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Title : Two Sisters
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780062279934
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Two Sisters Reviews

  • Tracy
    2018-12-01 03:08

    A great example of how examining your relationship with someone else often reveals the most about yourself.

  • Erin
    2018-12-12 02:20

    Wow...this book was awful on so many levels that I don't know where to begin. I was immediately turned off by the misspelled names Lidia and Madalyn. Neither would have existed at the time. The book is supposed to bounce back and forth from the early 80s to now...however, the setting and characteristics of the parents were totally wrong for the 80s...they would have fit well in the 40s or 50s. Also, no one in that age group would have named a child Muriel. Muriel is a whiny, fat pathetic loser who constantly thinks about being fat... she also shops at discount stores, which is mentioned so many times it became grating. She has always felt inferior to her pretty blonde sister, because of course this book relies on the pretty=mean overused scenario.... Muriel is a professional victim. yawn. The parents are flat...selfish, cheating mother, distant, unfeeling father.... no one is that one sided.The book is less about sisters than about a dysfunctional family. No one is likable or fleshed out. The book switches viewpoints without warning, sometimes even on the same page. Bad editing. The negative descriptions of childbirth and religion aren't surprising, as they are coupled with the usual fingerwagging on the gay marriage issue. We all must be berated on this issue every time we pick up women's fiction, so that we march in line! Don't deviate or else! Can't we just have a few books without left wing politics beating us over the head? Overall, this book was disjointed, not true to period and depressing.

  • Alexia561
    2018-12-04 03:18

    From the synopsis, I assumed that the story would focus on the relationship between Muriel and Pia, the two sisters. Well, there are two sisters in the story, but I'm still puzzled over what the focus of this book was supposed to be as it wasn't about their relationship. It was a bit all over the place, as though the author couldn't make up her mind about what type of story she wanted to tell.We start off with two narrators alternating chapters, but that soon peters out. Every now and again a different narrator would pop up, but the main voice is Muriel's. There are occasional flashbacks that I didn't realize were flashbacks until later, which made things a little confusing. Maybe making the storyline messy, the way that life is messy, was the author's intention? I'm still not sure.Unfortunately, I didn't find any of the characters very likable. Muriel seems to have no purpose or direction to her life, but I kept forgetting that she was in her early twenties because she acted so much older. I got the impression that she blamed her family for her lackluster life, which is one of my pet peeves. I don't care what your upbringing was like, but once you're an adult it's up to you to turn your life around and take charge!Mother Lidia is an unlikable, self-centered woman, married to Owen, an aloof, distant man. Sister Pia is an unrelatable golden girl who seems to have always had it all. We don't really get to know brother Logan, as he left home when Muriel was still a child.Despite not liking any of the characters and what I found to be a chaotic storyline, I still kept reading as I wanted to see what would happen next. I found myself wishing that a strong editor had tightened things up, but the story still seemed to work. I'm curious to see what other readers thought of this one!

  • Kasia
    2018-12-04 05:02

    The story of the two sisters is like a grapefruit; fragrant, special and often bitter but good for your guts and spa inclined mind. It's a beautiful and bittersweet, suck you in type of a book that made me feel as if my fingers were glued to the pages, I read most of it in bed on a Sunday shedding a tear or two towards the end, weeks later as I'm writing this review as my first one got deleted by a clumsy accident, it still haunts me. This book is based on something real that the author has experienced and that echo of that intensity rings true though the work.Muriel is an adult but as a child she wasn't considered the pearl of the family, she's nowhere near Pia's statuesque tanned, gold haired blonde beauty often dismissed by her perfectionist mother Lidia and her absent minded father, she grows up to have her own isolated life after a childhood of secrets and betrayals but her past comes back to haunt her when her perfect sister comes for a sudden unexpected visit, old scabs and wounds reopen whether she's ready or not with shocking new revelations that will forever change the entire family.This was some great stuff, I loved the story and felt it's pains and tribulations, now that's always appreciated, a tale that makes me feel what I felt here means a lot to me.This is part mystery as in what's going on/ juicy family secrets, realism and escapism, just good reading with a heart jerking message.

  • Becky
    2018-11-29 05:55

    Muriel has been keeping secrets her whole life - things she knows about her mother, things she knows about her sister... And the truth is that although neither of them have been especially affectionate with her, she's never, ever revealed what she knows to anyone. When her sister arrives one afternoon for a surprise visit, however, Muriel is faced with the biggest secret of all. One that will have devastating results. Finally Muriel will have to face the truth about her family and the things they've all been keeping from one another. On the one hand I found TWO SISTERS to be something of an easy read. I was quickly swept up in the story through Hogan's somewhat breezy style. Her imagery in particular was beautiful. But the actual story itself was an emotionally rough one for me. I have three sisters, all quite a bit younger than me, and a brother as well, so the that any siblings would have such an awful relationship with each other or with their parents was hard for me to read.And my first instinct really is to say that this whole family is pretty much awful. No, they aren't physically abusive to one another, but for the main character (Muriel) to literally question why no one loved her is truly painful!Hogan's adult debut does give the reader lots to think about, especially with regards to family relationships. This is yet another read that I can't truly say I enjoyed - it was just too heart wrenching for that.

  • Laurel-Rain
    2018-11-17 22:12

    Does the tale of the unwanted third child, Muriel Sullivant, begin on a cozy Sunday in her New York studio apartment, as she prepares to luxuriate in her favorite day of the week? She is grown by then, and enjoying the independence of the life she has chosen.Or does it begin many years before, when her two parents, Owen and Lidia, met in Pawtucket, Rhode Island? That beginning would set the stage for a family of secrets and lies.Muriel had always known that she was the unwanted child. Pia, her gorgeous sister, was the oldest and eight years her senior. Next came Logan, the son for her father. One child for Owen and one for Lidia. Then there was chubby Muriel, the outsider, who doesn't fit in. She can sense her mother's disapproval of her in every facial expression; her sister's feelings show when she treats her like a nuisance."Two Sisters: A Novel" is a sad and emotional tale of all the things that go wrong in a family when the two parents feel trapped and disappointed with the lives they're living. How does the third child survive the emotional abandonment?I enjoyed the depth of the characters. Muriel's sense of humor came from a place of pain, but revealed the strength of the survivor. Pia's superficiality was altered as she came to Muriel with a big secret: a tragic event that would change all of their lives. And finally, in New Mexico, we meet Logan again, as the last of the secrets and lies are revealed.In the opening scenes of the story, the flashbacks and fast forwards sometimes came too quickly, jolting me a bit. But then I began to settle into the flow of it.There was a sweet feeling of new beginnings at the end. Not in an unrealistic way, but in the manner of baby steps and slow progress. There was a glimpse of hope. Recommended for those who relish family stories that are replete with secrets, especially when they are revealed slowly. Four stars.

  • Marisa
    2018-12-13 22:08

    Library Request, it seems I'm going against the grain with my opinion of Two Sisters. It truly was a disconnect for me, what was with all the holly than thou sentiment, and the whole ethnic from old country mentality when the book was clearly set in the 80's. It was not executed at all. The total abuse that was felt by the maim protagonist was revolting it was inflicted by her mother, her sister and by the shear disassociation from her father and brother.Sorry this book was frenetic and had no redeeming qualities. I would not recommend for others to read. Thank goodness this was a library book, not a purchase I made.

  • Wendy
    2018-12-07 23:20

    This book really took some time for me to get into. The Mother and the sister were such horrible people and the father and brother to me were not much better. They may have not been verbally abusive to Muriel, but to act if she isn't there is just as horrible. I couldn't imagine being treated the way Muriel was treated and being able to come out on the other end with such a decent personality. Yes she was an introvert and had some germaphobic issues but for the most part she was always still searching for that love from her mom and sister. I couldn't stop crying at the part when she talked to her sister in the funeral home. My heart just broke that she was asking for forgiveness for not being the sister that her sister wanted. For her to feel she need to ask for forgiveness just made me cry. I also don't know if I could be as forgiving as she was at the end with her mom. It would have been hard for me to even let her in my house. I did like her comment of why she didn't hate her though. "Mama, hate gives you to much power" and isn't that so true. I can say now finishing the book I would recommend it to my friends. I wasn't sure I was even going to like it, but I am pleasantly surprised. Also glad she went in the snow and had a chance to meet John and his dog Garrett.

  • Obsidian
    2018-11-24 21:57

    "Two Tales" revolves around the third and youngest child in the Sullivant family, Muriel. Muriel often felt unloved and overlooked by her mother and father due to their affections being focused on Muriel's older sister Pia and brother Logan. Muriel's mother and father Lidia and Owen seem at times to not even want Muriel around and she spends her life trying to get her parents and older sister to love her.The author Mary Hogan, flashes back to the past focusing on Lidia and Owen's initial relationship to the present day focusing on Muriel's relationship with her sister Pia. We also get to some flashbacks to Muriel as a younger child with her sister and mother.We do get to spend a little time from Pia's point of view which was nice and I thought haunting at times (I don't want to spoil potential readers) and it was good to see where her new found honesty came from and why she wanted so badly to reach out to Muriel.The only quibbles I had with this book were that I wish that we had seen the story told from Lidia and Logan's points of view as well. I did end up liking "Two Sisters" but thought at times the story took too long to get to the ultimate conclusion in the end that I really didn't think worked based on what had came before it with all of the characters. Please note I received this novel via the Amazon Vine Program.

  • Denise
    2018-11-26 01:00

    Two Sisters is a novel of secrets and lies, a broken family, a family lacking love, a story of loss and letting go. The dis functional family's story is told through the youngest child, Muriel. My heart went out to Muriel throughout the entire book. After a slow beginning, for me, I was engaged in this story until the last page.

  • Amy
    2018-11-21 03:59

    3.5 starsI don't have a sister. (Well, I really don't know - I could have one. I could have several. As an adoptee, I know anything is possible.) I've always wanted a sister, although when I tell this to friends who have sisters, they shake their heads vehemently and say, "No, you do NOT."Grass, meet Always Greener.When I read books like Two Sisters, I admit that I question the wisdom of wishing I had a sister. Muriel certainly seems like she would have been better off if she hadn't had one.Separated by eight years and considerable emotional distance, Pia and Muriel are about as emotionally connected as Israel and Syria. Less, even. Pia, all icy blonde, thin perfection came first, and it's almost as if her mother Lidia didn't have room in her heart to love another daughter. After Pia, Logan arrived, the only son, a sort of "gift" to his father Owen.And now, Pi, thirty-one, married, living in a gorgeous Connecticut home, and the mother of a ten-year-old daughter, has asked Muriel to meet her for lunch in the city. Muriel can't say no, as much as she wishes she could; we know that this is a ubiquitous problem for her, this inability to say no to anyone in her family. Pia shows up with a new scarf for Muriel; it is nothing Muriel would have picked out for herself, nor is it something Muriel wants to wear. But Pia ties it around her sister's neck, coos over its loveliness, and the two head off for lunch.Muriel is utterly confused. This is not the Pia she knows. Nor is the woman who gets drunk at lunch and then vomits in a toilet or the woman who asks Muriel her opinion about a dress Pia wants to buy for herself. THAT is not Pia.But then Muriel asks: why are you here? And Pia answers.We have seen this storyline before, the sort of deathbed rapprochement between two embattled siblings. Mary Hogan takes us for a different spin, though. Pia, ever selfish till the end, attempts to absolve herself of her sins by including Muriel in picking out her final frock. She may tell Muriel that the end is nigh, but afterwards? Does she let Muriel in? Does she behave in the way a woman who truly wants forgiveness behaves?Then there are Lidia and Owen, two positively awful parents. Owen's is the sin of omission; he removes himself from his daughters' lives and makes no apologies for doing so. He isn't so much stoic as unaware, completely by choice. He and Logan bond over soldering copper piping, but his daughters? They're Lidia's to worry over.Lidia is, quite simply put, a loathsome woman. She openly prefers Pia, so openly that she continually drums that Pia is perfect and Muriel is an unwanted blight on the family. Are we meant to forgive Pia her own bitchiness because she was treated like a gilded princess? Should we forgive Lidia because she was not able to be with the true love of her life and had to settle for Owen?I couldn't. I don't know if Mary Hogan wanted me to, but I could not forgive either woman, especially not Lidia. As Pia herself says to Muriel, I cannot imagine a mother saying some of the things Lidia did to her child. I don't care how much her life did not turn out as she wanted. There is no justification.Muriel recasts her life (she is a casting assistant, in fact) continually, envisioning what relationship she and Pia might have had if this were different or that were better. She comes back to reality, though, realizing that life is what it is, and all she can hope to do is adjust successfully.God plays a role here as well. Lidia and Pia engage in a cafeteria-style Christianity, in which they pick and choose which dishes fit their needs best. Toward the end of the novel, Muriel calls them out for this, if only in her head. God is consistent and constant; if you're in, you must be all in, not just in for what suits you. Muriel attempts to understand her mother and sister's religion, but she discovers that their God is not a god she wants to worship.Of course, more than anything, this is the story of two sisters. There is much we are not told about Pia; she begins and ends more of a mystery than someone we understand. She has a cruel core, and her cruelty is always directed at Muriel. Lidia, at least, occasionally fires her laser-like evil toward Owen, although she reserves most of her animus for Muriel. I could not imagine being Muriel. How she managed to survive her childhood and emerge a woman who has charted her own course, even if it appears lonely and somewhat unfulfilling, it's hers. Lesser women would have crumbled.Which brings me to what bothers me about this book: it is uneven. Lidia's extreme dislike for Muriel is confounding. Yes, we know why she prefers Pia, but why the bald hatred for Muriel? And why the emotional mess at the end of the book? Where did that come from? Nor, for that matter, do we understand how Pia morphed into a woman who would get married and have a child of her own. When Pia tells Muriel that looking at her daughter, she can see proof of God's love, it does not humanize her. Rather, if confuses us because we had no idea Pia had such a wellspring of positive emotion within her. No foundation has been laid for it, other than perhaps a need for a happy(ish) ending. It also seems completely out of character for Lidia to behave at she does, and that sort of dishonesty dos not ring true to readers. In the first part of the novel, we spend a little time in Owen's head, and then we leave. Why? Why not let us revisit him later in the book? Are those few chapters intended to tell us what we need to know about him? If so, they are insufficient. Owen says that he will not be a divorced man, and I want to know why.However. For all of those frustrations, I enjoyed this book. When Muriel asks someone why no one loved her, my heart broke, and I admit that I cried, largely because I was so emotionally invested in her. I couldn't help but be, perhaps because I could relate to her on several levels. No, I do not have a sister, but I know what it's like to be the Muriel of the family.Mary Hogan writes descriptively and emotionally, and she pulls you into her story. I just wish there had been more consistency with some of her characters.Published on cupcake's book cupboard@VivaAmaRisata

  • Jeannie Walker
    2018-11-21 01:21

    I was inspired to read the novel because of the title, “Two Sisters”.I was somewhat like Muriel in that I was a middle child. I have had a lot of life experiences. I was a tomboy for my dad, because there were no sons for Dad - just girls.I also came from a dysfunctional family that didn’t have the ability to fulfill purposes accepted as beneficial or normal.I also liked Pia who announced that Jesus Christ was her personal savior and said the Bible taught her everything she needed to know. My mother constantly nagged me and my other sisters (Good Lord rest her soul).I liked excursions with my mom, but that was a long time ago.Somewhere in time, everything went awry.Wouldn’t it be nice, if real life could be worked out in a good way like a good novel?Truthfully, what family doesn’t have some kind of secret?Life is too short to hold grudges. I am of the opinion (be it so humble) that Mary Hogan’s well-written novel can help readers with real life, and working out some of the kinks that tend to hold us back from enjoying life.It is always better to forgive... forgetting is the hard part.I believe each of us can learn something new, and even take away something good from this novel.Jeannie Walker (Award-Winning Author)

  • Kristine
    2018-12-13 06:11

    Original review can be found at* I received an advanced readers copy of this book from William Morrow Paperbacks via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.*Two Sisters is the story of more than just two sisters. It is the story of Muriel's struggle to accept and understand why she was always an outsider and disappointment to her entire family. It weaves back and forth between her present and past and paints the picture of her less than perfect life. It also tells the story of her parents and how they ended up together which plays a very important role in how her life plays out.This book is definitely a family drama and details Muriel's insecurities about growing up with a perfect sister and a mother who doesn't love her. She coped with her past by avoiding her family until her perfect sister delivers shocking news that has her re-evaluating her childhood and questioning everything she thinks she knows. Can things be fixed and is it possible to repair her relationships with her family? Can she learn to love herself when it seems that no one else can?Hogan writes in a beautifully honest way and captures Muriel's emotions perfectly. I loved the way she wrote what the characters were thinking in their heads, what they wanted to do in any given situation versus what they actually did. I related to her style because I often do the same thing. Who hasn't wished that they could sneak out a bathroom window instead of dealing with something unpleasant?This book is a somewhat sad and depressing story of a dysfunctional and complicated family. If you are looking for something fast paced and filled with action, this is not the book to read. If you are looking for an honest family drama about family, mending fences and forgiveness I think you will find this book to be an enjoyable read.

  • Tamara Clark
    2018-11-20 00:03

    This book is unlike my usual reads. It is beautifully written and emotional. It explores the relationships between parents and siblings, the lies and hurt we do onto others weather intentional or unintentional.I loved Muriel, the main character. She is the under dog whose treated like shit but is still optimistic in life. When she was old enough she moved way from her family, kept in touch when needed, but for the most part was on her own and happy. I could relate to that personally because it was how I was treated and what I did. Pia, I didn't like much, but I could relate to her in the way with her secret now as an adult and wanting Muriel to keep it. I have my own health issues and I talk to no one but my doctor about it, so on that front I could see why Pia wanted her secret kept and her reasoning. There was also their parents and brother as supporting characters. I despised their mom, and my heart really went out for their dad and brother. Throughout the story is one main life tragic event, Pia's secret which you learn about 100 pages in, and the rest is told in flash backs of the harshness of Muriel's life growing up and then present day of coming to terms with the emotions, aftermath, moving forward and starting fresh. This was such a well written and beautiful story. The flashbacks are hard to read and the lies and viciousness that happen within a family.

  • Carolann
    2018-11-22 23:11

    I am the middle child in a family of three girls, so it is no shock that I am drawn to sister stories – sisters who love each other, sisters who hate each other, sisters who hurt each other, sisters who give up everything to protect each other – as long as there are sisters, you can bet I will give the novel a try. Enter stage left, Mary Hogan’s novel, ‘Two Sisters’.The two sisters of this story’s title are older sister, Pia, and younger sister, Muriel. Muriel and Pia have a bitter and rivalrous relationship, largely due to their mother, Lidia – a spoiled, selfish, cruel, priest-seducing, less-than-stellar mom. The gist of the plot circles around over-weight and imperfect Muriel who was cruelly treated by both her mother and sister all through her formative years. Muriel was made to keep the family secrets, namely that perfect daughter Pia was in fact the result of a secret sexual affair between Lidia and her priest, while Muriel was the daughter that Lidia never really wanted.I wanted to feel bad for Muriel. I wanted to feel outraged for her. That never really happened. Read More.Read more literature reviews from Carolann DeMatos of Her Literary Salon.

  • Anna
    2018-12-03 00:58

    Told mainly through the voice of Muriel, the youngest of three siblings. Her sister Pia is beautiful, confident and the favored child of her mother, Lidia. So like their father, her brother Logan spends most of his time with their father, Owen. Muriel feels she's an afterthought, her birth most likely the result of an "unplanned" pregnancy. Muriel is envious of her siblings, and describes herself as the fifth in a family of four. Her mother and Pia are too often cruel, judging her for being awkward and chubby. Yet Muriel yearns for their approval. Her few favorite memories are those spent attending the Saturday matinee Broadway shows, despite being abandoned during the shows by her mother. This leads her to her career as a casting assistant, working for a woman who treats her with the love never shown her by her own mother. Muriel prefers to avoid her family and has accepted the disappointments of her life. Yet when Pia approaches Muriel with the devastating news of late stage breast cancer, Muriel finds herself challenged to examine her role as a sister and the many secrets she has kept so well. Can relationships be repaired?Underlying the story is the family's faith and how faith can be misused to justify their actions. Can forgiveness be granted?

  • Amy's Book Reviews
    2018-12-07 00:06

    Black sheep of the family Muriel grew up in the shadow of her older siblings, Pia, her mother's favorite and Logan, her father's. Then Pia shows up with devastating news, she's dying. Muriel has always been the keeper of secrets in this dysfunctional family. Can Muriel find healing from the hurt from her childhood with her very imperfect family?I found the plot to be rather predictable and the secrets not particularly startling or unique. I thought the characters were written heavily influence the reader into seeing Muriel as a "victim" and the rest if the family was almost one dimensionally written as the "victimizers", over the top awful people. TWO SISTERS was too long, with too much useless description that didn't advance the plot or the understanding of the characters. Even the title is off, because the story more about ONE DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY than the sisters or their individual relationship,

  • Michele
    2018-12-12 06:01

    Two Sisters is a story about a dysfunctional family and the affects it had on the children. It is told by the main character, Muriel. Muriel, the third born child in her family. She was overlooked and treated poorly by her parents. The story starts with Muriel in the present day and flashes back to her troubled childhood and the flawed relationship she had with her family. Secrets are kept throughout Muriel's childhood and revealed as the story unfolds.For the most part this was a very sad story. Muriel's mother Lydia was a wicked woman and her behavior disrupted the lives of all of the family members. I would recommend this book. I was touched by the author's explanation at the very end about how she developed the idea for this story. received this book from early reviewers on librarything

  • Andrea Stegman
    2018-12-08 02:20

    A quick and predictable read - well, except for one big WTF moment about 3/4 of the way in, but otherwise it was a little too easy to see every single thing coming down the pike. And oddly, although the story is set in current day New York, two of the characters, who are about my age, come off as from another era - the 40's or 50's. Their dialogue is completely dated and utterly incorrect for two people who were in their 20's in the 1980's. I found that bizarre and distracting.

  • Betsy
    2018-11-19 23:14

    I whipped through this in a little more than a day. It was good enough that I overlooked such ridiculous errors as one of the characters pointing out a woman's Adam's apple (huh?) and several other editing errors. It's a good story, well written enough to keep the pages turning.

  • Alana Garnica
    2018-12-06 05:00

    Really sad ..I haven't read a book where I felt bad for every character in a long time...if ever.

  • Staci Tyrrell
    2018-11-29 22:09

    Probably more 3.5. Some parts were pretty frustrating and hard to believe, but all families are different.

  • Chrystal Snowdrop Dreams
    2018-12-04 05:23

    This was a powerful book for me. It made me cry often, in both a happy and sad way. It made me think back to the feelings and thoughts of my mother's illness and the emotions that overwhelm when you finally understand that things are changing whether you are ready or not. The happy emotion comes from remembering the moments you'll cherish forever and this is what a novel like this can do - bring up all sorts of emotions and allow you to think about the good and the bad.In this story, you follow Muriel through her life - from being a child who only wanted to be loved so much by her family yet felt so unloved her entire life, to watching Muriel change and grow after dealing with her sister's news that will change everything.Muriel is completely unlike anyone in her family. She doesn't fit the mold she feels that her mother and sister, Pia, were made from or that her father and brother are cut from. She has always felt left out, yet she has accepted this and gone on with her life. She dislikes visits from her sister or mother, because they only make her feel less adequate about her life choices. The only thing anyone has ever relied on her for was keeping their dirty little secrets.Then the one thing she didn't expect happened. Her sister appears, acts overly sisterly to her and then dumps the shock of a lifetime on her shoulders. It's her newest secret to bear. It's a devastating shock that sends Muriel reeling. One of those "if I don't acknowledge it, it can't be true" moments. It's a life altering moment that makes her realize how much she has actually wanted to have a close relationship with her sister, but never felt she could. Then, almost too late, she has a moment with her sister that will change her entire outlook on life. She can hold on to this moment and look back on it as one of the happiest sister moments of her life - but she can't help wonder why her family has been unable to care like normally families do - wasn't caring something that you just knew how to do? Until now, she has never felt that kind of emotion with her family.This one moment makes her realize she doesn't need to keep secrets anymore and she needs to be free. That things cannot change unless she makes the change. The letting go of the secrets will finally set her free and allow her to move on. This one horrible moment in life has now unleashed a clarity for Muriel that will forever change her life for the better - all thanks to Pia. "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." -page 254The last part that had me really thinking comes from the end of the book where the author has a little section called: Writing Through Grief. She shares her thoughts on the characters she developed and what she learned from them. " Through the characters of Pia and Lidia, I was able to explore the destructive power of secrets in a family. I was able to look at God and religion from a different perspective. Owen and Logan - the father and brother characters - taught me about the choices people make and the consequences they live with. And Muriel - the main character - showed me how resilience is the one trait that can trump all others." -page 3-4 of the P.S. sectionIn the end I realize that what really matters most is family - no matter what kind of family you have. When it comes down to it, they are all you really have. And sometimes secrets can pull it apart and tragedy can put the pieces back together again. When you think you have no one, family will surprise you and have your back or be the shoulder you need to cry on. Family is the one puzzle we all have in common - it's just a matter of perspective that changes the individual pieces and how they fit together.

  • Reeka (BoundbyWords)
    2018-12-08 23:04

    As seen on my blog:Two Sisters was so much more than what it's title implies. It was about two sisters, plus their entire family, and a chest full of life-altering secrets. It was reminiscent of a day-time soap opera, only with a few steps shy of being overly-dramatic. There was so much more I wanted out of this narrative, but aside from that need, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough-the plot line was fast paced, and full of enough subtle secret hinting that I couldn't wait to reach the twists.This book was definitely plot-driven, because I found it hard to relate to most of the characters, and was sometimes confused about the time frame in which the book was apparently taking place. The tone of Two Sisters, and references made within, could have easily placed it in the early 90's, as opposed to present day. There was also the alternating style, that has the narrative switching between Muriel and Pia's situation in the present, and Owen and Lidia's tumultuous love affair in the 1980's. There was no indication to the switch, and it sometimes did so from paragraph to paragraph within the same chapter. It was easy enough for me to follow, but I can definitely see that as a hindrance for some readers.My draw to Murial was unfaltering, she was definitely the most vulnerable, and therefore, most relatable character in the book. Flashbacks of the treatment she recieved as a child, the neglect and downright shunning, made my heart ache with empathy. There was a scene in the beginning, during a day out at the beach with her mother and sister, that almost brought tears to my eyes. I could have cared less for Pia, Lidia, and Owen, though their roles in the book were definitely needed. It created just the right sense of tension, and provided a conclusion that was believable, though a bit lacking to say the least-it was slightly predictable, but I was satisfied for the most part. If you're a fan of story lines that are slow to build, but are generous with the weight of it's twists, Two Sisters may just be the read you're looking for. Recommended for Fans of: Women's Fiction, Barbara Delinsky, drama, contemporary.

  • CoffeeBook Chick
    2018-12-03 00:22

    If you want a secret kept safe, Muriel is the one to tell it to. In her entire life, the only connection she had with her beautiful and worshipped mother, Lidia, and equally mesmerizing sister, Pia, are the things she's seen or gone through with them, or because of them. Never once, though, has Muriel broken her promises and told a soul. With her father emotionally absent and bonded to his only son, Logan, and Lidia and Pia always excluding others, Muriel continues to be the outcast in a family of four who accidentally had a fifth.Now an adult at twenty-three and living in New York with an entry level job, Muriel still keeps her promises, but limits her time with family. She prefers Sundays securely snug in the comfort and safety of her tiny fourth-floor walk-up apartment, eating popcorn while on the bed and reading the Times. Planning the day starts off like any other, but when her perfect sister Pia, now living in Connecticut with the perfect husband, house, and daughter, unexpectedly calls to spend Sunday with her, little does she know her entire life will change. What Muriel once thought about her family turns upside-down and sideways as relationships are scrutinized, past events are inspected again, all because of one more secret Pia has to share.No matter how odd it may sound that I loved a story so sad and heartbreaking, Two Sisters resulted in just that. Beautifully written, Muriel's sad story is oftentimes difficult to read, frustration seeping in for the reader as Lidia and Pia dig at Muriel, cruelly teasing Muriel's hair, shape, and more. With reminders that being the odd man out in any situation can feel horrible, within a family, it can be damaging.I couldn't put down Two Sisters and ended up flying through it in a day. It was an excellent change of pace from my current reading preferences, and I enjoyed every page. With truly nasty, unlikable characters throughout, Muriel's the ultimate underdog, and I cheered her on. While things tied up a little too neatly for my preferences, I loved Muriel's story, her quiet attempts to bond with her sister and mother tugging at my heartstrings.Mary Hogan has a gift when writing the voice of the tortured soul excluded from others, and I'm eager to read more from her. I've heard that this is her first foray into adult fiction, with seven previously published books in the YA genre, so I'm excited to dive more into her work when her next adult novels come out.Book club readers will definitely feel inclined to share their own personal family stories after reading Two Sisters. There is much to think about and mull over with others, and the simultaneously sweet and harsh message that sometimes you have to look at who you are, instead of always thinking everyone else is the problem, might hit home for many. The words lift from the page, pulling you into Muriel's world and I happily went into it, no matter how sad it sometimes could be.

  • Carrie Ardoin
    2018-12-11 04:09

    2.5 STARSAlthough this book drew me in, I am not sure I could say exactly why. It took quite a long time for things to get rolling. I didn't even find out the "shocking secret" until nearly halfway through the book, although I had an idea of what was coming. If I had known this book was going to be kind of like a Lifetime movie, I would have skipped it.Muriel is the youngest daughter in a family with three children. Her older sister, Pia, has always been perfect and beautiful and just right for their mother. Her older brother Logan basically ignored her while he spent time with their dad. So Muriel is the odd girl out, and she's always either overlooked or on the receiving end of cruelty--resulting in a pretty horrible childhood.As an adult, she lives in Manhattan and is estranged from her siblings and parents. One day, Pia comes to her unexpectedly with some troubling news. Muriel begins to reflect back on her life and the relationships she has with her family members.So much of this book made me cringe. As a mother and a sister, I could hardly believe the way Muriel was treated by her mother and sister. It was as if they actually hated her. The reasons were truly not clear to me. Muriel's mother, Lidia, is a manipulative, selfish woman that always wants to convey that she's in perfect control of her life, but in reality is just the opposite. Pia is unfortunately much like her.The two sisters seemed to me to be written much older than their stated ages. Pia, as a grown woman, did something so stupid that probably led to the secret she reveals to her sister. I know this is a book, but I cannot see any woman with even a modicum of good sense to make the decision she did.I liked the beginning where we got to know how the parents ended up together. It showed the first signs of how Lidia was as a person, and how her actions led to the way her life ended up and the way she raised her children. As the story went on, though, we got less of this interesting backstory, and the present was actually more boring to read about.I'm not really happy with the way the book ended. I'm not sure that Muriel is making the right decision, but letting go of anger is always a good thing, I guess. I finished this book because I wanted to see if things got better, but it seemed to me that nothing really did.

  • Deb
    2018-11-29 21:55

    Review Excerpt: "I found myself engrossed in this book rather quickly, wanting to learn the secrets of the family and anxiously turning the pages as they were revealed. The story moves along well, going back and forth between the current happenings, back to Muriel's childhood, and even farther back to the meeting and subsequent marriage of her parents. Two Sisters isn't always an easy read. With the exception of Muriel, the Sullivant family is hard to like and connect with. Lidia the mother is selfish and cruel. Owen, the father is emotionally absent from the entire family. Logan, distanced himself with his artistic pursuits and left home at an early age--avoiding his family even more than Muriel, and Pia mistreated her younger sister growing up and when they 'talk' as adults, it's mostly Pia talking disparagingly to Muriel about her life choices. Muriel is likeable and sympathetic in a kicked-puppy kind of way. She (understandably) lacks any sort of confidence and is emotionally needy--wanting love and acceptance, but still manages to have a sense of humor. Some of the self-talk in her head had me chuckling--a nice relief from the more tragic, poignant moments in the story and the angst they caused me. I rooted for Muriel and was pleased to see her emotional growth--most of which comes in the last third of the book. In that vein, I did feel that the ending came too quickly--with all of the emotions this book raises, I would have liked a longer, more drawn out and detailed resolution. In the end, Two Sisters is an absorbing, well-written story about family and its dynamics. It will make you think, probably shed tears--and, if you happen to have wonderful, loving and supportive older sisters like mine, you'll want to hug them and thank your lucky stars. ;-)"You can read my full review and see a recipe inspired by the book on my blog here: A review copy of "Two Sisters" was provided to me by the publisher and TLC Book Tours in return for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for this review and as always my thoughts and opinions are my own.

  • Ashley Farley
    2018-11-17 23:22

    Two Sisters is a novel about family dysfunction. Not drug addiction or physical abuse but the quiet type of dysfunction that destroys lives. On the surface, the Sullivants are an ordinary middle-class Catholic family. But Muriel’s mother, Lidia, is keeping the kind of secret that turns fathers into cold, heartless men and mothers into selfish, cruel monsters. When twelve-year-old Muriel stumbles upon the truth, Lidia will go to desperate measures to keep her secret hidden. Muriel is the third child of parents who only wanted two. A beautiful daughter for the mother. A mini-me son for the father. And Muriel, the mistake, the result of too many glasses of wine, a last-ditch effort to make a go of their marriage. Muriel longs for affection, desperate for attention. She’ll do anything to be accepted by her mother and her beautiful older sister, even if it means keeping their secrets.The author’s timetable seems off for me. Namely the sisters’ ages. Pia is 31 and Muriel 23, yet the author characterizes them as though they are twenty years older, nearing 50 perhaps and in her early 40s. Pia has an eight-year-old daughter, which means she would’ve had the baby when she was 23, not unheard of considering today’s standards but out of character for this sophisticated pampered woman of means who spends her free time in the salon and practicing yoga. Muriel is set in her ways like an old maiden, and she is far too wise from her life and work experiences to be 23. Her mother constantly nags her about finding a husband as though she is racing against her biological clock instead of a young woman barely out of college.My last word on timing. The author gives us the background of Lidia’s relationship with Own and how they met and came to be married. Lidia and Owen are prim and proper. They remind me more of June and Ward Cleaver, in Leave it to Beaver, than a young couple of the 80s.3 1/2 stars for meFor more of my reviews, please visit my website at

  • Tonya
    2018-11-22 02:00

    One family, two sisters, a lifetime of secrets . . .The third child in a family that wanted only two, Muriel Sullivant has always been an outsider. Short, dark-haired and round, she worships her beautiful blonde sister, Pia, and envies the close bond she shares with their mother, Lidia. Growing up in their shadow, Muriel believes that if she keeps all their secrets—and she knows plenty, outsiders always do—they will love her, too.But that was a long time ago. Now an adult, Muriel has accepted the disappointments in her life. With her fourth-floor walk-up apartment and entry-level New York City job, she never will measure up to Pia and her wealthy husband, their daughter, and their suburban Connecticut dream home. Muriel would like nothing better than to avoid her judgmental family altogether. One thing she does quite well.Until the day Pia shows up to visit and share devastating news that Muriel knows she cannot tell—a secret that will force her to come to terms with the past and help her see her life and her family in unexpected new ways.I know this book is going to hit a lot of nerves this year. Some people are going to love it. They are going to identify with it, and some it might hit below the belt. I am an only child, but I really stepped into Muriel's shoes right away. She is the perfect character without being too perfect. You instantly love her! Her family treats her badly; but you won't find out the secrets right away. We are fed little nuggets along the trail. It is a very satisfying read, I hated Pia, but some moments you felt sorry for her, but I was Team Muriel all the way! Lots of eating going on in this book, fair warning you will be hungry!!! I look forward to more by this author!

  • Suzanne Lilly
    2018-11-30 21:58

    If you have siblings, if you've ever had a conflict in your family, or if you have ever tried hard to meet someone else's expectations, this story will hold something for you. Elegantly written, this novel had me spellbound from the first chapter. Muriel is the black sheep of what passes for a family. She does her best to cope through denial, then through trying to piece things together with her family members. The narration switches from present to past and back, giving the reader a full experience of the divergent personalities and what came before the present crisis. Two Sisters is written beautifully. It's one of those books of which I want to sop up every last word and phrase like a piece of bread on a plate of gravy. I hated to see it end.