The Top 5 Books with Sisters in the Title
The relationship between siblings is a unique one. It’s also one I have no personal experience with, being a proud only child. (And by the way, it’s not true that we’re weird, spoiled, or lonely!) Of course, not having firsthand knowledge of something only makes one more curious. For my latest book, I had to do a fair bit of research about sibling dynamics. It involved lots of fiction, some psychology, and a few very informal personal interviews over a glass or two of wine. It turns out, when siblings aren’t actively trying to kill each other (must be some kind of natural-selection, fight-for-resources thing), they can be anything from rivals to lifelong friends.
I’ve written before about the phenomenon of the word girl turning up in many book titles in the suspense genre, and lately, we’re seeing it branch out. Sister is in the title of several big releases recently, and, just as the case is with girl, the books themselves vary widely in subject matter. Here are a few highlights:
- The Sisters by Claire Douglas
This is a truly twisted book that takes sibling relations to a quite uncomfortable place. Reeling from the death of her own twin, Abi becomes enthralled with a woman who reminds her of her lost sister—desperate, perhaps, to recreate the bond they had. But the woman has a twin brother of her own, Ben. And soon the relationship among the three of them becomes anything but simple.
- The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll
The Favorite Sister is Jessica Knoll’s long-awaited follow-up to her bestselling Luckiest Girl Alive. In The Favorite Sister, we’re plunged into the gossipy world of reality TV, and the theme is a familiar one: rivalry. Not just between sisters, but between women in general. Can women lift one another up instead of tearing one another down? To have that as the driving concept of a reality TV show—one unfortunately named Goal Diggers, to boot—there’s something deliciously hypocritical about that. And the characters, all of whom put their own interests first and have secrets to protect, soon prove the point.
- My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni
A great lightning-paced thriller for the lounge-chair season, My Sister’s Grave introduces a detective whose past comes roaring back when her sister’s remains are found twenty years after her disappearance. Tracy Crosswhite doesn’t believe the man convicted for the murder years ago was truly guilty, and so she sets out to investigate the truth. A somewhat familiar story, perhaps, but a well-executed one that keeps you glued to the pages.
- The Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain
Riley is a social worker whose sister Lisa committed suicide when Riley was but a toddler. Many years later, after her father’s death, Riley comes back to her childhood home and accidentally uncovers proof that Lisa did not commit suicide after all. More than that—Lisa is still alive. Riley has no choice but to start digging into family history that would be best forgotten. From here unravels an emotional mystery full of twists and turns.
- My Sister’s Bones by Nuala Ellwood
This novel is unique in that it tackles the kind of serious and dark topics a lot of authors shy away from. The main character is a war correspondent who reports on the war in Syria—quite a departure from the rich-people-with-marital-problems theme that turns up a lot in psychological suspense. But after her mother’s death, the protagonist is forced to return home and reconnect with her sister, an alcoholic whose sanity is spiraling fast. This is a novel full of surprises and twists, but at its heart, it’s a story about how everyone deals with trauma and abuse in their own way.
Nina Laurin is the author of Girl Last Seen and What My Sister Knew.