Nominated by:

Hartford Public Library, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Tin House Books, USA

Little Sister

Barbara Gowdy      

A ground-breaking novel about the porous boundaries of intimacy and consciousness, and the possibility of forgiveness.

Thunderstorms are rolling across the summer sky. Every time one breaks, Rose Bowan loses consciousness and has vivid, realistic dreams about being in another woman’s body.

Is Rose merely dreaming? Or is she, in fact, inhabiting a stranger? Disturbed yet entranced, she sets out to discover what is happening to her, leaving the cocoon of her family’s small repertory cinema for the larger, upended world of someone wildly different from herself. Meanwhile her mother is in the early stages of dementia, and has begun to speak for the first time in decades about another haunting presence: Rose’s younger sister.

In Little Sister, one woman fights to help someone she has never met, and to come to terms with a death for which she always felt responsible. With the elegant prose and groundbreaking imagination that have earned her international acclaim, Barbara Gowdy explores the astonishing power of empathy, the question of where we end and others begin, and the fierce bonds of motherhood and sisterhood.

About the author

Barbara Gowdy is the author of seven previous books, including The White Bone and Helpless. Her work has been published in more than twenty-four countries. She lives in Toronto, Canada.

(from publisher)

Librarian’s comments:

Is Rose dreaming, hallucinating or manifesting human consciousness as it has yet been discovered to be? Little Sister is a supernatural, existential, and realistic story with deft wisdom and wisps of humor. Gowdy gathers it all into a compelling novel.

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