed it. I assumed when the absent Father walked into the hospital room before his daughter delivered her baby I knew for sure then the book would become more interesting. Even then the author continued with the unnecessary flashbacks, and at some points I got lost trying to keep up with the time of certain events. I didn't understand the need to constantly mention Clems' college sweetheart (Cameron) after his death. The author strived to make this story about sisterhood, but Clem felt a need to compete with her sisters and it became a bit annoying the constant mention of how the other 2 were inseparable. Betrayal played a big part in this story from the Father. However, there was no real depth to the characters and it was left for little suspense. If you truly want to read a story of betrayal and something that is full of suspense, I suggest "The Great Pretender" by Millenia Black